Tenanted Boats for Residential Use – The R.B.O.A.’s View

17 November 2016

Tenanted Boats for Residential Use – The R.B.O.A.’s View
The Residential Boat Owners’ Association (RBOA) will not support anything which
potentially brings residential boating into ill repute. In consequence, RBOA does not
generally encourage or endorse boat rentals for floating homes. More specifically, this
Association cannot and will not support any form of unregulated craft rental for
permanent occupancy. For clarity, RBOA believes that, because of the difficulties
involved in substantiating compliance with Licensing Terms & Conditions, inland
waterway craft without home moorings should not be rented out for residential use.
For over half a century, the Residential Boat Owners’ Association has worked
consistently to promote and protect living afloat in this country, wherever and
however it is lived – on our canals and rivers, coastal waters, or estuaries, whether on
craft with or without home moorings, provided it is done responsibly.
Living afloat is very different from living on land, sometimes drawing
misunderstanding and criticism from those who don’t relate to the charm and
attraction of this alternative, low impact, life style. With this in mind, RBOA
has striven to project and maintain respectability for those who do choose to live this
It is possible that formal moorings operators, marinas in the main, may choose to
operate properly regulated, and controlled rentals of suitable floating homes –
whether boats, houseboats, or floating lodges. RBOA, as an association for residential
boat owners, does not promote such schemes, but recognises that efficiently managed,
thoroughly regulated and conscientiously operated business schemes could exist. It is
also accepted that, on occasion and for a variety of reasons, individuals may choose to
put their homes into the hands of (known) others to ensure temporary security of their
home during such absence.
Of late, though, RBOA has witnessed a substantial rise in the number of craft rented
out for live aboard occupancy and for no other purpose than to create profit or reward,
for the sole benefit of the unregulated craft owner(s). Often such rentals are poorly
maintained, not adequately insured, in breach of Navigation Authority licence
conditions and, as such, are tempting unsuspecting renters into potentially dangerous,
illegal and unprotected living conditions. Landlord and Tenant law does not apply to
these rentals, leaving the occupiers with little or no security and protection. RBOA
believes this is detrimental to the very concept of responsible residential boating and
risks damage to the respectability that this Association has striven to generate for
committed residential boaters over many years. Furthermore, RBOA is of the opinion
that the public reputations of the Navigation Authorities themselves could be tarnished
by the letting practices outlined above.