Who actually owns this 1,000 gallon propane tank?

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I realize this is a legal question but has anyone here had this happen. Any advice?
1. Bought a house, as is, in 2010, which came with a 1,000 gallon propane tank attached. 2. Entered into agreement with fuel company "1" for fuel in 2010. 3. No tank rental is paid to fuel company 1 because it's not their tank 4. Recently a workman (inspecting the tank because of a new BBQ) mentioned that company 2 owns the tank 5. Company 2 was recently bought by company 1.
Nothing more has happened, but, who owns that tank?
I feel "I" own it by virtue of multiple circumstances (but I'm not a lawyer!): a. I bought the house and everything attached to it b. I never signed an agreement with company 2 c. Company 2 abandoned that tank long ago (IMHO)
I suspect, if company 1 wants to assert ownership of that tank, they could say: A. Company 2 originally owned the tank B. Company 2 still owns that tank C. Therefore, company 1 (who owns company 2) owns that tank.
Have you ever been in this situation? What advice do you have for me?
TIA
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The tank may need perodic inspection in order to permit filling. So you mght need to add that to your question.
I do know the 20 pound propane tanks need a pressure test every so many years..
the tank is placed in a container covered with water. its then pressured to capacity. if the container holding the tank has water spill out the tank is expanding too much and has failed inspection. at least this is my understanding of what was explained to me many years ago.....
of course the tank exploding etc is also a failure...
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On Thu, 26 Sep 2013 17:10:08 -0700, bob haller wrote:

Well, these 1,000 gallon tanks are above ground, and they're built like cement outhouses, so the last thing on my mind is that the tank is gonna explode.
Besides, the tank has a date stamp of 1999 so it is in fine shape.

The company that fills the tank inspected it before entering into the agreement with me.

There is no way you're going to take a one thousand gallon tank and place it in a bucket of water. The thing is 15 feet long (or so).

We have a better chance of winning the lottery than the tank suddenly deciding to explode. So I'm not the least bit worried about safety.
I'm worried about ownership.
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Alex Gunderson wrote:

Hmm, Can't you contact previous owner? Wonder why you did not check about the ownership(tank was rented, leased or what?) when you purchased the house? The seller, buyer, real estate lawyer were not diligent in this case, IMHO.
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On Thu, 26 Sep 2013 19:58:37 -0600, Tony Hwang wrote:

There are no lawyers involved when you buy a house in California. When you buy as is, you don't even bother with a home inspection out here.
It's not the real estate agent's responsibility. And, the buyer buys title insurance for this purpose.
Come to think of it. I wonder if my title insurance covers this?
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On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 11:16:37 +0000 (UTC), Alex Gunderson
actually owns this 1,000 gallon propane tank?:

I used to have a R.E. license in Calif, and from what you have written, here is my take on the situation.
a) If the previous property owner owned the tank, then you now own the tank, because it is part of the real estate, being an attached appurtenance to the house.
b) If the previous owner did not own the tank, (e.g. it was owned by the gas company-A ) then the gas company owns it.
c) When gas company-A was bought by gas company-B, then company-B became the new owner of the tank, assuming company-B bought all the assets of company-A (and not just it's name).

I doubt it, but it's worth a try.
Let us know how it turns out.
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On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 07:20:42 -0500, CRNG wrote:

From what I've read, the tank was probably *not* bought by the PO.
Of course, I'll also ask for written proof that my current gas supplier owns the tank; but I assume they would have that so I would simply expect to doublecheck the serial number, just in case the tank had been replaced unbeknownst to me and to the propane company.
In North Carolina, we now know that ownership rights to the above-ground tanks need to be established at the county level, by the propane company filing and renewing a form certifying their ownership.
So, I will also check with my California county today, to see if a similar provision exists for my state.
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On Thu, 26 Sep 2013 23:56:06 +0000 (UTC), Alex Gunderson

Not likely. The person selling it didn't have the right to sell what wasn't his. You're in possession of stolen property. ;-)

Doesn't matter.

YO isn't worth much.

Yes.

Shut up. Maybe they'll never figure it out.
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On Thu, 26 Sep 2013 20:23:03 -0400, krw wrote:

I understand your point. But, what about "abandoned" property?

