Buying A home With Underground Oil Tank?

Buying A home With Underground Oil Tank?

Do you know if the house you are buying has an underground heating oil storage tank? If there is an underground oil tank and it leaks into the ground, you as the buyer could be liable for the cost of removal of that tank and cleanup of contaminated soil (You could be liable even after selling a contaminated property in BC). The cost could be thousand of dollars. Take the following steps to protect yourself:

  • Determine if there is an evidence of an underground tank.
  • Hire a professional home inspector to inspect the home before you make the final decision on a purchase.
  • Hire a professional to test the tank if there is a tank underground.
  • Research EPA and local municipal requirements concerning oil tanks.
  • When working with a contractor, get everything on paper.
  • Make sure the fill pipe is capped or removed after removing the tank.

What signs indicate that oil was previously used to heat the house?

  1. A vent pipe located outside the house, usually few inches from the foundation.
  2. A fill pipe, usually level with the sidewalk or lawn.
  3. Oil lines in the basement
  4. A wall switch that say “Emergency Oil Shut-off”
  5. A circuit breaker, labeled “furnace”
  6. Houses nearby have used oil or are still using oil for heating.

You should pay close attention to the potential liability of an underground oil tank. The tank may become an important negotiating strategy when purchasing a home. Your Realtor can provide valuable advice concerning underground oil tanks.

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