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Old 23-06-2017, 10:53   #16
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
I suspect a lien would be successfully challenged if you can't prove the owner authorized or was aware the agent requested the work.

Think about it. If I tell you to rebuild the engines on my neighbor's boat (unbeknownst to him) and he comes back and says he never requested this, why would or should he be expected to pay up. This really isn't different. The broker is paid to sell the boat and not hire maintenance work out (unless you have proof to the contrary).
Actually this is very different. Owners engage brokers to act as their agents. This is someone who the vendor can reasonably assume has been given the authority by the owner. If the broker exceeded what the owner felt he authorized him to do, then the owner must sue the broker for recovery of that.
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Old 23-06-2017, 11:07   #17
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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Actually this is very different. Owners engage brokers to act as their agents. This is someone who the vendor can reasonably assume has been given the authority by the owner. If the broker exceeded what the owner felt he authorized him to do, then the owner must sue the broker for recovery of that.
Unless the OP had evidence they were engaged to act as maintenance supervisors...no, it's not a reasonable assumption. Sales Brokers are engaged to sell the boat and the OP should have confirmed the work thru the owner. (How did the OP even know they were legally the broker let alone authorized to have work performed?)

At best the OP could mess with the new owner for a while and they might give up and pay a bill they don't owe (just because they could get the lien set aside doesn't mean it won't be a hassle but that's really more harassment than legitimate legal action). The prior owner can't be touched and could care less if the lien holds up. The broker (or parent company) is a legitimate target and the responsible party for requesting work they were not authorized agents to request.

PS: This all assumes there is nothing in the brokerage contract authorizing the broker to have work done without the owner signing off.
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Old 23-06-2017, 11:13   #18
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

Not to cause a ruckus, but a lot of these posts are from people who don't know what they are talking about. Review my previous post. I am an attorney.
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Old 23-06-2017, 11:16   #19
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Sales Brokers are engaged to sell the boat and the OP should have confirmed the work thru the owner.
I disagree. This kind of service arrangement is not uncommon when dealing with brokerages. The salesman represented himself as the owner's agent with full authority to have work done on the boat. Further, I am not the first dive service to work on the boat while it was at this brokerage. I had no expectation that the owner wasn't on board with this.
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Old 23-06-2017, 11:24   #20
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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Unless the OP had evidence they were engaged to act as maintenance supervisors...no, it's not a reasonable assumption. Sales Brokers are engaged to sell the boat and the OP should have confirmed the work thru the owner. (How did the OP even know they were legally the broker let alone authorized to have work performed?)

At best the OP could mess with the new owner for a while and they might give up and pay a bill they don't owe (just because they could get the lien set aside doesn't mean it won't be a hassle but that's really more harassment than legitimate legal action). The prior owner can't be touched and could care less if the lien holds up. The broker (or parent company) is a legitimate target and the responsible party for requesting work they were not authorized agents to request.

PS: This all assumes there is nothing in the brokerage contract authorizing the broker to have work done without the owner signing off.
I don't know in his area, but in our area it is the normal practice. It's quite reasonable for a vendor to assume the broker has permission to act as agent.
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Old 23-06-2017, 11:26   #21
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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I disagree. This kind of service arrangement is not uncommon when dealing with brokerages. The salesman represented himself as the owner's agent with full authority to have work done on the boat. Further, I am not the first dive service to work on the boat while it was at this brokerage. I had no expectation that the owner wasn't on board with this.
I wrote mine before reading yours but that's how it works where we are as well. On some boats, a lot of money is spent between the time it's listed and sold. Regular bottom cleaning, occasional boat cleaning, repair things that break during use or trials.
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Old 23-06-2017, 12:43   #22
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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I don't know what state you are in, but the general rule of law is that the principal is responsible for what the agent does, when the agent's actions are in good faith and in furtherance of the principal's interests.

This means the seller is responsible for the bill. I would file a claim in the proper court and seek payment from the seller. I would also include the broker and agent in the lawsuit.

Sorry, there is not a quicker self-help method that I am aware of when the boat has already been sold.
I may not be a lawyer but I work with contract disputes a lot.

From the original post:
"The broker in question seems reluctant to confirm to the seller that he indeed requested that we dive the boat twice, despite my showing both the broker and seller the texts we shared discussing this and despite the broker telling me that I would get paid, even if he had to write the check himself."

This sure doesn't sound like a broker acting in good faith and in the furtherance of the principal's interests. This sounds like a broker who overstepped his authority and knows it.

The text about "even if he had to write the check himself" is a dead giveaway that he wasn't authorized to request the work. It also is good documentation if you want to take the broker to small claims court (assuming you saved the original text).

