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Hmm, I have a contract with this gentleman. He loaned me $1,000 a while back, and I pay him $100 a week in interest. How do I automatically transfer this contract to the next person that gives me a red?

As for the people who think that a notification letter has some merit. Think about this. OP sends Arrow a notification letter stating that during the time frame Arrow was on my property a small red ball with puncture marks was removed from my property. The ball is priceless, the appraisal was performed by my dog. Please return the ball or I will enter your property at 4AM this Sunday and retrieve my property. I may also make some modifications to your alarm system, and create a new entrance. This letter absolves me from prosecution.

sackoloot said:   Hmm, I have a contract with this gentleman. He loaned me $1,000 a while back, and I pay him $100 a week in interest. How do I automatically transfer this contract to the next person that gives me a red?

Insert it into the closing packet on the next house he buys.

Alcibiades said:   drodge said:   No other propane company would fill it, not one. I even told them to come and dig up the tank at their expense. I figured it was worth buying my own tank to save that much on propane over the life of the tank. I tried calling their bluff, even going so far as consulting a lawyer
convert to a natural gas grill ?


NG isn't available, I wish that were the case. Propane runs the downstairs furnace, cooktop, fireplace and hot water heater, so I have to have propane.



Did they ever sneak onto your property while you were away and rip it out? Sounds like you may have welcomed that at some point, but no - you experienced respect for your personal property, for better or for worse.

I wasn't commenting on the trespass issue, which I agree with. My point was with the internet lawyers who all stated the OP clearly owned the bait boxes and gave justifications on why that was legally sound. I was simply pointing out a similar situation where a device was clearly buried on my property, wasn't mentioned anywhere in the purchase docs, could reasonable be assumed to be a "fixture", and still was 100% legally not mine - despite all the "legal advice" given here. Believe me, I wanted to make a point of it and went down every avenue to try to prove I could do what I wanted with "my" tank. Unfortunately, real lawyers showed me I was mistaken.


NEDeals said:   
Why couldn't you have just bought your own tank and told the old company to pound sand. If they want to take the tank, let them take the tank. If they want to leave it abandoned, let them leave it abandoned next to your shiny new tank. I'd switch to oil heat before I let some tin can monopoly dictate who I can buy energy from. Mr. Propane Company, it would be a real shame if anything happened to that there buried propane tank underneath the sand you pounding.......


That was my only option. In my case, I didn't really have room to conveniently bury another 1000 gallon tank next to the old one. For now I'm using the existing one, but at some point I'll bit the bullet and instal a new tank. At that point I'll give them a reasonable amount of time to pick up their tank before I scrap it for the steel.


taxmantoo said:   
Propane tanks are nearly always leased, and the lease contracts don't allow you to put anything in it, only to take it out.
If you own the tank, you can get it filled by anybody and usually for a discount around 20 cents per gallon because they aren't absorbing the cost of the tank.
OTOH, I've never heard of a buried propane tank. Bet the EPA wouldn't let you do that today.

Fuel oil tanks used to get buried a lot, and I've never heard of an oil tank, buried or not, that wasn't individually owned.


Here in VA it's extremely common to bury them, and there is definitely no EPA issue with burying propane tanks. Any new development that doesn't have NG will almost certainly have one on each lot for larger homes. I've learned the hard way the builders usually get the propane company to install them for free during construction. The builder gets a free tank and hookup, and the propane company gets a customer for life in most cases. It's definitely not a lease. The company maintains ownership of the tank and no other company will touch it. The homeowner's only options are to dig it up and replace it or else just abandon it. The law is on their side, so there is nothing the homeowner can do. Again, I'm not in any way defending trespass or property damage, just disputing "ownership".

CowbellMaster said:   woolooloo said:   Likely the company did not know that there was a new owner and just thought they were collecting their equipment after the service contract was terminated. They generally don't call to schedule the quarterly (or whatever) monitoring, so they probably just treated it like that and didn't consider it trespassing. Shady company or not, I doubt they were intentionally trying to screw over OP - they probably just thought it was their customer still living there but not wanting to renew. As for the messy way they did it, yeah, I'd be mad too, my company comes and displaces all the pine straw around my stations every time they check, leaves a mess, I grumble every time and keep meaning to say something to them... some day I'll get around to it.

Company knew as company was sending invoices to a new/different name. OP's name, a name they know they don't have any relationship with because OP disregarded invoices sent to him. OP was well within his rights to disregard it as he has no obligation to respond to anything he's sent.

