Some well designed marinas have the infrastructure to support liveaboard vessels, such as having pumpouts at each and every one of the slips on the docks so as to not need to move the boat to a central pump
out. And of course it is grand to have high speed DSL, Cable for television, landline telephone, separately metered power and potable water
at each slip.
Backgrounder as to the Fair Housing Laws that may apply:
Reference link: https://www.thelog.com/ask-the-attor...arina-tenancy/
There is "a misunderstanding of the nature of a marina tenancy. The bottom line is that a marina tenant, even a liveaboard tenant, is not renting
a home. He or she is simply renting
a parking space for a home that they already own.
& Housing Act extends its protections (pursuant to Cal
Code sec. 12927) to people who live in “Housing Accommodations.” A Housing Accommodation is defined as “any building, structure, or portion thereof that is occupied as, or intended for occupancy as, a residence . . .” Notably, the federal Fair Housing Act (pursuant to its definition of “dwelling” in 42 U.S. Code sec. §3602) uses the same definition to describe the scope
of its protection.
State and federal fair housing laws prohibit discrimination in housing for various reasons, but as noted above, a tenant must be living in a building or structure to be protected under those laws. Various court decisions have included boats within the definition of a building or structure, so if our reader lived aboard a rented boat
he may in fact be protected by fair housing laws. But he is not living aboard
a rented boat and that is not the typical scenario we face with a marina eviction.
Liveaboard marina tenants usually own their boat and as such they own the “structure” in which they are living. Since a marina tenancy concerns a parking space rather than a dwelling, boat owners are not protected by federal or state fair housing laws, regardless of whether federal maritime law applies to the tenancy.
The only real protections available to marina tenants in California
are found under two very narrow legal
concepts. The first is California’s Floating Home Residency Law. This law does offer some tenant protections, but only if the boat qualifies as a Floating Home under the definitions set forth in the law. Among other very strict requirements, a “Floating Home” must have a permanent shoreside sewer connection and continuous water
and power service
. This means that it must have sewer pipes and permanent electrical
power with a meter rather than hoses and a plug-in shorepower cord.
The only remaining area of protection for boat is the prohibition against retaliatory eviction, which exists for any rental arrangement. A marina may not evict a tenant solely in retaliation for the tenant’s exercise of a legal
right. We occasionally see this sort of thing where a tenant complains to the police or other legal authority that a marina operator is participating in some form of illegal activity and the marina responds by evicting the tenant. But this is extremely rare.
At the risk of sounding unsympathetic to our reader and others in the same situation, and with all due respect to the attorneys who specialize in landlord — tenant law on dry land, state and federal law assume that people who live aboard a boat do so as a matter of choice rather than necessity. As such, liveaboards are not afforded the same protections as people who live in more traditional spaces. With that said, no two cases are the same, and anyone who is facing eviction should seek independent legal advice
In California the State limits marinas to 10% liveaboard occupancy with liveaboard being staying on board more than 3 days in a week. Not all marinas permit
liveaboard or even extended stay [extended stay being some time period less than the State restriction of three days a week, e.g., one or no overnight stays]. Many of the marinas that allow liveaboard status require the boat to be of a minimum LWL, e.g., 35 - 40+ feet, and will require survey
, and covenants as to functionality, appearance and stowage, etc. so as to regulate the tenancy standards. There are fees
above the standard rental fee for the slip for either liveaboard or for extended stay arrangements.
I know of one owner who rents berths at two marinas and splits his time between them, up to 3 nights at one and up to 3 nights at the other and then chooses to anchor
out in a cove for at least an overnight at a day of convenience. He keeps to the tenancy limit carefully so as to not avail an opportunity for eviction, but also does maintain good relations with the harbor master and staff and his fellow boaters, lending hands, such as when a storm passes, he aids in adjusting or replacing lines to unattended boats. And he uses the technical services and chandlery
of the marinas, instead of third party service
providers and purveyors so as to be a good business client.