Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in California

Someone sold his boat and left the marina owing 4 months of rent. The new boat owner lives on the boat at the same marina as previous owner had it. The marina owner put a lien on the boat, has told the new owner he has to leave and has threatened to take his boat. Is that legal?

Asked on 7/01/21, 12:41 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Haapala, Thompson & Abern, LLP

Yup. In maritime law docking rights and obligations are considered to be between the dock owner and the boat, not just the boat owner. Rent is owed by the boat to the marina or dock. If it isn't paid, the dock owner can lien or "arrest" the vessel and after appropriate legal steps can sell the boat for back rent, or if no one buys it, the marina can keep it. It's the same as if you bought a house and the previous owner didn't pay off the mortgage. The lender's lien on the house is still valid and they can foreclose. If you bought a boat with back due rent, that's between you and the seller as far as the marina is concerned. The boat is still the boat that owes rent.

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Answered on 7/01/21, 1:30 pm

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