Regulations Governing Underground Home Heating Oil Tanks

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I can easily imagine it. I've seen pretty dumb things happen over the years. Idiot proof something and we'll make a bigger and better idiot.
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On 5/3/2010 9:36 PM, Jim Elbrecht wrote:

More frequent than you think. The quantity may be a little exaggerated but consider the flow rate that a modern truck can deliver in the time it takes to listen for the whistle.
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Howdy folks. Back in VT from NC...again
Just removed a 275 from the basement today. Hired a guy for this one and played helper because his helper blew out his back. He had all the equipment to pump it out into a tank in his truck. He does it as a retirement job.
Had converted to gas about 2 years ago. Tank about 1/3 full. Guy said if oil is less than 5 yrs old it keeps the cost down since sludge is minimal. Oil over 5yrs is all NG and has to be treated as 100% hazardous waste.
Lots of fun. Move out of room with a 28" door which is slightly smaller with trim bead. He says an oil tank is 27-1/4" but it swells a bit midway. It was push, pull, shove, wedge and tilt to get it through. Next, right past the door is a hard right turn to the first step which is right there outside the door. 32" clearance up steps at least. Up the steps to a landing then another hard left. Through a door, into kitchen then out the front.
$450 minus $25 helper discount.
Let's see how easy it is to get outta bed tomorrow.
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wrote:

years ago and they found out there was an undisclosed underground oil tank that had been leaking.( that the seller knew was there, and the realtor didn't ask).The seller's insurance company and the realtor's insurance had to cover the remediation, (not sure who ended up paying what, but the buyer was off the hook) which was over 3 times what the house had sold for. (total remediation cost just over a million) They removed all the soil around the house and shipped it out to a hazardous waste disposal site. They also had to remove soil beyond the property limits towards a local creek. The insurance also had to pay rental accomodation for the year the house was not habitable.
If it was me, I'd have walked away from the deal and left the seller and the broker holding the bag.
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On May 2, 10:02 am, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Around my part of the country such fuel tanks are double wall and have to be emptied and inspected every couple of years in order to be re-certified by the state fire marshal and environmental people...
There is no such requirement for tanks installed in a non-commercial use... Once installed they are never seen or examined again unless by special request of the homeowner until some problem happens...
BTW: MOST home heating oil tanks around these parts are 250 gal indoor deals that are located only a few feet away from the burner, not huge 1,000 gallon outdoor underground set ups...
~~ Evan
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frank1492 wrote:

I'd say that 15 years is not particularly old, first off...
Since probably half or more of RI residential heat is oil, it's hard to imagine there are not thousands of insured underground tanks and will be for years to come.
I'd suggest first contacting the local entity in charge of building occupancy permitting and residential real estate transfer regulations for the jurisdiction and see what actual requirements are, followed by contacting State offices if there are still uncertainties.
As someone else says, actually talking w/ the insurance underwriter (the house currently is insured, surely?) as well as a few brokers/underwriters/lenders should determine the lay of the land locally.
Remember, in most places a real estate broker even if hired by you to "list" the house may _NOT_ be actually on your side in the transaction but working for the potential buyers. The actual requirements in RI will be spelled out in the contractual legalese; be sure to first ask and then double-check what the actual requirements on the representative the friend has are. Although many look at it as unnecessary expense, I would advise legal representation to cover the bases as mandatory for any transaction of such size, particularly when there's any chance of some later claim for damages/remediation possible.
After the information-gathering, then it's a choice of whether to hold out for what is probably (if I had to guess) the stand that if the tank is inspected and shown in good shape there's no legal basis for requiring anything else/more and buyer can either accept or find another house to buy or abject capitulation to "whatever the buyer wants, buyer gets".
Then, of course, there's always the counter-offer of "split the difference witcha', ok?"
--
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Underground tanks are a HUGE ISSUE. Insurance is risk adverse. espically when dealing with a possible risk that can cost 100,000s of dollars
if a tank leaks it can contaminate the aquifier and ruin water wells for miles.
just like knob and tube wiring, insurance as gotten really picky
most insurance companies dont hassle existing owners with existing policies, they are often grandfathered in.
but ownership change makes new owner get new insurance, thats either very expensive or completely unaffordable or often not available at all
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It's old enough that it may not be a double-wall fiberglass tank.

Yes, now try to get new insurance on those tanks. They'll all likely be replace (with above ground tanks) the next time the property is sold.

That's one place to go, but the final arbiters are the loan and insurance underwriters. It really doesn't matter what's "legal" if you can't get a loan or insurance.

Huh? The agent hired to *list* the house is always working for the seller. Who would be dumb enough to sign a contract otherwise? The agent the buyer uses is often/usually (almost always) working for the seller, as well, but that's a separate issue.

You're not legally required to sell. If the buyer *can't* buy the property, you're out of luck.

Not going to work if the bank or insurance company require it. It'll have to be done before the sale.
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People are starting to have insurance problems even with indoor tanks more that 15 years or so old. No way I'd touch a house with an underground tank these days, not worth the risk.
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snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote: ...

