Author Topic: What do you do with the oil in the tank of your rental?  (Read 5066 times)

The knitter

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What do you do with the oil in the tank of your rental?
« on: December 26, 2013, 06:47:51 AM »
Hello all,

I'm a soon-to-be landlord with my husband. We bought a two-family home and plan to rent out one unit in February (once we finish some renovations in the unit we'll be living in).

The home has two separate oil tanks - one for each apartment.

We've been talking a lot about how to handle the oil in the tank in between tenants, and want some advice from experienced landlords.

The tenants will be paying their own oil.

Our general questions:

If there is some oil in the tank when a tenant moves in for the first time, should we give them that oil for free, or charge them for the oil?

If a tenant fills the tank, then leaves, do you pay the tenant for the oil left in the tank?

Are oil companies willing to set up payment plans for tenants, or fill tanks on regular intervals? (We've never had oil heat before, so this is our first time dealing with it altogether.)

Our fear is that somehow a potentially good tenant won't want to live here if they have to fill an oil tank their first month here. But we also don't want to get too involved in the heat, because it seems like a lot of accounting and responsibility that should be our tenant's problem.

Does anyone include wording about the oil in the tank in their lease?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Villanelle

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Re: What do you do with the oil in the tank of your rental?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2013, 08:55:37 AM »
I am currently in a rental.  The tanks were full when we moved in and we are expected to leave them full.  Seems to me that is the best way to do it so that there is no squabbling over how much is actually left, the value of that oil, etc.

ritchie70

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Re: What do you do with the oil in the tank of your rental?
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2013, 09:43:51 AM »
It seems like its the same as the gas in a rental car. There are several models for handling that

I've never had an oil tank so I don't know how well you can measure the amount in the tank.

I don't think I'd give them a full tank, because if they don't fill it when they leave you're out a tank of oil. Maybe enough for a month and include the cost of that in the security deposit/first month rent payment?

AlmostIndependent

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Re: What do you do with the oil in the tank of your rental?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2014, 02:13:23 PM »
I don't own a rental with oil heat but have friends that do. Everyone that I know makes sure the tank is full and requires it to be full when the tenants move out. Most oil companies will fill the tank monthly (or at some appropriate interval) and tenants are required in the lease to be on a monthly (or whatever) plan. Then there are no huge bills or pipes freezing because the tenant ran out of oil.

The knitter

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Re: What do you do with the oil in the tank of your rental?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2014, 11:15:02 AM »
Thanks for all the feedback.

A friend of ours showed  us his lease. In it he has a spot where he marks how much oil was in the tank at the beginning of the lease. Then he has them sign that they will leave at least 90 percent of that amount in the tank when they move out. Seems reasonable.