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Buying a house - No certificate of removal/abandonment

malicarz Member Posts: 1
Advice needed:

I am buying a house that has a recently installed (last 5 years or so) gas heating system. The fire department shows that they previously had an oil heating system and there is no record/certificate with the fire department or the city of the removal or abandonment of the oil tank. The homeowner claims that the tank was in the garage and that they disposed of it themselves without a permit. What should I do?  


  • ChasMan
    ChasMan Member Posts: 462
    edited October 2010
    Oil Tank Scan

    Home inspectors will gladly charge you to wander about with a metal detector looking for a tank. I think they call it a Tank Scan. I paid for this when I bought my house because the owner claimed it had an underground tank and it was removed but they had no receipts for the work and a quick check with thier oil supplier revealed that they don't do that type of work. The current owner "forgot" who had removed it. They showed me where the two oil lines came into the house and you could stick your fingers in the holes and smell the fuel oil. The home inspector had what looked like a metal detector and said there was no tank there. Ok, but what about the soil? Inspecting that required hiring an environmental company to do the soil testing which required digging up the flower beds and making a big mess. People should keep records of this stuff. The Evaporator coil for the AC was installed right over where the tank used to be and needed to be moved. All in all the inspection costs were about 2500.00. I have now sealed up where the tank lines were and gotten rid of the odor. I kept all of my inspection paperwork but I still have no certificate of removal or anything official. Hopefully now, there will be no more questions since the house is still on oil with an above ground tank. Im going to check with my City to see if they have anything listed about an underground tank.
  • Brian_74
    Brian_74 Member Posts: 237
    Home Owner's Insurance

    Even though I have no reason to believe there was ever an oil tank on my property, my homeowner's insurance specifically includes the removal of such a tank should one be found. If you're concerned, perhaps you should make sure that you've got similar coverage.
    1929 Ideal Heating vapor system.
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385

    of a gas conversion done in my area anyway. They just want to run that gas line in at any cost. They like to drop the oil tank removal/disposal in the customer's lap. Not right
  • humhead
    humhead Member Posts: 22
    edited October 2010
    tank removal in NJ.

    I just wanted to pass some information on to any readers in NJ looking to remove an in-ground tank. In NJ the state will pay for the removal and installation of a new above ground tank. If you want to convert to NG NJ will still pay. NJ does require that you make under $250,000 a year and have under $500,000 in assets. Home or retirement accounts do not count towards your assets. If the tank is found to have been leaking NJ will cover 90% of the cost of clean up. I found out that the Pro-guard tank insurance will not cover tank removal if a new tank is not installed. Also if a contractor touches your tank without Pro Guard permission the insurance is void. READ THE FINE PRINT.

  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    Here in New Jersey ...

    "If you want to convert to NG NJ will still pay."


    I had my 1000 gallon tank removed in mid-May 2009. It seemed to have leaked a little. It is still here waiting. First of all, two insurance companies had to argue about who paid what. The one that pays anything no longer does business in this state. That insurance company insisted a separate company had do do all the test borings. The tank had to remain here for the convenience of various inspectors and insurance company representatives.

    The company that did the test borings wanted to do the cleanup, so they would not communicate with the company that was actually going to do the cleanup. So there was more delay. Finally, we got the information from the insurance company. Then the application for the refund from the state could be processed and submitted. It is now almost 18 months and the money is not yet agreed to by the state, so work has not even been started.
This discussion has been closed.