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Renting a Houseboat

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 14 Jan 2018 | comments*Discuss
Renting Houseboat To Live On Boat

Renting a houseboat to live on would seem like a useful alternative to buying a boat outright, especially for those that are either unsure whether or not boat living is for them although they’re still attracted enough to the idea of, at least, wanting to try the lifestyle for a while with the idea of buying a boat later if they take to life on the water.

Alternatively, some people may have definitely decided that they want to live on a boat but cannot afford to buy one outright or cannot raise the money through a mortgage or loan for whatever reason.

How To Go About Renting a Boat

Unlike the housing market where getting a place to rent is rarely a problem, renting a boat to live on is not as simple as you might think. One of the main reasons for this is that people who tend to buy boats do so because they want to live on them themselves. Those who do buy one as an investment tend to only rent them out over the short-term as a holiday boat rental, for example where, especially in the summer months, they can charge a premium rate for doing so.

That’s not to say that it’s impossible to find a boat rental for a longer-term and the internet is probably one of the best places to look. You may have to do a bit of delving around but there are many sites devoted to boat living in general some of which will contain forums or message boards where boating enthusiasts can exchange information and you may just get lucky and come across somebody who’s looking to rent out their boat on a medium to long term basis.

Otherwise, you could be proactive and post a message on the forum or message board, stating that you’re looking to rent for at least ‘X’ amount of months and the specifics of what you’re looking for and you might find somebody gets back to you who can help or posts a response on the forum. Boating magazines will also contain classified ads so you may want to keep checking those or placing an ad yourself.

Things To Bear In Mind

If you do get lucky and have the opportunity to rent a boat for living on it’s important that you establish certain issues. Firstly, you’ll need to make sure that the boat comes with residential mooring rights as many mooring agreements prevent boat owners from letting their boat. If all the paperwork is in order in that regard, you’ll also need to find out whether or not you’re liable for council tax.

The chances are you will be liable with a residential mooring so don’t simply assume that because you’re living afloat with no residential ‘address’ as such that you’re exempt from council tax as you’re likely to end up in trouble with the local authority. If you’re eligible, however, and you’re able to obtain a live aboard rental, you’d still be able to claim the likes of housing benefit to cover the full or partial cost of the rental, the mooring costs and the boat licence.

Tenancy Agreements

You should normally be looking to obtain a common law tenancy and it’s crucial that you carefully read through any tenancy agreement first. These will obviously differ depending on the boat’s owner but things like security deposits, liability issues if there is any damage to the boat, your responsibilities regarding any general maintenance and who’s responsible for what as well as the length of the tenancy are all issues you’d need to look at carefully.

Be prepared to hunt around, however, and to be both patient and pro-active in your approach as residential boat lettings are not as common as you might think.

