Residential moorings

We have developed a residential mooring option. Here, we tell you everything you need to know about our residential moorings…

Why does it cost more than a leisure mooring?

In all cases, there were particular conditions that we needed to meet that came with the planning approval and the cost of these works or investments are met by the residential customers within the marina.

Naturally when there are more people at the marina for more of the time, facilities and services like bins, water etc. are used more, which also adds ongoing costs to the running of the marina and are reflected in the higher fee.

Residential moorings are subject to VAT in accordance with HMRC guidelines. HMRC allow some exceptions and we make sure that we follow their guidelines. You can find more information on their website.

What do I need to do when I get a residential mooring?

Once you have your mooring contract, you will know which postal address you have. You can then…

  • Talk to the marina about the composite council tax option. Determine if you are opting out of the composite assessment and let BWML know
  • If you have chosen the composite assessment, find a couple of other residential customers who you can swap berths with. The marina staff can help you with this and let you know when is best to swap berths.
  • Make sure everyone knows your new address (friends, family, companies you have contracts with etc.)
  • Find your local NHS services and register with them.

What about council tax?

With a residential mooring, you have all of the rights that apply to any UK resident. It also means that you are liable for council tax contributions.

BWML successfully negotiated with the Valuation Office a composite arrangement which means that the marina is assessed as a residential location and the council tax is applied to the marina. BWML will pay this on your behalf once we receive the bill from the local council. This is not part of your mooring fee.

To qualify for this, you cannot have berth exclusivity and so two berth moves are required each year.

There are some mooring locations or circumstances when a composite assessment is not an option. Please talk with your local marina to make sure you know whether you would be affected by any such circumstances..

More information can be found here and the full published VOA guidelines can be found at here.

If you would rather have full exclusivity of the berth, then you need to let BWML know. You would then receive an individual council tax bill directly from the local council, as you would in a house. Please note that this may not be until then end of the financial year, so it is worth keeping money to one side for the bill.

What do I get for the extra money that I pay?

Most importantly you are paying for the right to occupy a berth that has full planning permission for residential occupancy.

A residential mooring is generally of a higher value than a leisure mooring. But, BWML recognises that you are paying more and so provide some enhanced benefits…

  • All of the normal Berth Holder benefits
  • Free postal address
  • Free Storage Box
  • Free pump out tokens
  • Free wash and dry tokens
  • Guaranteed parking space and bike storage
  • Composite Council Tax (non-exclusive berth, when billed by the local council)

These benefits add up to over £400 per year when used in full and would normally be payable on top of your mooring fee. They are additional to our standard Berth Holder benefits, so you could save even more.

Check with your marina as not all benefits are currently available at all marinas

Why do BWML offer a residential mooring?

Marinas have to have permission from the local authority to allow boaters who live on their boats to berth at the marina.

If they don’t have permission, then the boater is at risk of being asked to leave the marina and the marina is at risk of being fined because they would be contravening planning law.

We knew that there were a lot of people living on board their boats in our marinas and we were concerned about these potential risks, so we decided to ask local authorities to provide us with planning permission to allow this to continue legitimately.

What did BWML do to get permission?

For each marina that offers residential moorings, we had to make individual planning requests. The planners considered and granted our requests, but asked for certain things to be done or provided:

  • Flood reports and actions
  • Ecological surveys and actions
  • Provide cycle shelters
  • Make sure there is dedicated car parking space
  • Site specific works as advised at individual marinas—our local teams can tell you more about these

You might also find our Guide to residential living helpful.