I realize this is a legal question but has anyone here had this happen.
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?
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...
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.
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
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?
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.
Web based forums are like subscribing to 10 different newspapers
and having to visit 10 different news stands to pickup each one.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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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