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Professional person looking to rent a boat long term in Bristol must have at least 2 bedrooms.
Helen - 14-Jan-18 @ 10:52 AM
Looking to rent a boat long term in Norfolk hilgay, downham and surrounding areas Currently renting a mobile home near kings Lynn. Reference's available with current land lord. Working full time. Would just just be myself. I've experienced the rivers as used to have family boat on the broads. Email if you have anything available. Regards jo
Jo jo - 26-Nov-17 @ 5:53 PM
I'm and my wife are in Pension, 67 and 64 years old and would like to rent a 50 to 60 foot Narrowboat from May to September in England. Any help or offers here? One double bed and possibility for two Person more.
resi500 - 21-Nov-17 @ 9:28 PM
Hilooking for a boat to rent long termmoving out of London in work in Faversham
Smithy - 11-Nov-17 @ 7:25 AM
Hi am working in Leeds and looking for boat to rent Monday to Friday for long rental
Phil - 3-Nov-17 @ 3:46 PM
Hi I'm 53, professional and currently loving in a one bed flat. I've been renting the same flat for over 6yrs and have a perfect record with my landlord. I'm looking for a change and would like to rent a houseboat ( 1 or 2 bedrooms ) for the long term, probably years. I need something in the North Glasgow/ Kilsyth/ Kirkintilloch/ North Lanarkshire / East Dumbartonshire areas maybe Glasgow.
BS - 26-Aug-17 @ 10:26 PM
I am a 57 year old woman who has over the past 4 years lost my parents and my younger sister just before chrisrmas 2016 and no family left nearby now and i am now looking to rent a static long lease riverboat in Scotland only for my son and myself,i am disabled and wish to retire to a rural life which will benefit my health problems,thanking you
Carol - 1-Jul-17 @ 7:13 PM
Hi there, we are a family, partner works full time, so we are looking to rent all years round, possibly long term, we are looking into the financial side, it is all well and good having a dream, but I wouldn't venture into anything unless I knew all the upfront costs of such an endeavour. We live near Lea valley river (Wormley to be precise) and are just generally scouting around for info, cheaper to rent or buy, all the monies we would need in advance, references, etc. If anyone can give us a low down on above info, we would be deeply grateful. Peace out everyone, and have a lovely weekend :)
Jellytotz - 10-Jun-17 @ 3:05 PM
Hi we're a solvent mature married couple (early 50s) with a view to renting a canal boat mid to long-term anywhere in the UK but pref outside of greater London and north of Bedford. Would not necessarily need a permanent mooring in a marina. We can supply good references which can be checked.
Chez - 19-May-17 @ 9:17 AM
Me and my partner are looking to rent a boat all year round? We have a little girl that loves the our doors. Any one with any information on any sites or people with boats to rent long term please email me Many thanks Skye
Legs - 10-May-17 @ 9:15 PM
I work in London need a boat to rent in the week money to thursday
Sojic - 1-May-17 @ 5:50 PM
Hey there, Where would one look for a liveaboard to rent around the Bristol area? Ideally looking for something long term. Not to buy just yet though. Is there a forum or the like floating around somewhere? Thanks! Bronwyn
Bron - 24-Apr-17 @ 9:19 AM
Can any one please.point me in direction of my dream.I'm looking for a static or freestyling boat in london I've a buhdet of.unto 1000 a month any advice leads or a boat to rent please get on touch.and male.a.man smile again. peace love.
walks - 20-Apr-17 @ 4:44 PM
54 year old woman just returned from year travelling, working and house sitting in Argentina. Looking to buy a Dutch barge but want to experience living aboard first - Anyone wanting a barge sitter for a few weeks or anyone with a wide beam/ Dutch barge to rent for a few monthsanywhere - but not London - please get in touch. I am reliable professional and will look after your boat very carefully !
ElleeB - 4-Apr-17 @ 11:21 PM
Hi, we're a professional couple looking to rent a house boat long term which we'd like to moor in the Marina in Newcastle Upon Tyne. Would even consider a rental whereby the owner may want to sell going forward. Also does anyone have any advice on where to go to look at finance for purchasing a boat? Many thanks
Darren - 19-Mar-17 @ 1:45 PM
Dear all, Can anyone please be kind enough to point me in the direction of how to find a houseboat to rent for a year? Preferably in Sussex if at all [possible. I have spent hours on the internet and have got nowhere! Very many thanks in advance for any help that you can provide. Best regards Mike
Mike - 15-Mar-17 @ 6:19 PM
Hi I'm looking for a narrow boat to rent in Bristol. Minimum of 6 months preferably something quite permanent. £500pcm Contact me if you have this to offer. A safe tenant, house proud and respectful Thanks guys!
Jay - 28-Feb-17 @ 3:09 PM
It has been a dream of mine to live on a boat and this year I have to make it happen! We are a professional couple in our mid 30s based in Bristol and would be looking at renting somewhere for a minimum of 6 months. Look forward to hearing from people who can start pointing me in the right direction and realise this dream! Thanking you in advance :) Laura & Mark
LozRobz79 - 15-Feb-17 @ 5:50 PM
