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Renting a Houseboat

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 18 Aug 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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I rent out my 57ft narrowboat called 'Gloria' for the winter months at the Bridgewater marina in Boothstown (9 miles by road from Manchester city centre. The hire is for a static let only and for 1 person for the full duration from November 18 to March 19. This winter will be the 4 year that I have offered this winter static hire (I operate holiday hire for the rest of the year). Let me know if you are interested. Cheers Hester
Hester - 18-Aug-18 @ 9:09 AM
Interested in long term boat rental up to 1 year in Berkshire area.I am considering buying a boat as my home due to expensive house prices in area but want to first understand and experience boat life. I am able to afford 550pcm but this is inclusive of all bills may be able to stretch but depends on what is included.Hope to hear soon.
Kim - 18-Aug-18 @ 3:21 AM
Hi I am looking for a boat to live on for 6 months or long term, I work for a nursing Agency all over Devon and my partner is a carpenter I love gardening and the outdoors and work love the opportunity to live on a boat, we have 2 well behaved small non moulting dogs, excellent references and would keep the boat immaculate Anyone out there willing to give us an opportunity wouldn’t regret it many thanks for reading
Shelley Winter - 23-Jul-18 @ 11:34 PM
I want to rent a houseboat for three months from the 20th March 2019. Please let me know what is available. Regds... Abraham
Pasha - 16-Jul-18 @ 6:45 PM
Hi i am a retired 58 year old Architect Looking for a long term livaboard narrowboat I live on my own and thought it would be a good idea to try the lifestyle before eventually buying a boat of my own this is my first look into renting I currently live in Nottingham and need to stay local as I have elderly parents herethat Iwant to be close to I currently rent a small houseand can afford approx £500 per month I would love to hear from anyone who might be able to help I will obviously come and view it at a time to suit and with that in mind look forward to hearing from you I too will take great care of your boat and can provide any number of references thank you regards Richard
Rich - 16-Jul-18 @ 6:54 AM
Used to have a Norman cruiser..also a 40 ft...was a welder fabricator at streethay wharf...sold up and gave up the life to care for my dad who fell badly with lung cancer... Dad passed.. I think mums ok to leave to her own devices now... So looking to get back on the water now...I think it's time. Will have to rent to start with...400pcm Would be great.. Working full time..also great with the inns and outs of boat life that others won't.. Tamworth is closer to work for me. Look forward to hearing from you.
Daz - 28-Jun-18 @ 7:25 PM
Hi both my daughter and I are looking for a long term rent on a 50ft two bedroom barge boat £400 pcm if possible. Liverpool/Leeds area. Good references.If you can help please contact me. Many thanks.
Olivia - 9-Jun-18 @ 6:47 AM
Hi, I am a 53 year old professional who spends 4-5 days working away nationally. I currently live in Cardiff and would love to rent a canal boat long term ( at least 6-12months) anywhere around the Southwest or Wales ideally, however I am open to a boat further afield... I have previously lived on my sailboat, so I do know my pointy end from the other one. Please drop me a line if you have a boat for rent or can point me in the right direction... Many thanks Charlie
Charlie - 15-May-18 @ 12:51 PM
Hi am looking for a 3to 4bed rooms on boat houseam disabled andhavedream off living on house boat for a long time near Rochester as have son still in school and also one that would do a long term rentbut husband had to give up work to look after me can get around but need aids to walk so we are living in rented house but just want to live a dream off mine so ifit in cheap rent and some to let us look after there boat and let us live the dream please email me backhope I can stop dreamingand have a wish come true
Leapingkaz28 - 9-May-18 @ 2:47 PM
Looking for a 6-10month rental of houseboat/barge static or otherwise in the Northants area. Single occupancy.
JJ - 8-May-18 @ 2:08 PM
Any house boats on Norfolk Broads near Suffolk ideally
Aussi - 5-May-18 @ 6:50 PM
I am looking to rent a boat to live on for six months or more i am a long distance lorry driver and work sun to FridayI can provide referencesI'd like to be able to use it to travel around UK but if it's in a permanentlocationthat's fine . I am able to do any maintenancethat needs doing as well
Titch - 3-May-18 @ 12:59 PM
Hi Both myself & my husband are looking for a long term rent on a floating home or floating lodge around the Huntington 2 bedrooms Cambridgeshire area or close by .. I must stress we are looking for something long term , so if you can help please don’t hesitate to contact me ., We come with good references & will look after any potential rents well .