Company skirted the law, they knew it, and they are banking on OP rolling over.


I don't think it was ever stated that the invoices were coming to the OP's name. I doubt the previous owner notified them that they were selling and gave them OPs information. OP - are the notices in your name?

1) I fail to see the big deal here. Stomp the divets back into your backyard and be done with it. You said you didn't want this system anyway, didn't think it was effective? Well now its gone.

2) The previous owner can't convey to you what he doesn't own. The termite company has no way of knowing ownership has changed unless you or the previous owner told them.

3) A bit of thorough due diligence would have prevented the situation. Surely you walked the backyard, noticed these things? I've never heard of them (I live in a brick house) so I certainly would have at least asked my broker to ask the sellers. If you are in a termite zone or had some document about a termite inspection at closing, all the more reason ask.

drodge said:   The builder gets a free tank and hookup, and the propane company gets a customer for life in most cases. It's definitely not a lease. The company maintains ownership of the tank and no other company will touch it. The homeowner's only options are to dig it up and replace it or else just abandon it. The law is on their side, so there is nothing the homeowner can do. Again, I'm not in any way defending trespass or property damage, just disputing "ownership".

Sounds like a normal lease agreement here in Michigan, except they're normally above ground here, and some customers will change providers at the drop of a hat. In my case, they bill me $30 for a 500 gallon tank at the end of June if I didn't buy 500 gallons in the previous 12 months, so it's free to people who aren't as frugal as me. Considering that they paid a couple thousand for that tank, $30 a year is cheap.

A house about a mile from me has a 500 gallon tank sitting out by the road with a pile of concrete support blocks sitting next to it, been that way since I first noticed it in January 2012. What normally happens is the new provider unhooks the old tank, sets it out by the road for easy retrieval, puts their tank where the old one was and hooks up to the existing propane line. Then whenever the old provider feels like it, they fetch their tank. If it sat there very long, I'd send notice of abandonment to the propane company via certified mail, and then take whatever steps state law required to take ownership of the abandoned stuff on my property.

If I wanted a new, cheaper provider and had a buried tank that wasn't mine, I'd wait until the tank was low on propane and then give them 30 day notice to remove, or whatever your state law requires. If you're lucky, that $4000 tank can be yours, and you can buy your propane from whoever is cheapest that week. If they actually reclaim their tank, maybe you can get another one dropped in the hole as the old one comes out.

This thread is much too long to read through all of it, so forgive me if this was already suggested. Contact your state's Attorney General's office/Consumer Protection and let them help you.

POST PICTURES!

I don't care if I'm looking at a hole in the dirt I want to see!

Agreed. Without pictures it didn't happen.

To the haters on the thread, Im not out to win some large monetary settlement, just to make things right. In my mind, what was done was near criminal and definitely poor business practice. I never said I didnt want the sentricon system, I just questioned its effect. There was some value in the system and now that value is zero (actually negative since I have to work to correct problems created by removal).

Im reading though RE contract again now: (PS I do have title insurance with language that could possibly apply to this situation (Rights and claims to parties..Liens, encumbrances, or claims thereof...)

Regarding the Mortgage requirements, there is NOTHING in the contract that requires termite protection or other pest control, only hazard insurance.

Before the loan and HUD were signed, Buyer & seller completed a Purchase and sale agreement. In this agreement, which is not part of the HUD or closing documents, there is a section that reads as follows:

Other Provisions:
A. Warranties Transfer: Seller agrees to transfer to buyer, at closing, subject to buyers acceptance thereof (and at buyers expense, if there is a cost associated with said transfer), Seller's interest in any existing manufacturers warranties, service contracts, TERMITE TREATMENT AND/OR REPAIR GUARANTEE and/or other similar warranties which, by their terms, may be transferrable to buyer.

That being said, there was No Arrow Exterminators contract presented or ever mentioned - EVER. I never signed ANYTHING with the name "Arrow Exterminators" on it. As I stated earlier, I didnt even know about the termite stations until I received the first letter/invoice from Arrow. The first letters/statements WERE NOT addressed to me. After calling them, the last two invoices WERE addressed to me, since they had my name and information (They knew I was the NEW owner of the house).

I looked everywhere for such a contract and cannot find the original signed by the previous owner.

timx said:   Real attorney (not from your state, you mileage probably varies) checking in here.. some good points are raised, is this a trespass? a theft? what to do? Here is my advice (from a guy that makes a decent hourly rate to give advice) 1) When you get an unwarranted invoice, respond. 2) Buy some top soil 3) Get some sleep.

