How do you get a houseboat?

Finding a houseboat is not easy. Living in a houseboat in Amsterdam is popular; the demand is greater than the supply. All houseboats are privately owned. If you are looking for a houseboat, you will be renting or buying from a private owner. Houseboats are regularly offered for rent or sale on internet sites. This can be for a shorter or longer term, but it is always expensive. When buying a houseboat, remember you need a mooring permit.

Mooring permit

A permit for a houseboat is called a mooring permit and can only be applied for by the (new) owner of the houseboat. The owner must show his ID as well as proof of ownership.

  • The permit is tied to the person, mooring place and boat. If any changes occur, such as a conversion, sale or replacement of the houseboat, you must apply for a new permit.

  • A mooring permit is granted for an indefinite period.

  • It is possible to obtain a permit made out in two names. In this case each person must show their ID as well as their proof of ownership.

Waternet, the Water Management Department, gives general information about permits for houseboats (in Dutch). Visit their website for further information.

Where do I apply for a mooring permit?

A mooring permit can be submitted:

  • to Waternet: for three districts: Centrum, Oost and West.
  • to Bouwen en Wonen (Building and Living Department): for the other districts.