Defiant Brentford houseboat owners fighting British Waterways chiefs over their right to moor on a riverside wharf have won a stay of execution.
Brentford Yacht and Boat Company Ltd and several houseboats were dramatically evicted from the dock around Ridgeway Wharf, in Brent Way last June after town centre developers Geronimo gained a High Court order.
Geronimo later settled with the boat company and the yard remains derelict but British Waterways sought to move on several boats which have continued to moor on the Brent.
However the organisation was dealt a blow after it admitted at the Royal Courts of Justice on Friday it could only prove it owns a strip to the north of the riverside.
It is unknown who owns the land where the boats are moored due to a lack of documentary evidence, the judge ruled.
Boat company secretary and houseboat resident Nigel Moore, 56, said: "I am very excited because the only person who can take action against us is the owners and a judge has decided that is not British Waterways.
"They have basically been told that they own a flower bed. That piece of land is not necessary to us."
Following research Mr Moore believes the true owner of the land is actually Hounslow Council.
"I have contacted the council to tell them my findings but they have not taken any action on the matter," he said. "My evidence is purely historical, no documents can be found."
Mr Moore is set to take British Waterways to court again in January, when he expects them to argue that although they do not own the land they can decide if a boat is kept there.
But Mr Moore claims he is enacting ancient rights to moor a boat on the water.
"We aren't going to be pushed around by them and their lawyers," he said. "If they are proved correct in January then there is nothing we can do and will have to move, but that is our next fight."
A spokeswoman for British Waterways said it was happy with the outcome of the hearing and the decision the boat company had 'not acquired any title to the land or any part of it'.
She added: "As guardians of public assets we defend these cases to ensure that land which is intended for the wider benefit of the public and local communities remains that way."