Question

Does the propane left in the tank belong to us or the sellers?

We just bought our first home and the sellers have now (almost 2 weeks since closing) told us that they are getting a refund for the propane left in the tank and that we will have to pay the gas company for the propane left in the tank. This was not brought up anytime before signing the contract. Do they have the right to do this, or is the propane ours?

8 years ago - 10 answers

Best Answer

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If the tank was leased from a propane company to the previous owner, the propane company is obligated under the law to credit the account holder any remaining product in the tank back to the lessee. So the correct answer is the propane in the tank belongs to the propane company.

Now here is where things get tricky, the propane companies’ tank is setting on your property hooked to your home, many people have tried to claim ownership in this situation, and many have failed. Because in most cases the propane company needs to be given reasonable time to remove the tank, and in most cases they are not aware of the sale of the home until after the fact.

I have been in small claims on this exact situation more times than I would care to remember and I can honestly say that I have never lost a propane tank, and on several occasions I was awarded the cost of the fuel that the new owner had used up before I was aware of the sale.

The propane company that owns the tank should be trying to make contact with you as soon as they find out that the home has sold.

The thing that really bothers me is this happens all the time and Real-estate agents know the drill on this and they always seem to leave it out because all they are interested in is turning a quick buck.

If the tank was owned by the previous owner and you purchased the tank with the home you have full right to the product in the tank.

8 years ago

Other Answers

more of a legal question but first thought is the propane is YOURS! What the seller probably got was a credit for what was not used (they probably had a contract on it) and left you with the difference. That is my first thought but legal "eggplants" can advise you better on this.

by zyberianwarrior - 8 years ago

It belongs to you because you own the house and everything in it.
You need to contact the gas company yourself and explain that the closing was 2 weeks ago and that they have no claims for refund.

by yourdayscoming - 8 years ago

It's yours. You bought the house as is, which means everything that's in it. Look at your contract, but I doubt it's mentioned there.

I can't believe the seller is asking for the propane left in the tank. What a jerk !!

by Robert - 8 years ago

since you have already closed on the house the buyers are now responsible for the gas in the tank. it should have been taken care of at the closing anyway. it should have been credited in your HUD and the sellers should have already been credited it. if they haven't then someone screwed up up and you made out all right.

Source(s)

by chris l - 8 years ago

This should have been settled prior to the sale of the property. Your bad. If you don't pay the propane company, they will report you to the credit bureaus and ruin your credit. That will be more of a hassle than you know.
Chalk it up as a lesson learned.

by Hank - 8 years ago

this would be the same if you could do it as selling a checking account; you sell the checking account and the money in it if any.
Usually the amount of butane in the bottle is prorated at closing once the butane company ascertains the amount left in the tank and you provide the last paid bill to the closing office who then credits the seller for the value and debits the buyer for the cost.
This should be mentioned in the part of the offer agreement that stipulates what costs will be prorated, ie; taxes, insurance, water use, butane gas, association dues,etc.
Buena Suerte

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by newmexicorealestateforms - 8 years ago

That should have been taken care of at the closing as an adjustment item with you paying the seller for the value of the propane in the tank, but if you think that you will not have to pay the gas company for it ... you are mistaken. It is not yours.

by ILoveKeyLimePie - 8 years ago

It should have been addressed in your contract. See if it said anything about the pro ration of fuel.

Source(s)

by Karen R - 8 years ago

Well yes, sort of, just like the content of the refrigerator. But if the seller is such a chicken shit, why don't you asked them to come pick up the water in the water heater as well as the pool or you will charge them money for storage or disposal?

by robert S - 8 years ago