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Old 01-11-2020, 17:03   #1
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owning your own slip scam or not

I bought a slip or sort I did, I got a certicate instead of deed, is this legal or not....I am in north carolina, new bern. also they said they have an HOA but don"t.I have alot of question about this marina that I live in, I pay hoa fee plus elecity, but they add about 1.5% to the bill, but the meter reading is correct when I do the math...but they add this because they have to pay the bill.but they are tied to the hotel.,but really they are giving the hotel the money fee, is this legal or not, need a help with this, a lot more is going on,,think they are scimming out money?
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Old 01-11-2020, 17:22   #2
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Re: owning your own slip scam or not

You "bought something?" Wasnít there a contract? What does the contract say that you bought?
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Old 01-11-2020, 18:14   #3
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Re: owning your own slip scam or not

In this industry, everyone makes money. I don't care what anyone says. This is NOT a cheap hobby.
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Old 02-11-2020, 07:55   #4
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Re: owning your own slip scam or not

Nobody can answer these questions for you. Like Bycrick said, you need to look at the contract that you signed. You need to read it and understand it. If you did not read it and understand it before you signed it, then you made a very, VERY bad mistake!
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Old 02-11-2020, 08:15   #5
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Re: owning your own slip scam or not

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ng-228632.html

My understanding is in most places the marina operators has a lease from the government and you are basically subleasing. You never really own anything outright. Surely the certificate has some kind of lease terms on it.

Here is something specific to NC. Do your own research on this to see what actions you can take. The fees you mentioned are probably in the fineprints.

https://www.nestrealty.com/blog/boat-slip-ownership/
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Old 02-11-2020, 08:44   #6
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Re: owning your own slip scam or not

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Originally Posted by pdjb View Post
I bought a slip or sort I did, I got a certicate instead of deed, is this legal or not....I am in north carolina, new bern. also they said they have an HOA but don"t.I have alot of question about this marina that I live in, I pay hoa fee plus elecity, but they add about 1.5% to the bill, but the meter reading is correct when I do the math...but they add this because they have to pay the bill.but they are tied to the hotel.,but really they are giving the hotel the money fee, is this legal or not, need a help with this, a lot more is going on,,think they are scimming out money?
What do you want from those of us here who have no clue what you bought, what the terms are, what the seller guarantees, how they charge fees, etc...?
Bluntly stated, it sounds like you have a self-inflicted problem
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Old 02-11-2020, 09:40   #7
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Re: owning your own slip scam or not

If your out boating around for extended time, are you allowed to rent your place to someone else? After all itís your boat slip right? So you should be able to let anyone you wish use it. If they say no then I would wonder just who really owns it.
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Old 02-11-2020, 09:42   #8
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Re: owning your own slip scam or not

You CAN buy a slip, usually a condo association type thing. The association owns all docks, etc. you own a hole in the water, including to a certain depth, width and length and air draft.
As others have said, look at your contract to see your situation.

The good news, if you actually own the slip, it appreciates! Something boats donít do 😉 be careful about the reserve being accumulated for replacement of docks ... if inadequate you are liable for the ďspecial assessment ď. Like all condo associations, rules and budgets are very important.
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Old 02-11-2020, 09:58   #9
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Re: owning your own slip scam or not

As others have said, you need to read the contract. It's possible that the property owner (hotel?) legally separated the marina from the rest of the property and sold the slips in condominium form. (Some people call this a "dockominium" but that's typically not a legal term.) If this was done your should have received a document called a Declaration of Condominium as well as a set of ByLaws and the Articles of Incorporation. These docs set out the legal form of ownership as well as the rules and regulations you agreed to at the time of purchase, how expenses will be shared, your voting rights, etc. If the marina is in condominium form, you probably own your slip outright as a separate piece of "property" but also own an undivided percentage of the common property (aka common elements). That might be the docks, sidewalks, power pedestals, bathhouse, road, parking areas, etc. You'll also be on the hook for a share of the common expenses, the cost to maintain the common elements. You're also on the hook for any property taxes assessed by the state/municipality on your property (your slip). This is all spelled out in the documents. I'm not familiar with NC law, but the state has a statute that controls condominiums, Chapter 47C. On the other hand, if they set it up as an HOA (Homeowners Association), it's governed by a different set of documents that your should have received and is regulated by Chapter 47F of the NC statutes. HOA's are generally similar to Condominiums although there are often significant differences in terms of your rights and obligations. The statutes usually state how often meetings of the owners and/or board of directors must be held, how reserve funding for major repairs must be assessed and held, how board members are elected and how long they serve, how to remove board members, the rights and responsibilities of members (property owners), etc. Some key things you might want to know is who owns the pilings and finger piers and power pedestals, who pays for them if they get damaged or need repair, how much liability insurance you're required to have, whether you own the bottom of your slip or whether it's leased from the state, what your parking rights are (assigned parking, number of vehicles allowed), whether you can make improvements to your slip (such as dock boxes, taller pilings, upgraded electrical, etc.), and whether live-aboards are allowed (may be a state or local regulation).

