Council Tax Clarification for Residential Moorings

BWML have been working with the Valuation Office Agency for some time to clarify the council tax situation for residential moorings; if this is payable what type of council tax can be claimed; and what are the circumstances or actions which would be deemed to constitute either an Individual Assessment (Similar to Domestic Households) or a Composite Assessment?

We are pleased to advise that after working with the VOA over a sustained period, they have now published guidance on council tax applicable to moorings. The full updated guidance can be found here.

As a Marina Operator who now provides over 550 full planning approved residential berths, BWML welcomes this change in guidance and example 3, which provides clarity on how a Composite or Separate assessment will be viewed, these are detailed below:

PN7: Appendix 4: Is a boat part of a dwelling

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 individual’s sole or main residence do not have a permanent right to any specific mooring.
  • Evidence that boats which are an individual’s sole or main residence are actually physically moved on at least two occasions a year.
  • The boat that is an individual’s 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.

If you are a BWML Residential Contract Holder and you have not previously indicated your preference, we request that you confirm your preferred council tax option after reviewing the above criteria, by clicking on the button below.

Confirm Tax Options

Once received you will be added to the appropriate database. If you select to have a separate or individual assessment then BWML will make available to the relevant local authorities your details to enable direct billing. If you have selected to be part of the Composite Assessment, you are thereby confirming to comply with the BWML’s local managers request that during any contract period you will be reallocated to an alternative berth.