Hi. I work in the motorsport industry and need somewhere to stay around Silverstone. If you have a boat and are looking for someone to look after it, keep it clean and just generally maintain it, please let me know. I live in Norfolk so looking for somewhere during the week. May stay some weekends depending on racing calendar.
Rupert. - 17-Jan-17 @ 2:05 PM
Looking to rent with a view to buying a boat on the river tees near Stockton town Tees Barage/five lamps bridge. Mature self employed female solvent and responsible.
Teddygirl - 12-Jan-17 @ 9:03 AM
Hi there, i am a mature female, freelance Interior designer looking to spend some time living on a canal boat. It's been a dream to do this for a while and I would love to help someone with their boat interior should my expertise be needed.But just to try out this style of alternative living for a while, has great appeal to me. If i can help you at all with yr small space design project and /or you are looking to rent out yr boat sometime in 2017, please get in touch.
Heebajeebs68 - 13-Dec-16 @ 10:06 PM
Hi, I have a converted tug in central London and looking at renting it out.Am looking for £375 a week. Ideal for professional couple. 2 bedroom - main room is large, second room has a small double bed (not a large room). 2 Toilets 1 bathroom Great location.Tastefully furnished. If interested, get in contact for photos. Regards,
BoatLife - 21-Oct-16 @ 12:38 PM
Hi, I'm a 30 year old male looking for a boat for a long term hire, before I commit to buying one. Preferably in the Trowbridge/Bath/Bristol area. I have PTSD and have been struggling with "normal" living and spend a lot of time by the water to find peace. I'm essentially homeless right now and sofa surfing, but have some money coming over the next year and I want to find out if boat living is for me, I'm pretty sure it is! I can claim £400PM in DSS (I had worked all my life prior to the attack) and happy to work on maintaining the boat. Please please please get in touch
Boatee - 3-Oct-16 @ 10:06 AM
Looking for a longterm rent please for my dad. Condition not important, happy to do a few bits on it, location not a problem reasonably priced. Many thanks
Ladyt - 24-Sep-16 @ 6:38 PM
We are a middle aged couple living in Tuscany Italy , we have a lovely Tuscan village house ( with a small mortgage which could be sub-entered) the house is going to be on the market for €180.000, we are thinking of a life change ! Anyone that could be interested in 1.. Buying 2... Swapping Or any sensible idea could be considered... Any takers?
Mich - 12-Sep-16 @ 5:45 PM
I'm looking for narrowboat in East London. Long term rental. Thanks
Mau - 5-Sep-16 @ 12:20 AM
Small 2 bed traditional house boat needed asap to rent please. Happy to update soft furnishings etc. South Yorkshire area. With thanks Tilly
Tilly - 31-Aug-16 @ 8:55 PM
Hello, I am a frensh tattoo artiste and i'm coming to live at Bristol to join my Boyfriend in the end of novembre. I want to rent a boat at least one year, I already have a job so i'm solvable and serious! If you have one, please contact me, Thank you. Alice
Guycy - 31-Aug-16 @ 8:04 AM
Hello, my partner and I are looking for a house boat to rent for 3/4 months in Norfolk. From mid September.
Sky - 16-Aug-16 @ 10:57 AM
Looking for Small boat for 3-6 months. Just for me to live on, work and travel waterways. Oxford/Banbury area or Foxton/Leics. Professional 50 yrs old.
Roggs65 - 11-Aug-16 @ 12:03 AM
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Latest Comments
  • Helen
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    Professional person looking to rent a boat long term in Bristol must have at least 2 bedrooms.
    14 January 2018
  • Jo jo
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    Looking to rent a boat long term in Norfolk hilgay, downham and surrounding areas Currently renting a mobile home near kings…
    26 November 2017
  • resi500
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    I'm and my wife are in Pension, 67 and 64 years old and would like to rent a 50 to 60 foot Narrowboat from May to September in England. Any…
    21 November 2017
  • Smithy
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    Hi looking for a boat to rent long term moving out of London in work in Faversham
    11 November 2017
  • Phil
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    Hi am working in Leeds and looking for boat to rent Monday to Friday for long rental
    3 November 2017
  • non-live-aboard
    Re: What Are 'Bridge Hoppers'?
    Interesting, but I find it hard to understand the anger towards 'bridge hoppers'. I use my boat according to the continuous cruiser…
    20 September 2017
  • sailor0500
    Re: Mail & Banking Considerations
    I live on my narrow-boat on a British Waterways Marina mooring. I receive housing benefit which pays just over half of my…
    2 September 2017
  • Incorrect Facts
    Re: Paying Taxes If You Live on a Boat
    You said: "Depending on the value of the mooring, there is also the possibility of paying either value added tax (VAT)…
    18 August 2017
  • Jacqui
    Re: Paying Taxes If You Live on a Boat
    Hello I am a member of a boat club. The club is run by a committee who are also members and volunteer to be a committee…
    7 August 2017
  • carole
    Re: How Much Does It Cost To Live On a Boat?
    Looking for a houseboat for longterm rent in norfolk. Would like to buy one but still saving at the moment. So a…
    31 July 2017
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