CRT acts on pri­vate hire

Canal Boat - - News -

A NEW TYPE OF li­cence al­low­ing pri­vate boat own­ers to rent their boats out as static ac­com­mo­da­tion, and a crack­down on those who don’t fol­low the rules, form the two strands of an ini­tia­tive by the Canal & River Trust to tackle what is seen as an il­le­gal and po­ten­tially unsafe prac­tice.

With the high cost of hous­ing in Lon­don and other ma­jor cities, many boat own­ers have been tempted to hire their craft out – and there have been some cases of land­lords run­ning a busi­ness do­ing so.

How­ever the stan­dard leisure li­cence pro­hibits rental, in­sur­ance poli­cies may not cover it and the al­ter­na­tive of ob­tain­ing a busi­ness li­cence and oper­at­ing as a hire­boat com­pany means sat­is­fy­ing a list of con­di­tions (such as hav­ing a suit­able oper­at­ing base). A third li­cence type, a res­i­den­tial let­ting li­cence, only ap­plies to res­i­den­tial moor­ings (which are in very short sup­ply in these ar­eas).

This means any such ‘peer to peer’ hir­ing is likely to be in breach of li­cence and in­sur­ance con­di­tions – and some fear that it tempts un­sus­pect­ing renters into poorly main­tained craft.

The new Let­ting Li­cence cost­ing the same as a hire­boat li­cence (about 2½ times a stan­dard li­cence) al­lows own­ers to rent their craft out, whether for Airbnb-type short stays or longer term, sub­ject to con­di­tions in­clud­ing:

• The boat re­mains static • The boat has a home moor­ing • The owner com­plies with the moor­ing site’s plan­ning per­mis­sion • The boat has a Land­lord Gas Safety Cer­tifi­cate (if it has gas) • The owner pro­vides proof of ad­e­quate in­sur­ance • There is a han­dover to renters in­clud­ing a walk-through, emer­gency pro­ce­dures and con­tact de­tails • There is writ­ten per­mis­sion from the moor­ing owner At the same time, any boats that CRT sus­pects (for ex­am­ple from their ap­pear­ance on web­sites) of be­ing of­fered for rent with­out the new li­cence will be sub­ject to a pro­ce­dure in­volv­ing: • Post­ing no­tices on the boat • Con­tact­ing the li­cence holder, giv­ing 28 days to

cease trad­ing or ap­ply for the cor­rect li­cence • Re­vok­ing the li­cence if holder re­fuses to com­ply • Be­gin­ning the process for deal­ing with

un­li­censed craft

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