How to Eliminate Liability with an Underground Oil Tank
1. The best option you have as a buyer is to have the current owner remove the underground oil tank before you purchase the property. Some sellers may refuse to remove the tank before they sell. If this is the case with the seller you are dealing with, then you have two other options below if you really want the house.
2. The next most cost effective way to limit your liability is to hire a company to test the soil surrounding the underground oil tank. This test should run between $500 and $600 dollars. This can be done during the due diligence period. Make sure the company you hire will guarantee their soil test results for a period of time, until you are ready to remove the tank. This is the most important part of the test. If they will not stand by their test results then you need to use a company that will. Qualified Tank Services provides this service.
3. If the oil tank is inactive, you can agree to pay for the removal of the underground tank before closing on the property. The cost for this service would be between $1300-$2500 depending on size, location and product inside the tank. If they tank is active then the cost will run just about $3,500.00 to upgrade to an above ground oil tank. If the tank is found to be leaking then the liability for the clean up will fall back onto the seller since they still own the property. If they choose not to clean it up then you walk from the deal with just a small expense compared to what could of been tens of thousands of dollars in clean up costs.