Propane tank ownership

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by doozie, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. doozie

    doozie Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2005
    We bought a place in the fall, the previous owner said they owned the propane tank. It was noted on the property disclosure page of the contract.

    We have never used propane, or dealt with propane companies.

    We called the local co-op for a fill, and they claim the tank is one of their leased tanks. There are no company markings or tags on the tank. They said they would sure like us to set up an account.

    We have no proof of ownership, and that is where I think our problem will be.
    I dont want to get into a "lease" for some old propane tank I own.

    We wont be using much propane, it is a smaller tank, and we would only use it in the fall for the furnace and for the cooking stove. A fill would probably last a few years.

    Has anyone ever had to deal with this?

    I am about to tell them to come get "their" old tank off my property, just to see if it suddenly becomes mine.
  2. TnAndy

    TnAndy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Sep 15, 2005
    EastTN: Former State of Franklin
    Look on the data plate of the tank, and see if there is a serial number. IF so, call the Co-op back, and ask them for their record of the serial number to see if they match.

    IF they can't prove it's theirs, I'd say it's yours.

    By the way, I got a free 500gal tank like this.

    Folks moved in, had a tank with "X" dealer's sticker on it, but they wanted service by "Y" company, and called "X" to come get their tank.....called several times, and the last time was told "WE HAVE NO RECORD OF IT....IT'S NOT OUR TANK, QUIT CALLING US". So they offered it to me, and I went and got it.....60% full. Loaded on a trailer with a Bobcat and hauled it home. Gas alone was worth several hundred bucks.

    Sanded it down, repainted to match my other tanks, and called "X" company who I already did business with as they usually have the cheapest price, and they not only filled it along with my other two tanks without question, they put me a new regulator on it.

    I don't feel the least bit bad about it either, since they abandoned it, and they are still selling me the gas to go in it.....they simply beat themselves out of the lease/sale. ( I own my other two tanks )

  3. jefferson

    jefferson fuzzball in the Cascades

    Nov 11, 2004
    State of Jefferson
    First; tell propane co about property disclosure page. Second ask them to prove the tank is theirs. (if tank is theirs, they will have contract with ex-property owner). If they can't prove ownership, it's yours. BUT!!! They can refuse to fill it, or charge a inspection fee before filling.
  4. haypoint

    haypoint Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oct 4, 2006
    Northern Michigan (U.P.)
    I bought a house that i was renting out. It had a tank that belonged to the propane company. There was no cost. I got tired of dealing with renters, so the house sat empty for a year. They sent me a rental bill for $100. If I don't buy their propane, they start charging for the tank. I told them I didn't want it and they could come get it. They drug their feet for nearly a year. Finally, I went to the office and asked where they'd like me to drop it off. Since its empty I think I can get it into the back of my truck, but I need to know where to shove it out. They got real excited about that plan. I told them that they had two weeks to get it out or I'd start charging them storage charges.
    They came a week later, twisted the copper line off at the regulator.

    I had a problem a number of years ago with a set of torches. The place that fills the tanks up claimed that the tanks were theirs, unless I can show them a reciept. I'd had the torches for 20 years and simply exchanged them ehen they were empty. I didn't have a reciept. So, I ended up renting tanks that I think I actually bought.
  5. luvrulz

    luvrulz Well-Known Member Supporter

    Feb 3, 2005
    I had a friend that had a tank on a new property that she was purchasing. She called the co and had them come out and they filled it..... It all leaked out and then she had no propane. Make sure the tank gets checked for leaks, k? Don't know how you could do that, never had propane...
  6. poorboy

    poorboy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Apr 15, 2006
    ozark foothills, Mo
    More than one propane dealer in your area. just sayin', they can't prove ownership then shop around for best price..have my own tank so i can buy from cheapest or best service dealer..
    glenn amolenaar likes this.
  7. lurnin2farm

    lurnin2farm Well-Known Member

    Jun 10, 2012
    I would call another company and ask then to come fill it. If they ask if you own the tank say yes. Since its in your disclosure agreement you have every right to assume it belongs to you. If the company you just called still wants to claim its their tank then they will have to prove it. If it is their tank you may have some recourse with the previous owners.

    My guess is the co op you called realized you were new at this and decided to try and pull a fast sales pitch. If it was their tank they would have insisted on you buying propane from them instead of asking you to set up an account.
  8. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

    May 11, 2002
    Now in Virginia
    All propane companies, say the Tank's are theirs, even when it is not. A scam most of them are pulling.

    Had that problem here. House came with a propane tank and all the companies I called, tried to claim it as their own.
    Within the paper work we got with this place, was a bill of sale for that propane tank.
    Even had one company try to take my recipe and walk off with it... I took it back.
    Most of them are beyond dishonest.
  9. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

    Jul 12, 2003
    east ont canada
    sometimes ownership of a thing like a propane tank is a bad thing, if a fault in the equipment causes catastrophe, guess who they are coming looking for.
  10. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    Texas Coastal Bend/S. Missouri
    My propane company charges rent annually. It's not a big deal.

