Government consults on tenure for residential boats

The government is from today consulting on the security of tenure for up to 15,000 residential boats in England, particularly in London’s Canal Basins, West Midlands and Norfolk Broads.

Titled ‘Security of tenure for residential boats – England and Wales, which covers boats at moorings used for long-term residential use, the consultation proposes to establish similar protection as provided for owners of park homes in the Housing Act 2004.

The consultation is proposing four options – continuing with the status quo; introducing best practice guidance for moorings; introducing a model agreement; or introducing legislation on implying terms into all agreements.

Housing minister Baroness Andrews says residential boats are a small but significant section of the housing market. She says: “There can be no doubt residential boats help to promote diversity and choice in housing.

“And with this in mind what we are proposing is the rights and responsibilities of boat owners and mooring agents are fully discussed and any alterations take full account of their needs.”

Nick Skeens, chairman of the Ancient Moorings Organisation, says: “The issue affects not only residents but also mooring agents and organisations. Here then is an excellent opportunity for a wide discussion on residential boating issues and we expect a lively debate involving all stakeholders.”

Philip Mason, mooring agent and director of Chelsea Yacht and Boat Company, says: “We hope a way forward is considered to balance the requirements of residents and mooring agents, plus take account of the statutory duties of navigation authorities.”