I guess that's because you're saying company 2 still owns the tank so it doesn't matter that they left it on my property, connected to the house, for the past few years?

Or, maybe they'll figure it's not worth losing a customer over a $1000 tank?
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On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 01:41:04 +0000 (UTC), Alex Gunderson

If they decide it's their tank tell them fine, they can have it as soon as the pay the storage fees. Even a nominal $10 a day is going to cost them some bucks.
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On Thu, 26 Sep 2013 22:37:58 -0700, Ashton Crusher wrote:

It's funny you say that because my wife suggested we charge them rent!
The problem, of course, is that I need to have them deliver the propane.
I haven't done the research lately, but they were the cheapest of the four or five companies that I can buy propane from out here.
And, as they buy each other up, their numbers are dwindling.
I think they'll pick up the tank for free though - but then I'm left with buying a brand new tank.
Luckily, they're not too expensive, about a dollar a gallon, so, it would cost about a thousand gallons. I will have to put in a concrete reinforced pad and earthquake straps and I'll need to trench it since I'd move it elsewhere - so I've been looking up all that separately.
EDIT: Plus it looks like I need a set of high pressure and low pressure regulators. One each at the tank, and one at the house.
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On 9/27/2013 4:48 AM, Alex Gunderson wrote:

look into burying it. i did that so i didn't have to look at it all the time. cost a bit more though, and you have to have additional permits and the right kind of ground to do so.

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On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 07:59:46 -0700, chaniarts wrote:

Just called the planning department.
In California, there is a $250 price for tank permits. But, they do NOT take down the serial number.
The permit guy says he knows of no registration (like they have in North Carolina) which holds ownership of a tank.
So, I need to look at the abandoned-property laws to find out whether the tank can be considered abandoned after five years.
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On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 07:59:46 -0700, chaniarts wrote:

When it comes time to do that, I will.
Right now, they told me a replacement tank (brand new) is $3.60/gallon.
I'm pretty sure that's the high end but that would make the tank and the fuel just about the same price.
Googling for "How Much Does a 1000 Gallon Propane Tank Cost" finds lots of hits, most of which are around $1200 to $1500 (which is $1.20/gallon to about $1.50/gallon) which is less than the cost of the fuel which goes *inside* the tank.
http://www.thriftypropane.com/purchasetank.aspx http://www.ask.com/question/how-much-does-a-1000-gallon-propane-tank-cost http://www.kudzu.com/article/How-much-does-a-propane-tank-cost-id10970 http://nepacrossroads.com/about16761.html
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I keep meaning to ask, are you sure this is a 1000 gallon tank? That would be HUGE for a residence. Generally, they are 100-120 gallons; physically, maybe 6' long x 24-30" in diameter.
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On 9/27/2013 5:48 PM, dadiOH wrote:

When I was a kid back on the mountaintop farm, we had a 500gal propane tank. I remember thinking how cool (no pun) it was when the propane delivery truck driver purged the fill hose producing a big white cloud. Of course now I know it would have made quite a big boom if there had been any ignition source around it. How did I ever survive childhood? o_O
TDD
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wrote:

1000gal tanks aren't unusual at all. We have a 250gal tank in our other house, just for the fireplace and stove. That certainly wouldn't be enough if we were heating with propane. Note that propane only has 60% of the heat of oil, so it has to be twice the size of an oil tank to make any sense at all. 100gal tank is OK for a stove, but that's about it.
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On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 18:48:40 -0400, dadiOH wrote:

Well, I generally get a fill every couple of months of about 300 or 400 gallons but they fill it only to something like 75% and they don't let it get empty (it's on a schedule that they calculate).
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On Sat, 28 Sep 2013 02:40:17 +0000 (UTC), Alex Gunderson

...making sure they fill on the peaks and buy on the valleys. ;-) My gas (and oil company before that) would never fill in the summer when the prices were the lowest. They'd wait until the fall and then make sure it was topped off in the Winter. Of course in the winter I was using 175gal (oil), or so, every three weeks. They had to. :-(
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wrote:

Wow, that's funny. I can hear them laughing all the way over here. They will counter with a tank rental bill, of course.
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