Your post would have been about 10x more valuable if you actually stated why you don't believe OP has a case. Just saying "get over it" is the kind of advice that any person without a law degree can give just as well as you did.

deucebigalow said:   cr3s said:   I don't understand why people think it's right for anyone to trespass w/o permission regardless of the level of damage. I guess the people that advised to buy some topsoil to cover the holes are the same types of people that think the NSA snooping on your e-mail and cellphones w/o warrants are doing the right thing...

The meter man trespasses into my yard every month to check the meter without permission... Maybe I should go sue him for that.


Please educate yourself on what a UTILITY easement is.

stardent said:   Cars are repoed all the time from driveways which would be technically trespassing. The fact that it continues to happens means that technicality amounts to diddly squat.

They get a COURT ORDER!

DjScibbity said:   The first letters/statements WERE NOT addressed to me. After calling them, the last two invoices WERE addressed to me, since they had my name and information (They knew I was the NEW owner of the house).

Wait, you opened official US mail that was not addressed to you?

I have an Arrow contract and the Sentricon system units around my house. They are small plastic cylinders, 3 inch diameter or so. If one is pulled up, it doesn't make a huge hole/mess/damage. It is certain Arrow has the right to retrieve their devices and made attempts to contact you regarding their devices.

If you are living in GA and you don't have a termite contract on your house, you are asking for trouble even if you try to manage it yourself. I got my contract from the previous owner and am covered for Formosa termites. I may not have been able to get that coverage at the continuing rate, if at all. $350 or so a year is very normal for pest control service and it is essential in this part of the country. You are covering yourself for pest control and for damages if there are any from covered pests.

If you try to get a contract now that it has lapsed, you will have to pay for the time that you were not covered in order to get coverage now. I'd call Arrow and have the Sentricon units put back asap, in the same holes.

Looking4morecents said:   Buy some topsoil and fill in the holes.

Shitty advice. You are suggesting he bend over both literally and figuratively.

Trespassing means you call police. Sue 'me for the rest.

Ninasgramma, my area is at risk of termites as well, but don't the termite companies try to weasel out of coverage if you get an infestation anyway? I have a Terminix contract on my desk and it seems they have a millions ways to get out of claims.

woolooloo said:   DjScibbity said:   The first letters/statements WERE NOT addressed to me. After calling them, the last two invoices WERE addressed to me, since they had my name and information (They knew I was the NEW owner of the house).

Wait, you opened official US mail that was not addressed to you?


Who cares? It isn't illegal to open mail that is delivered to your mailbox, regardless of who it is addressed to or even what the address on the envelope is. If the postman accidentally delivers your mail to my house, there are no laws preventing me from opening it.

Connman said:   I'd be careful to claim that you 'own' the equipment that they took, until you figure out if it was provided as part of the service/contract from Arrow.

Also, you had the opportunity to work with Arrow when they attempted to continue the service contract with you. I'm guessing that somewhere in those documents was information explaining that if you didn't renew the contract, they they would come back to collect 'their' equipment.

A simple call is all it would have taken to avoid this. Instead, you decided to continue to use what is likely 'their' equipment. They might even have the right to come after you for your continued use of 'their' equipment without compensating them.

I look at this like a cable box on my property. If I don't want to pay for it, that's one thing, but I don't have the right to mess with the equipment, or use it without compensating the owners.


First paragraph is correct and worth considering.

Second paragraph is incorrect.

Suppose some company writes you a letter saying that they are suggesting that you pay them $X to manage your money in the bank. And then, in small print, this "invoice" adds, "If you don't choose to work with us, we will take your money".

Kanosh said:   1) I fail to see the big deal here. Stomp the divets back into your backyard and be done with it. You said you didn't want this system anyway, didn't think it was effective? Well now its gone.

2) The previous owner can't convey to you what he doesn't own. The termite company has no way of knowing ownership has changed unless you or the previous owner told them.

3) A bit of thorough due diligence would have prevented the situation. Surely you walked the backyard, noticed these things? I've never heard of them (I live in a brick house) so I certainly would have at least asked my broker to ask the sellers. If you are in a termite zone or had some document about a termite inspection at closing, all the more reason ask.


While technically correct, trespassing is illegal. He could have gold buried in his backyard, and the gold could be missing now.

