About Renting a boat in London

If you are thinking of hiring or renting a boat privately, offering your boat for hire, or buying a boat to rent-out, The Canal and River Trust has recently published the following statement about privately renting boats:

" Buying a boat to rent is not to be taken lightly. Every year there are tragic accidents, from carbon monoxide poisoning to fires to boats sinking. As the landlord you will have a duty of care to your tenants and, if anything goes wrong, then you will be held responsible. If you can’t demonstrate that you’ve met all the legal requirements, including having a non-private boat safety certificate, commercial insurance and proof that you’ve gone through the handover procedure correctly, you may end up with a serious criminal conviction.

On a practical note, on waterways looked after by the Canal & River Trust, you will need to hold a Residential Letting licence to let it out for residential use. You can only get one of these if you have a home mooring with planning consent for residential use. If you don’t have a home mooring you will not be able rent out your boat for residential use, for holiday use or as a hotel or B&B, and you’ll be in breach of your licence T&Cs.

To anyone thinking of renting a boat, whether to live on or for a holiday, please do your research and make sure the boat is above board. If it doesn’t have a business licence, then it’s not. And if it doesn’t have a home mooring, then it can’t have the right kind of licence, so if anyone offers you any kind of rental or letting arrangement on a continuous cruising basis, you can be sure that it hasn’t met the proper regulations.

You can find out more about renting boats on our website at https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/boating/a-boat-of-your-own/renting-a-boat... "

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