Just because because the OP USUALLY gets paid when he works "at risk" doesn't mean it becomes a standard.

At the very least go ask the broker or his boss to pay up before harassing the innocent parties (new and old owners).
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Old 23-06-2017, 12:45   #23
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

The whole thing sound ridiculous. With the money that changed hands, I would guess broker or previous owner should be glad to pay your fee. It would be interesting to know if a clean bottom and new zincs were touted in the sale. I can't see the new owner having any responsibility.
Again get in writing in the future.


Best of luck.
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Old 23-06-2017, 13:41   #24
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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Originally Posted by fstbttms View Post
This kind of service arrangement is not uncommon when dealing with brokerages. The salesman represented himself as the owner's agent with full authority to have work done on the boat. Further, I am not the first dive service to work on the boat while it was at this brokerage. I had no expectation that the owner wasn't on board with this.
That's certainly the case in my neck of the woods. I've commissioned tens of thousands of dollars of work as agent for an owner. It's up to me to keep the owner informed, not the vendors.
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Old 23-06-2017, 13:51   #25
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

The brokerage benefited by increasing the likelihood of earning a commission. If the owner refuses to reimburse the broker that is their problem and not the vendors. I doubt if there is a small claims judge anywhere who would not hold the broker responsible. The broker had the apparent authority to order the work. You could also lien the boat which would provide a major incentive to pay up.
That said, in case of a significant job such as repowering or bottom painting a vendor would be wise to get written authorization by both owner and broker including who will pay.
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Old 23-06-2017, 13:58   #26
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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The whole thing sound ridiculous. With the money that changed hands, I would guess broker or previous owner should be glad to pay your fee. It would be interesting to know if a clean bottom and new zincs were touted in the sale. I can't see the new owner having any responsibility.
Again get in writing in the future.


Best of luck.
Boat or house makes no difference. If the lien was filed before the sale the new owner is squarely on the hook. He will discover that when either sued or attempting to resell to a more alert buyer. The debt is attached to the property not to the person. That is the whole point of liens.
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Old 23-06-2017, 14:06   #27
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

"Again get in writing in the future."
Absolutely. In this day and age that's one reason fax is still around. Especially when some stranger, who doesn't own the boat, is asking you to work on it. Nothing wrong with asking for something up front, 50% deposit or a credit card number, for "new accounts" as well. It may not be traditional, but if they're coming to you, they should have no problem with that.
Since the salesman is an employee, the binding legal principal is that the employer is responsible for all of his "business" actions. If you've got emails confirming the request for your service, the employer is responsible to pay. And they may not like it, but they know that if you file in small claims court, they'll have to bring & pay for their attorney, as well as court costs. And sanctions against the license broker.
Ask nicely, use the carrot. Once. Then just say **** 'em, and file the small claims notice and requests for sanctions.
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Old 23-06-2017, 14:31   #28
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

this also depends on the boat owner's contract with the broker. it may have given the broker the right to engage for work of a small amount. $1k can be small on a $1million boat. might be hard to get a copy of the contract. one of your friends in the business might know of someone who has sold a boat with this brokerage and would share a copy.
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Old 23-06-2017, 14:41   #29
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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That's certainly the case in my neck of the woods. I've commissioned tens of thousands of dollars of work as agent for an owner. It's up to me to keep the owner informed, not the vendors.
It's not a question of if a broker can manage maintenance and repairs. If the owner authorizes the broker, it's fine and the owner would be held responsible for the costs.

The question is if the broker starts ordering work without the owners knowledge, who is responsible to pay and who can the vendor go after?

In this case, it appears that the broker is the one the OP should be going after as no evidence has been presented that the broker was an authorized agent in reference to ordering work done and even went so far as to say that he (the broker) would pay for if if needed supporting suggesting that the OP should have had a clue that the owner didn't know or authorize the work.

The comment about getting things in writing is the real take away the OP should have. With modern technology, a 30 second email to the broker (cell phones can do this) stating the work requested and a disclaimer that the broker would be responsible if the owner doesn't pay, would have given the owner a much clearer path to payment.
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Old 23-06-2017, 15:55   #30
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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this also depends on the boat owner's contract with the broker. it may have given the broker the right to engage for work of a small amount. $1k can be small on a $1million boat. might be hard to get a copy of the contract. one of your friends in the business might know of someone who has sold a boat with this brokerage and would share a copy.
That's easy, put it to the broker that the owner says the broker wasn't authorized and unless he wants to pay:Provide evidence that he was authorized to have work done at the owners expense.

Either the broker comes up with a contract or other documentation or it's on the broker to pay.

I'm betting the broker doesn't come up with anything based on the other information provided.
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