Underground Oil Tank not disclosed

tkstockApril 19, 2014

So, we purchased our house in 2002. At the time, it was heated with an oil furnace (which is now converted to natural gas).

At the time, we specifically asked about the existence of an underground oil tank and was told there wasn't one.

Well, I found one today - and could even smell the oil that apparently still sits in it.

Do I have any recourse after 12 years?

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saltidawg

Did the previous owner know of that tank's existence? Or maybe equally important, will you be able to prove it?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 6:57PM
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mike_home

This is a good question for a attorney. I would first speak to a real estate lawyer. I also recommend speaking with an environmental law attorney.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 10:42AM
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jackfre

My daughter is with me. She is a hard working realtor. She says, State by state and Statute of Limitation. Very common and figures that by the time you sue for it, and the cost to do it, just get it done. Also, check the disclosures on your agreement prior to going forward. If it is listed and you are sufficiently aggravate and motivated then sure you can chase anybody. Balance the cost and aggravation first though!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 9:23PM
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saltidawg

Doh. Like I said, "Did the previous owner know of that tank's existence? Or maybe equally important, will you be able to prove it?"

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 9:56PM
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mike_home

Underground oil storage tanks are an serious environmental issue. The owner who decommissioned this tank may still be responsible for the removal and clean up of any soil contamination. Removing a tank costs hundreds of dollars. Removing contaminated soil costs thousands of dollars.

You really need to get advice from an expert in your state.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 7:59AM
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jerseygirl07603 z6NJ

Absolutely get an environmental attorney. We decommissioned a tank that had leaked into the groundwater. The removal & cleanup took 7 years and $350K!!!! Some states offer grants to help homeowners with the cost. Also check your homeowners insurance policy and the previous owner's insurance. Some have riders that cover this cost. In our case, forensic engineering was done to determine the year in which the tank developed the leak. That date determined who was liable for the cleanup.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 8:13AM
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