Is this a problem

15 Replies

Soooo, I had a house visit yesterday and noticed something weird.

I went into the basement and the owner had the oil tank enclosed behind a sliding door. The home is no longer heat by oil. It's been updated to natural gas but the tank remains. I'm sure to remove the tank is probably going to cost a lot due to the of tank and where it needs to be deposed.

Can this tank remain in the home without use, if rented to section 8?

I don't want to make an offer if removing the tank will cost too much.

Thanks in advance

Call a heating company and see if they will buy the tank from you or come and remove it for free. They may be able to rehab and sell it to someone that still uses oil heat.

@Clayton Ballard  ,

It depends on whether or not the Section 8 inspector is being vigilant or not, but probably will call it out if they see it.

I'm with @Anthony Dooley  . You'll have to call a professional to see what you can do with it or how much it will cost. Hopefully you took a picture you can send them. But I don't think this should be too crazy...

Good luck! Start calling around!

@Anthony Dooley and J Martin Thanks....those are some good advice. I'll make a few calls. The property meets the 2% rule and don't want to miss out. Price is below market so it has equality.

Some town building depts will want that removed to get a certificate of occupancy. So check with the building dept or code official to see if that would be required. 

You don't have to miss out on this opportunity because of the tank. Put in  your offer and get this thing tied up. You will have a 10 day inspection period in which you can have someone come out and give you a quote on the removal along with having a full home inspection. If you discover the repairs and removal are excessive you can communicate your concerns to the seller in the form of a new offer at a lower price OR request that they remove the tank prior to closing. 

If it's a great deal TIE IT UP. You can always negotiate later on.


@Clayton Ballard  Way to grab the bull by the horns! I saved over $20K using this tactic and also got a new roof. Let us know how this works out for you!

While I haven't ever seen this particular situation come up before,I don't think that an unused tank is, by itself, an issue. Obviously, if it blocks safe access to things, looks dangerous, etc. it will be an issue, but the simple fact its no longer a necessary part of the apartment shouldn't be. I have seen a couple local homes have water heaters or furnaces that were installed before completion of a wall, making them virtually impossible to remove once they're dead. The owners in both cases installed the newer, smaller units next to the old and just left the old units in place. Neither place had an issue with inspection. 

If you want to double check, call up your local PHA and ask. Phrase it like you already own the house and you're making sure it will pass for a currently interested tenant. They should be able to patch you through to an inspector (or THE inspector, if its a small office) who will give you the answer that matters most. Alternatively, if you have a good relationship or would like to build one, show up at the PHA in person with your question. Like any agency, phone tag happens sometimes, but if you're there in person, you'll likely walk out with an answer, a smile, and a handshake. 

@Gualter Amarelo I went on a section 8 inspection with my mentor for one of his properties and I had the opportunity to ask the inspector about the tank. She said as long as it's not in the way and is free of oil it can remain. @Bradley Bogdan I also called BGE which is the gas and electric in the my area. They also said the same. They also mentioned that someone can come by to make sure it's fuel free.

Great job man! This is exactly how it's done! You've got things rolling in the right direction.

I'm not sure if you've already gotten to it, but one of the best books I've ever read on landlording is: "Landlording on Autopilot" by "mike butler". It really helped take out all of the guess work with setting up systems and responding to tenant issues.

Keep us in the loop as things get closer to closing!

Great to hear @Clayton Ballard  ! Good luck with the rest of the process and let us know how it all wraps up. 

Nice Job @Clayton Ballard  . You did everything right. One of the most important things I learned was what @Gualter Amarelo  said. "TIE IT UP" before someone else takes it so you are in control and then you have some time to figure out the situation and best path forward and can still get out of the deal if you have to. I would still get the tank out at some point in the future (sooner than later) so plan for that as no one likes an oil tank even if its empty etc. 

I'd be willing to bet that if you ran an ad on CL that stated:

"Free fuel tank. You remove",

you would get so many calls that your phone would melt. Even if there's oil in it, someone will want it. Whether they use it for fuel oil or something else. My dad has a heater where we go hunting that burns almost anything. Other people heat their garages or barns with waste oil or fuel oil.

thanks @rob k great idea

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