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Give it a burl

The cost of renting a cabin on a boat can cost anything from £300 to £800 per month, and bills may, or may not be included. “It’s less expensive than an unheated, uncarpeted warehouse in Shoreditch,” Bitz says.

The best way to find room to let is via the website or

Generally speaking, they are safe to live in, as many are within gated moorings, or there are security guards on the pontoons.

Keep in mind, however, every few years, your boat might be taken into dry dock for several days at a time, so you’ll need to find a temporary home. Happy boating!

Life on the water

Get rid of all the non-essentials. Given the confined space, boat living is minimalist living, so downsize your possessions and pack what you’ve got neatly into the boat.

Got some change to spare – and then some? The average price of a canal boat, which is the most common form of floating home, is between £60,000-£100,000, according to the National Association of Boat Owners. And, if you are buying, it’s best that it comes with a mooring as they are very limited in London.

A permanent mooring in Little Venice, with access to utilities, could cost about £7000 a year.

Approximately 6000 of the 34,000 licensed boats on British waterways are permanent residences.

It gets cold on a boat, and frozen taps/showers, etc are commonplace, so you’ll need to be hardy. And, if you’re the high-maintenance type with an appliance for all occasions, forget it – most of them use too much power.

You need to be proactive when searching for a room to rent on a houseboat as they are in demand, so get snapped up quickly.

You still have to pay council tax when living on a boat, however it is always set at Band A, which is the lowest band.

Want to know where your toilet waste goes? No? We’ll tell you anyway. On tidal moorings, boats are generally fitted with macerators, which turn waste into clear, odourless liquid and spit it out into the river.

Canal boats usually have a black-water tank, which can be pumped out at a station.


Photos: Thinkstock, Getty

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A home that floats: why be a London landlubber when you can live on a houseboat?
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