That depends on state and agency...they _can_ be a sellers' agent, buyers' agent or dual, depending. Depends on State what is allowed...
Who's paying the commission to the listing agent? Generally, the buyer...
As for who signs such contracts, those who merely assume the agent is a sellers' agent and don't carefully read the fine print or ask questions...
"Most states in the US require real estate agents to disclose who they work for, buyer or sellers or both. Some disclosures can be verbal and others must be in writing. ..."
<http://homebuying.about.com/cs/disclosures/l/bl_disclosures.htm
They don't have RI listed and I didn't do any further searching for RI-specific law.
But, as in so many things, "it all depends"...
...

The offer/counter-offer period precedes the sale; it's the basis for the final contract. The point of the preceding is to find out what really is an issue and what is simply being "made up" for the convenience/benefit of the buyer to get them to make the investment.
I'm not saying one way or the other about what is/isn't the actual situation in RI; only that I'd not as seller simply take the word of prospective buyers who are looking to make the best deal for themselves they can.
--
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Up here there is a listing fee and a buying fee. If the same agent lists and sells, they get the whole fee. If one agent lists and another sells, the fee is split (I don't think it's 50/50 either - seems the listing agent gets the bigger chunk)

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On Sun, 02 May 2010 16:17:45 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

That's generally the way it is in the US, too. Every state is somewhat different though. Often in the listing there is a commission and agent's cut statement (usually 6%, but I've seen it as low as 4% and as high as 7$, and the cut is usually 50/50, but I've seen 60/40, also). The risk of a nonstandard commission schedule is that buying agents may not be hot on showing a property with a cheap slice on their side. I've heard one tell the listing agent that they wanted the standard cut, before showing the property.
<...>
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The *listing* agent *ALWAYS* works for the seller. The buyer's agent's allegiance is up for grabs, even when it's not supposed to be.

No, the *seller* pays *ALL* commissions. If you've ever bought a house you can easily see this on the transaction sheet.

You're on drugs.

Again, the listing agent *always* works for the seller. There is no other way that works.

If the seller doesn't buckle under, the sale is off. Can happen, sure. With minor issues it can be split because they can be done after the sale, or not at all (buyer's choice). In this case there is no sale if the bank or insurance company balk.

Well, duh!
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snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote: ...

The listing agent _still_ may be a dual-party agent in some states. Again, whether that's allowed in RI depends on RI law which I don't have. There are, whether you're aware of it or not, states where that _IS_ allowed.
There's incentive to close a deal quickly and get on to the next one that doesn't bode well for getting the highest possible dollar for the seller even if listing agent.
...

Depends on how badly the buyer wants the house; one doesn't necessarily know that of course but oftentimes the individual making the offer is quite involved w/ the idea of "this" house once have committed to the initial offer.
As for whether there's a problem getting loan or not, even if so it's certainly possible to negotiate between the two parties how much to pick up by each party.
Again, if it is a very widespread conversion in RI perhaps it is essentially a cost of making a sale there; I'm still having difficulty believing that is really so simply on the basis of such a prevalence of oil heating. But, if it is so, it is and the OP should be able to determine that.

Well, all I was doing was pointing out that the OP needs to do the homework suggested rather than take the word of a party who obviously wasn't on his side as a friend of the potential seller as it sounded as if was. If it turns out the friend needs to go ahead and bite the bullet so be it but at least know have made a reasonable decision rather than being ramrodded into something.
And, of course, it also depends on just how badly they need to sell--if there's duress involved that's a factor that we don't have any way of knowing anything about.
--
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How can the real estate agency that *listed* the house possibly be a buyer's agent?

Wrong. It's the SELLER that pays a percentage of the sales price as a commission to the listing agent. If another agent is involved on the buyer's side, then that commission is split between the two. Let's say I'm selling my house and sign a listing agreement. It's an agreement between me and the listing agent. How could I bind an unknown future buyer to a contract they are not party too? Answer is, you can't. Which is why the agreement says I, as the seller, am responsible for paying the sales commission.

Show us an example of a listing agreement to sell a house where the listing agent is not legally bound to represent the seller.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote: ...

I didn't say they weren't only buyers' agents; only that in some states they can also represent buyers at the same time...again, it depends on specific state law. See earlier link for disclosure rules in some (but not all) states.
--
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In that case they are not representing the buyer. They are already contractually obligated to the seller.
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I think it was a this old house episode uncovered a unused tank, abandoned for years. furnace had been changed to natural gas
they said removal and decontamination could cost 25 grand and it didnt appear to be leaking.
futher investigation proved it was filled with concrete so it was removed with moon suit guys and inspectors:)
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On Mon, 3 May 2010 12:30:12 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

BS meter now hovering just below the red zone...
They more than likely said that *IF* it was leaking the cost *COULD* escalate to $25k.
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keith wrote:

That depends, again, on the rules and regulations of the State in which they are working. They are not necessarily excluded from wearing both hats simultaneously in all States--that's the point.
--
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