Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 22-06-2017, 10:23   #1
Marine Service Provider
 
fstbttms's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Under a boat, in a marina, in the San Francisco Bay
Posts: 4,196
Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

Last year I was twice asked by a broker here in the Bay Area to clean the hull and replace the anodes on a 80' Hatteras that he had listed. The arrangement was that I would invoice the boat owner, not the brokerage. Long story short- the owner is disputing the charges; claiming that he never authorized the first service and therefore doesn't want to pay for it. Further, he doesn't want to pay retail for the anodes we installed during the second service. The boat has since been sold.

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. My question is this; is the broker an employee of the brokerage? The brokerage in question is based in Southern California. I want to contact the brokerage's owner and explain the situation, in hopes of getting paid and avoiding small claims court. Any insight appreciated.
__________________

fstbttms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2017, 11:46   #2
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Jacksonville/ out cruising
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 31,004
Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

Good Luck, I assume they may or may not be, that it will vary from one Brokerage to another, one I bought through yes, but I'd bet some use contractors, self employed people
__________________

a64pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2017, 11:55   #3
Registered User
 
Cotemar's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Boat: Mahe 36, Helia 44 Evo, MY 37
Posts: 5,731
Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

Brokers work for themselves.

If the boat owner did not ask for hull cleaning and zincs, then boat owner should no get the bill for it.

It sounds like this Brokers is stiffing you and he is the one you should take to court.
Cotemar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2017, 12:48   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Winnsboro, Texas
Boat: Catalina 30 MKII
Posts: 262
Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

Perhaps looking at the contract the seller and broker should have executed would give a hint.

Last contract I saw, the broker can do certain things and has certain duties & responsibilities on behalf of the seller/owner. The contract should spell out who is responsible for the associated costs.

Now that the boat is sold, I suppose it's too late for a "mechanic's lien", which would typically be the tool of a boatyard to assure they got paid.

I suppose that your path will cross with that broker again....
ValiantV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2017, 13:10   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Paradise
Boat: Various
Posts: 2,430
Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

The Broker may or may not be an employee of the agency. Some brokerages engage brokers as independent contractors and some as employees. However, I would go to the brokerage regardless because the brokerage's license is involved in addition to the broker's. Now, actually there are only two titles in California. There is a Broker (which is the brokerage as you know it typically) and the Salesperson (typically known as Broker elsewhere). You can look him up to be certain which he is. Broker/Salesperson Directories

You're in a tough situation, especially since the boat has been sold and you didn't record a lien prior to the sale. However, you're not without hope depending on how much you want to work at it. I'm sure the sales agreement said it was free of encumbrances. Tell them you'll be contacting the owner of the brokerage but also the purchaser of the boat. Now, I do believe that the best you're likely to get at this point is a negotiated settlement, but that's much better than nothing.
BandB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2017, 14:05   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Bellingham
Boat: Outbound 44
Posts: 8,250
Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

Instead of looking at Small Claims court, you could look at filing a lien on the boat. The lien travels with the boat to New owners. Maritime Liens: Liens Against Ships & Boats | Lawfirms.com
__________________
Paul
Paul L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2017, 15:18   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Fiji Airways/ Lake Ontario
Boat: Want a B430!
Posts: 1,441
Images: 10
Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
Instead of looking at Small Claims court, you could look at filing a lien on the boat. The lien travels with the boat to New owners. Maritime Liens: Liens Against Ships & Boats | Lawfirms.com
True but a crappy thing to do to the new owners. The beef is with the broker.
Tetepare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2017, 15:30   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Bellingham
Boat: Outbound 44
Posts: 8,250
Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetepare View Post
True but a crappy thing to do to the new owners. The beef is with the broker.
The beef is with the prior owner. The broker was just acting as an agent for the owner. The lien is with the boat, not the owner, current or prior.
Since it's such a small amount t, I'd be tempted to write it off as a cost of doing business.
__________________
Paul
Paul L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2017, 16:20   #9
Registered User
 
scotty c-m's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: catalina 400 MKII
Posts: 238
Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

