Legal information about houseboats

This is what you should know before you choose a houseboat for sale. There is currently no uniform federal or Europe-wide regulation for life on water.
The individual federal states are responsible for legal matters and regulations. Basically, there will always be two Types of houseboats differentiated: Floating Homes (fixed houses on water) and houseboats (pleasure boats with motor).

Register entry

The following are required for a register entry:

  • proof of ownership (sales contract, supporting documents)
  • Calibration certificate (verification of the body volume and the amount of water displaced by a ZSUK representative).
  • This is available at the Central Office of the Ship Inspection Commission/Ship Seichamt), headquarters in Mainz at the Water and Shipping Directorate South, at the branch offices in Hamburg, Berlin, Magdeburg, Duisburg and Mannheim.
  • A simplified calibration procedure for pleasure boats is also possible (water displacement can be proven by ZSUK representatives by looking at the waste water line).
  • Boats with boat lengths of over 20 meters and a displacement of over 20 tons can still be considered pleasure boats, but are no longer small vehicles. In order to still be considered a pleasure boat, a ship inspection certificate must be issued by a specialist (shipyard construction).

Place of residence/population register entry

Place of residence/population register entry: If you want to live on the houseboat all year round and no longer have a second home, it is possible to register in the population register or indicate your primary place of residence in the port.

  • The following applies to floating homes: The necessary permits from the building authority legitimize an entry in the population register.
  • The following applies to houseboats: A houseboat can be moved and therefore not entered in the population register. However, it is possible to register your primary residence in the respective port.
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