Two couples sue marina owner over 'worthless' houseboats

Published: Friday, 19 May 2017

 PAYING £1.25 million for a luxury houseboat proved a bad decision for two couples as they were led to believe they had a 125 years mooring licence and planning permission to live in the houseboat, but had neither.

Oliver and Jennifer Small, together with Fiona Johnstone and Louis Sydney have taken Thames Hampton Marina owner Myck Djurberg to High Court claiming he led them to believe they had a 125 years mooring licence at 'Hampton Riviera' and planning permission, but discovered they had not, taking the owner to the High Court.

Not even planning permission

Both couples believed they would be permanent residents at the marina, but soon found they had neither the promised moorings or even planning permission, with their counsel, Adam Rosenthal, telling the Court:

“Without the ability to moor at Hampton Riviera—whether because of the absence of a licence or because such mooring is unlawful—the boats were and are worthless.”

However, Myck Djurberg is insisting he never promised licences and that the couples knew they would have to get planning permission from the council themselves.

Big plans

But Oliver and Jennifer Small told the court that he told them he had 'big plans' for the marina, including a gym, swimming pool and gardens, and during last December showed them the jetty where they believed their boat would be moored with a permanent residence, as part of a 'dream residential community'.

But with no mooring they were forced to put the boat into storage because they could not find an alternative mooring on the river. Another problem was that its size meant that it could not go far as it will not navigate some low bridges.

Fiona Johnston claims she was mis-sold the boat, and that she and her partner were 'traumatised' when they realised they had no permanent right to live at the marina and that they had been sold 'something that didn’t exist'.