JoJo - 27-Apr-18 @ 5:22 PM
Hi all, looking rent a narrow boat for 6 months to 12months around Leeds/Bradford area around £400 pcm if possible. Many thanks
Matt - 24-Apr-18 @ 12:04 PM
Hi Nick, do you still hve the boat on leeds and can we have a chat if so.? Please email me
Matt - 23-Apr-18 @ 1:28 AM
Hi I've always wanted to live on a boat. I'm looking to rent one either canal or sea in the Exeter area or close to. Can afford £500 a month. I work full time and currently rent a garden flat. But at the stage in my life where I want to change.
Doug - 21-Apr-18 @ 7:12 PM
Hi all I'm looking to rent a boat, I grew up in York where my grandad used to work on barges sadly he past before I got chance to explore with him. I've had longterm health issues an have just got them in order so now would like to recover an explore the life my grandad so much loved I can afford £300/month but have a array of skills in which I could help fix up the boat or what ever. I don't mind where the boat is along as it can be moved as I need to see my daughter on weekends x
Gingerbread - 17-Apr-18 @ 3:37 PM
Hi all, I have a lovely canal boat with double bed, bathroom, kitchen, log burner etc. Based in Leeds city centre. The boat is in excellent condition and is ready to move in straight away. I am looking to find out if anyone would be interested in renting the boat (min 6 months). Due to work commitments I am looking at moving out of the city. Please get in touch for more information.
Nick - 8-Apr-18 @ 4:08 PM
Hi there I am a 25 year old man and work all over the country but spend most of my time in hotels and would just like to have some home comforts. In the past I spent time on canal holidays as a child so combining a life on the canal with my full time occupational commitments, would appear to be the perfect marriage. Any guidance that could be given would be very much appreciated as I realise the jump from land to canal could possibly be very taxing. Also, I'm eager to make the transition as soon as possible but for the initial shift I'm looking to rent a narrow boat for a short to medium term. My budget per month is anything up to £850 pcm so if anyone could help please and I will get back to you as soon as I can.thanks very much
Timmy - 11-Feb-18 @ 5:32 PM
I would like to rent a houseboat so that I can be on my own always want to live on the River and there are lovely views around here
Mas - 10-Feb-18 @ 5:57 PM
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
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Latest Comments
  • Hester
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    I rent out my 57ft narrowboat called 'Gloria' for the winter months at the Bridgewater marina in Boothstown (9 miles by road from Manchester…
    18 August 2018
  • Kim
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    Interested in long term boat rental up to 1 year in Berkshire area. I am considering buying a boat as my home due to expensive house prices in…
    18 August 2018
  • Shelley Winter
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    Hi I am looking for a boat to live on for 6 months or long term, I work for a nursing Agency all over Devon and my partner is a carpenter I…
    23 July 2018
  • Jan
    Re: What is Your Address If You Live on a Boat?
    My husband and I are selling our house so we can live full time on our boat. What address do we give to car…
    21 July 2018
  • Pasha
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    I want to rent a houseboat for three months from the 20th March 2019. Please let me know what is available. Regds... Abraham
    16 July 2018
  • Rich
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    Hi i am a retired 58 year old Architect Looking for a long term livaboard narrowboat I live on my own and thought it would be a good idea to…
    16 July 2018
  • Daz
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    Used to have a Norman cruiser..also a 40 ft...was a welder fabricator at streethay wharf...sold up and gave up the life to care for my dad who…
    28 June 2018
  • Olivia
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    Hi both my daughter and I are looking for a long term rent on a 50ft two bedroom barge boat £400 pcm if possible. Liverpool/Leeds area. Good…
    9 June 2018
  • Peta
    Re: What is Your Address If You Live on a Boat?
    @Griff - if you are constantly afloat and moving on it is tricky, you have to plan ahead with PO boxes. Or ask…
    18 May 2018
  • Charlie
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    Hi, I am a 53 year old professional who spends 4-5 days working away nationally. I currently live in Cardiff and would love to rent a canal…
    15 May 2018
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