Just an opinion ... It seems that the deal was between you and the broker. I would definately get the brokerage involved to see if they might help to settle this. Sorry to hear you're not being paid for your work. Hope it works out well.
scotty c-m is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2017, 18:22   #10
Marine Service Provider
 
fstbttms's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Under a boat, in a marina, in the San Francisco Bay
Posts: 4,196
Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

Thanks for all the input. I just composed an e-mail to the brokerage's owner, CC'ing the salesman (for that's what he is, not a licensed broker) and the boat owner/seller, outlining the situation and asking for an amicable settlement outside of court and/or a mechanic's lien. We'll see what his response is.
fstbttms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-06-2017, 07:12   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Wrightsville Beach, NC
Posts: 60
Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

Getting stiffed is not the cost of doing business!!! Only the stiffer would say that

In real estate, a lien must be recorded before a sale, which goes with the property, as stated elsewhere. However, standard contracts generally require the seller to certify there's no liens. The claim here isn't with the new owner.

If you don't get a prompt resolution to the matter, take all 3 of them to small claims court. It only costs a nominal amount to have each of them served.

As a small business person, don't assume for a minute you aren't due every penny, and it's abhorrent that someone would try to take advantage of someone like this. Maybe they do things differently in CA than NC, but as someone who has been in business for themselves, and a rental property owner, I wouldn't hesitate to take them to small claims court. You can file the paperwork and represent yourself. Just be ready to document your case.

On the surface of it, the sales person is going to end up paying you. Even with a judgement, good luck getting paid. The brokerage should step in, or risk getting their reputation tarnished. Just my 2 cents.
NCGunDude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-06-2017, 07:17   #12
Marine Service Provider
 
fstbttms's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Under a boat, in a marina, in the San Francisco Bay
Posts: 4,196
Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

Yes, it's true that some people have no qualms about screwing a small businessman, and I do not consider this "the cost of doing business." The amount we're talking about is not huge, but it is over $1000 and I'm not just going to walk away from it. Assuming I do have to pursue my remedy in small claims court, it will not be my first time at the rodeo.
fstbttms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-06-2017, 09:19   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Eastport, MS
Boat: 1996 Carver 355 Aft Cabin
Posts: 42
Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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.
Capt Jerry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-06-2017, 09:49   #14
Registered User
 
Cadence's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: SC
Boat: None,build the one shown of glass, had many from 6' to 48'.
Posts: 8,728
Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fstbttms View Post
Thanks for all the input. I just composed an e-mail to the brokerage's owner, CC'ing the salesman (for that's what he is, not a licensed broker) and the boat owner/seller, outlining the situation and asking for an amicable settlement outside of court and/or a mechanic's lien. We'll see what his response is.
Make up a contract for future work. It is a shame things need to work that way.
I don't think a mans handshake is any longer his bond.
Cadence is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-06-2017, 10:18   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 7,750
Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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).

Now, is the broker an employee...the whole "independent contractor" shtick is a load of BS but assuming that is the employment model, you can ask nicely showing your documentation and there is nothing wrong with that. I would play dumb and assume the guy is legally an employee until proven otherwise. If he's sending things out under the company letter head and he is affiliated, it's reasonable to assume he is an authorized agent of the company. Doesn't hurt to try.

Particularly if it's not a large bill, they may just pay it and take it out of his commissions. Not worth it to have you bad mouthing them to ever customer in the marina. Now if it's in the thousands...they may decide to stone wall.
__________________

valhalla360 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Requirements to Transport Employees? SteveInMD Rules of the Road, Regulations & Red Tape 16 24-10-2016 07:57
Lousy Boat Brokers tardog Dollars & Cents 56 16-05-2008 15:33
Mediterranean brokers erewhonman Europe & Mediterranean 2 04-05-2008 11:28
Do US Brokers lie about whats in stock? MarkJ General Sailing Forum 39 13-01-2008 23:14
info on Florida cat brokers needed. Mark424 Multihull Sailboats 13 21-11-2007 09:14

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:55.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.