    Just ask for documentation that it's theirs. Documentation is a nicer word than PROOF. An even softer way to ask is, "Do you have the paperwork on the lease?"
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
    luvrulz likes this.
  11. Micheal

    Micheal Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 28, 2009
    New York
    Around here I haven't found a co that will "come out" to fill your tank... Although if you take the same tank to their outlet they will fill it; something to do with liability on their part.
    In turn, dealing with company owned tanks; I dealt with one co (Suburban) that always charged a "rental" fee. The co I deal with now only charges a fee if you use less propane (in a year) than the size of the tank they let you use.
  12. sammyd

    sammyd Well-Known Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Central WI
    Ours was part of the deal when we bought the house and we have paperwork to show it's ours.
    We have never had a problem with any propane company trying to claim it as theirs and we've used a few different ones over the years.
    I would ask the company to provide documentation that it is their tank.
  13. beowoulf90

    beowoulf90 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 13, 2004
    Assume that you own it according to the disclosure report..

    It will make a difference in the price you pay, or at least it does here..

    We were renting the tank from "x" company and the price was reasonable. But they sold out to Amerigas (one scum sucking company) and now the difference in price is out rages.
    If I owned the tank I could have it filled for $2.20 a gal, but since I rent it I am paying $4.29 a gal... This is for a 100 gallon tank..

    So as soon as I find my own tank Amerigas will be thrown from my property..

    I still have the 88 AMC Eagle wagon and the 82? Yamaha Virago 500 that I will trade for a tank or 2... (was listed it the Barter Board forum)
    Sorry a shameless plug...

    Anyway. I don't know if the companies in your area are as bad and if there is that much of a price difference, but there is here...
  14. doozie

    doozie Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2005
    Thanks for the replies.
    I cant think of any reason the previous owner would have for saying they owned the tank if they didnt. It was not the case of a mis-checked box on the disclosure form, they note LP tank owned on the additional space for information.
    I personally would like to use just electric for the place, and ditch the tank, it is just a seasonal trailer, but my better half wants to look into the propane.
  15. Waiting Falcon

    Waiting Falcon Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2010
    If it is on the disclosure that the tank was theirs and goes with place..ask the former owners for the title.
    If you buy a tan it comes with a title or at least mine did. When I sold it I sold it with the title. Renting will over pay for a tank mighty quick.
  16. meanwhile

    meanwhile Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 13, 2007
    Western North Carolina
    That happened to us too. We bought our place and had to pay the Sellers $600.00 for the Unused gas in the tank! They said the tank came with the property and we owned it.

    When we called to get propane, they told us the propane tank belonged to them and I had to pay a rental fee. When I called the Sellers, they said "too bad we don't know not our problem". The propane company came and picked up the tank.

    We had to rent another tank from a new company. It was expensive and annoying.
  17. ||Downhome||

    ||Downhome|| Born in the wrong Century

    Jan 11, 2009
    If you went through title company, which I would never buy a place with out title insurance. And the tank is in disclosure, A. you own the Tank. B. Somebody screwed up and title company will need to pony up for a tank.

    I would not except with out proff that the tank is owned by the company.

    they can be shifty. around here they like to just show up and fill your tank.
    I do not like that,
    1.people do not need to be hear when I am not
    2.I can not verify they actually filled what they said.
    3.If I need it I will order when I have the money and set up delivery.

    A few years ago they came and picked up the small tank out to the pole barn.
    Just came and got it. it was their tank but it was wrong to do it that way!
    It was full to boot.
    probably bought 3 to four years prior, so bought at a lower price.
    they ended up paying the season high price for the gas they stole!
    their reason was it had not been filled up in so many years.
    As well as charging a monthly fee for the back tank,fill or no fill!

    Almost lost a customer, but the other guys are even worse...
    If I could ever get a methane digester going I really would!
    We have been using more wood the last few winters so in a way they did cut their throats. that's the only thing we use propane for is heat.
    beowoulf90 likes this.
  18. Joe.G

    Joe.G Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2012
    Check Tank ID and see if it matches, It may be theirs, You can contact former owners and try to get more info, They should credit you for gas in tank ( I think you may own gas but not tank ), Don't let them try and force you into keeping there tank and using there service shop around. If you are heating your house by only propane I think you will be using more then you thing.
  19. doozie

    doozie Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2005
    Today I called and spoke with another person in another Dept. Everything was cleared up, and the files have been updated. It is our tank after all, and was last filled by their Company 6 yrs ago.
    I wont be stuck in some refill program, and she even noted I could shop around if I wanted.
    The second person was so helpful.
    It is sad that it took 3 calls to resolve the situation. I dont know why the "receptionist" didnt just transfer me to her in the first place.
    I always say the face of a company is the first contact, too bad they have a misinformed person manning the phones.
    beowoulf90, myheaven, Saffron and 2 others like this.
  20. renee o'neill

    renee o'neill Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    Had almost the same problem.,but I came home about 1 month ago and noticed my gate was closed differently but nothing else till I tried to cook dinner.The tank was gone along with a regulator!I had no idea what was going on since I had not used a company for years we just filled the small grill size tanks once every few months but had a larger tank set next to the house.Called the cops and they said they had had a few calls and it turned out that company x was doing an inventory check.Well called them and they would not return the tank or the regulator till I showed a written receipt! Well atleast I know someone and got a new regulator for free,they wont sell you a house size one in my state.Hate that company!