Housing Benefits for boats (helpsheet)

Housing Benefits
1.You will need to contact the Canal and River Trust if you are facing hardship or difficult making payments of your license, otherwise it is not essential for you to inform them of your use of housing benefits to pay for your license.
Remember, to obtain a license remember that you will need a Boat Safety Certificate and appropriate insurance to be legally entitled to a license.
2.Contact your local council authority, there is as of yet no online way of applying for Housing Benefits as a boater. This will mean you will need to organise an appointment with someone in the correct department.
London Boroughs:


  • Housing Benefits: London Boroughs on the canal:

Grand Union

Hillingdon, Hayes, Ealing, Brent, Hammersmith and Fullham, Kensignton and Chelsea, Westminster

Regents Canal

Camden, Isligton, Hackney, Tower Hamlets

Limehouse Cut

Tower Hamlets, Newham

River Lea

Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Waltham Forest, Haringey, Enfield

3. Once you have an appointment you will need to take some supporting evidence including information regarding the payment of your license this can be a break down of monthly payments for you license, you can print out the license fees for Private Leisure Boats from the Canal and River Trust website or contact them by phone to have something sent to you in the post.
In the past boaters have also gotten their Boat Safety and insurance covered in the cost of you Housing Benefits. If you wish to have these covered as well you must evidence the monthly costings of this with a paper document. You will also need to inform them that you will be remaining in their borough, if they do not think you will be travelling in your borough they may use that as grounds to refuse you housing benefits.
To reinforce your right to claim housing benefits you will also need to quote:
Statutory Instrument 2007 no 2870 Housing Benefit (Local Housing Allowance, Miscellaneous and Consequential) Amendment Regulations states at Regulation 12 that rent includes
“Rent 12(1) ….
(d) payments in respect of, or in consequence of, use and occupation of the dwelling ….
(f) mooring charges payable for a houseboat….”
This entitles you by law to have your license paid for through housing benefits.
Remember you will need a care of address also, but this doesn’t have to be in the borough you apply for the housing benefits.
You will also need to ensure you take a paper copy of your completed application, any references of application, contact details and a full name of the officer you had your appointment with.
Need help
You can appointment someone to communication on your behalf with regards to your benefits request by printing and signing a Form of Authority:
Claimants name:

Claimants Address:


I/We hereby authorise the Benefit Service to disclose information regarding my claim to:


Claimant’s signature: Relationship to Claimant:
Contact number: 

If you are in need to housing benefits immediately and under threat of homelessness you will need to speed along your housing benefits and also get them back dated, but you can only do this by one month previous to the date of application.
To speed up your application you will need to let them know you are at risk of becoming homeless and request that your application be expedited, we advise at which point you seek further advise from our caseworkers by contacting us on: 0797429858 or email us on nbta.london.caseworker@gmail.com

Refusal of Housing Benefits
If you apply for Housing Benefit and your application is refused, you should appeal quoting the bellow information including the SSCSA Tribunal cases. There is a 28-day limit for appealing against a refusal of Housing Benefit.
In the cases below in which appeals were decided by the Social Security and Child Support Commissioners, the Commissioners decided that Housing Benefit was payable for the boat licence fee under (d) above, in some cases together with the mooring fee.
In CH 0318 2005, the boater did not have a mooring and was continuously cruising. He stated that he was in breach of his licence conditions but the Commissioners found that irrelevant. The important point is that for the majority of the time his home was within the local authority’s area.
In CH 4250 2006, the boater was awarded Housing Benefit even though he did not have planning permission to live on the mooring and this included benefit for a period when his mooring agreement had been terminated but he was still occupying the mooring as a trespasser and BW charged him for that period. If he had been a trespasser and BW had not demanded mooring fees for the time he was trespassing, obviously Housing Benefit would not have been payable for that period. This, incidentally establishes the principle that Planning Permission is not required in order to obtain Housing Benefit.
CH 0844 2002 established the principle that the boat licence fee qualified under (d) but the boater also claimed for the mooring fee in that particular case as he had a mooring.

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