Previous PageSection ContentsNext Page

PN 7: Appendix 4: Is a boat part of the dwelling?

The following circumstances help to identify the council tax implications for the boat and its mooring where a boat is the sole or main residence of an individual .

Example 1

Purpose built living accommodation based on a flat bottomed barge. The structure is moored to the bank by mooring lines and provided with affixed water, electricity and sewage connections. It may or may not have its own propulsion or engine.

At intervals commonly but not exclusively every 2 - 3 years the structure is moved away for condition surveys and general maintenance. The mooring is a separate hereditament because it is occupied exclusively by one boat for a period of more than 12 months. This provides rateable occupation. The mooring is also domestic property by virtue of s.66(4) because it is occupied by a boat which is someone's sole or main residence.

The flat bottomed barge together with its living accommodation is a chattel. As the boat is permanently located on the mooring and only moves away every 2-3 years for maintenance, it can be considered to be enjoyed with the land. The value of the boat should therefore be included in the valuation for banding purposes.

Example 2

A family lives on a barge and pay rent to the riparian (‘of river bank’) owner for a mooring on the river bank. Water is supplied to the river bank. At times during the year, the barge goes cruising leaving the mooring vacant until its return. The mooring is a separate hereditament because it is used exclusively by one boat during the year. When the barge is present, the mooring is domestic property by virtue of s.66(4) because it is occupied by a boat which is someone's sole or main residence. When the barge is absent, the mooring is domestic property by virtue of s.66(5) because it appears that when next in use the mooring will be domestic. However, the barge is insufficiently annexed to the land to be regarded as part of the hereditament, and the mooring only should be valued to determine the appropriate band.

Example 3

Where a marina with berths contains both moored pleasure boats and boats whose occupants use them as sole or main residences the outcome may on the facts be either a composite hereditament, a combination of composite hereditament and separate domestic hereditaments or indeed separate domestic hereditaments leading to separate bands.

The presence of a composite hereditament may be indicated by identifying the following features;

  • Where boats that are occupied as an individuals sole or main residence do not have a permanent right to any specific mooring
  • Evidence that boats which are an individuals sole or main residence are actually physically moved on at least two occasions a year.
  • The boat that is an individuals sole or main residence must be moved to a different berth not merely out and shortly afterwards returning to the same berth.

The presence of separate domestic dwellings within the boundary of the marina but not included in the composite hereditament would be indicated by ;

  • A boat that is the sole or main residence of an individual remaining on the same mooring for more than 12 months. If in that time it left for a few days , then it returned to the same mooring the few days away would be considered de minimus and by virtue of sec 66 (5) it would be domestic.
  • If while the boat is away the marina operator temporarily puts another boat on the mooring; but the berth holder always returns to his original berth, this would indicate a separate hereditament by virtue of the boat owners ability to exclude others and hence rateable occupation.
  • Where a marina operator reserves the right to move boats to different moorings but actually does not exercise the right.
  • It is possible on the facts to find both a composite hereditament and one or more separate domestic hereditaments in the same marina. The final decision to find a composite or not must rest with the specific facts of each case.

Example 4

A boat is beached on a high tide onto an estuary bank. The boat is the sole or main residence of an individual so satisfying the requirements of both a hereditament and domestic. The access to the boat is by way of a raised walkway on stilts which are driven into the mud. The walkway is physically fixed to the boat. To support the boat timber has been driven into the mud which forms a cradle which is attached to the boat and used to support the boat. The extent of attachment to the ground is such that the boat can be said to be enjoyed with the hereditament and forms part of it. For the valuation both the boat and the mooring are considered in the value.

Example 5

In the case of waterways where BWB are the occupier and a composite assessment is appropriate, the NDR entry will be made in the non domestic rating list.

BWB are assessed in the Central NDR List. If the waterway is in BWB's occupation, and thus included in the Central List, any composite assessment will form part of that entry.

In the case of waterways occupied by a different body, a composite assessment would need to be made as appropriate.

Previous PageSection ContentsNext Page