Irrespective of how your marina was legally organized, you should read the documents carefully and consult an attorney familiar with common ownership property in your state if you don't understand what you've bought in to.

As to whether they are scamming you out of money or not, everything you are obligated to pay should be spelled out in the documents you received or in the applicable statute.

With respect to your electricity it sounds like you have what's called a sub-meter. This is a meter that measures electricity to your slip but is not read by the utility company. Whoever owns the main meter is responsible for paying the electric bill and then they subsequently bill you for the portion of the total that your sub-meter shows you used. Whether they can mark up the cost of your electricity above what they are charged per kilowatt is generally regulated by the state. All you have to do is call the utility company and ask them if it's allowed. In many (most?) states the meter owner is not allowed to mark up sub-metered electricity, i.e., they can't sell you electricity at a profit. Generally they have to take the total electric bill and divide by the total kilowatts used to get a cost per kilowatt. They then multiply this cost per kilowatt by the number of kilowatts your submeter shows you used and that's your electric bill. But, depending on the state, they may be allowed to add and administrative fee on top of that, such as the 1.5% you say they're adding to yours. Check with your utility company to see if this is allowed, or ask an attorney familiar with the law regarding common ownership of property.

Like owning any other piece of real estate, owning a boat slip may or may not be a good deal. If the form of ownership was organized properly per the state statutes and if the association has a consciencious board of directors who fairly represent the owners (vs a bunch of condo Nazi's who force everybody to do things their way with lots of onerous rules and regulations), then you're probably OK. The advantage of owning your slip vs renting is the same as owning a house vs renting an apartment. The value of the slip might appreciate, you won't face rent increases (although common expenses can/will go up with inflation), and you can have a say in how the marina is managed. And they can't kick you out because they don't like you or want to rent your slip to someone willing to pay more. On the other hand, you'll be responsible for the cost of maintenance, usually have to maintain liability insurance, have to pay property taxes, and can lose money if the value goes down or the marina is destroyed in a storm (most can't afford the insurance needed to rebuild after a loss). You pays your money and you takes your chances!
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:00   #10
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Re: owning your own slip scam or not

It sounds like you have a Certificate of Title. Search "Certificate of Title vs Deed". This would make sense to me because you don't technically own the dock. The association will own the dock, including being responsible for it's repairs. The Certificate of Title grants you the right to access the slip.

For all intents and purposes, you bought the slip.
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:10   #11
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Re: owning your own slip scam or not

If the marina was legally subdivided such that each slip is considered real property then you should have a deed. If the property owner is just selling you perpetual use of the his property (a slip) then you might only have a title, or you may simply have a contract that describes your rights and responsibilities. Generally if you have the legal address of the property you can look it up to see how it's held and how it was conveyed to the current owner. No matter how you "own" the slip, some questions to ask include, "Can I sell my slip at any time to anybody I want?" "Is their an approval process for the buyer and if so, who has to approve and what criteria do they use?" "Who is responsible for maintenance of my slip, including pilings, finger piers, power and water, docks, parking lot, etc.", and of course, who is liable if someone gets hurt anywhere on the property? This can be a biggie - say there's 50 slips and someone trips on a poorly maintained dock, hits their head, goes in the water and drowns. A multi-million dollar law suit/settlement could put each slip owner on the hook for 1/50th of the settlement amount plus the legal fees of both parties! Even if the plaintiff loses the suit, the legal fees could be substantial and may be shared by each slip owner.
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:18   #12
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Re: owning your own slip scam or not

the simple answer of the type of ownership is look around. If the dock is in natural waters, it is federal land and there is no deed to the bottom. So it is a long term lease or partnership. can be bought/sold/traded and is treated like property excepting one must abide by the rules, which can have financial penalties. The liability and long term maintenance would be my concern fine print. And what happens if the neighbor is a liveaboard junk collector?
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:24   #13
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Re: owning your own slip scam or not

I believe that idea here is that you don't own the main dock. You really don't own the finger pier since you probably share it with a neighbor. You own the slip way (space) adjacent to the finger pier. Even the pilings between slips are shared with your neighbor.

Consider how folks maintain their property at varying levels. You wouldn't want to have to traverse the shoddy repairs or unmaintained sections of dock of a neighbor closer to the seawall in order to get to your slip. The HOA becomes responsible for the assets, and you own the right to access and use. Hence the Certificate of Title. I believe a Deed would grant ownership of the physical dock itself. Which you don't want. You don't actually want to be responsible for replacing pilings and dock boards.
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Old 02-11-2020, 21:19   #14
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Re: owning your own slip scam or not

Hi, if you are a recorded owner in the County, pay tax either annually or semi annually, have assessments made in accordance to State approved HOA's CC&r's, and have a legal description of the area you purchased, it's your property under the water as described with the county.

Otherwise, it would seem like you are just a renter of the slip, and not under any other obligation except to pay the rental fees as charged including electricity and water. Talk to other slip occupants and get with it asap to establish your rights.
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Old 02-11-2020, 21:44   #15
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Re: owning your own slip scam or not

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As others have said, you need to read the contract....
Mvmojo, you should charge us for the privilage of reading that.
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