DjScibbity said:   To the haters on the thread, Im not out to win some large monetary settlement, just to make things right. In my mind, what was done was near criminal and definitely poor business practice. I never said I didnt want the sentricon system, I just questioned its effect. There was some value in the system and now that value is zero (actually negative since I have to work to correct problems created by removal).
Make up your mind. Either you want the system and it works, or you don't want it. If you want termite traps, you'll need to pay for them, or pay for Sentricon's service.

DjScibbity said:   Im reading though RE contract again now: (PS I do have title insurance with language that could possibly apply to this situation (Rights and claims to parties..Liens, encumbrances, or claims thereof...)

Regarding the Mortgage requirements, there is NOTHING in the contract that requires termite protection or other pest control, only hazard insurance.

You are way over-complicating this. Termite contracts seldom involve recorded deeds or mortgage amendments. It's a simple contract. They own the traps.

DjScibbity said:   
Before the loan and HUD were signed, Buyer & seller completed a Purchase and sale agreement. In this agreement, which is not part of the HUD or closing documents, there is a section that reads as follows:
Other Provisions:
A. Warranties Transfer: Seller agrees to transfer to buyer, at closing, subject to buyers acceptance thereof (and at buyers expense, if there is a cost associated with said transfer), Seller's interest in any existing manufacturers warranties, service contracts, TERMITE TREATMENT AND/OR REPAIR GUARANTEE and/or other similar warranties which, by their terms, may be transferrable to buyer.

OK, that was in your sales documentation. You could have simply asked the sellers at closing, "is there a termite contract in place?" or "What termite company do you use?" and gotten your answer.

DjScibbity said:   That being said, there was No Arrow Exterminators contract presented or ever mentioned - EVER. I never signed ANYTHING with the name "Arrow Exterminators" on it. As I stated earlier, I didnt even know about the termite stations until I received the first letter/invoice from Arrow. The first letters/statements WERE NOT addressed to me. After calling them, the last two invoices WERE addressed to me, since they had my name and information (They knew I was the NEW owner of the house).

I looked everywhere for such a contract and cannot find the original signed by the previous owner.

OK - you called them, told them you didn't want their service, they came and removed their traps. Problem solved. As for the missing contract, a lot of people aren't that diligent about keeping documentation for what is probably an under-$300 annual contract. Even if they did, it tends to get lost in the shuffle when people are moving out.

This WOULD HAVE been a good time to make a good deal with the termite company. I'm sure they would have liked to keep your business and you probably could have negotiated a good deal.

tolamapS said:   Kanosh said:   1) I fail to see the big deal here. Stomp the divets back into your backyard and be done with it. You said you didn't want this system anyway, didn't think it was effective? Well now its gone.

2) The previous owner can't convey to you what he doesn't own. The termite company has no way of knowing ownership has changed unless you or the previous owner told them.

3) A bit of thorough due diligence would have prevented the situation. Surely you walked the backyard, noticed these things? I've never heard of them (I live in a brick house) so I certainly would have at least asked my broker to ask the sellers. If you are in a termite zone or had some document about a termite inspection at closing, all the more reason ask.


While technically correct, trespassing is illegal. He could have gold buried in his backyard, and the gold could be missing now.

If you operate a gold mine, and someone sneaks in a starts digging, that's trespassing. But we aren't talking about a gold mine here. It's a single family house. Sentricon came, removed its property, and left. That's not trespassing, at least, at least, it is not anything of interest to local cops.

If OP really wanted to prevent this, he could put up a high fence around the whole property (assuming local building codes allow). That would have prevented anyone from going in. He'd still have to return Sentricon's property to it -- in fact, he would have to dig out the traps himself.

This whole thread seems to be about making a mountain out of a termite mound, so to speak. There's more important things to focus on -- like, for instance, what is OP going to do now to prevent termite infestation?

OP living in GA, I would consider buying your own termite traps. I've seen them for sale at big box stores. The key is to monitor them on a monthly or at least quarterly basis. Something Arrow was not doing.

The traps just have blocks of wood, poison is not installed until there is termite activity. As to warranties . . . all of them are difficult to collect on. Seems the new money machine for companies, is to sell warranties and good luck on collecting.

Im very familiar on the termite bait stations now (Sentricon, Advance, etc) as well as termite prevention from chemicals (Termidor, etc). Im also famiiliar with how to apply/install all of these and need to make a decision on how to proceed soon. To those (NinasGramma) that have a Sentricon contract, Id advise you to read the terms and consider what you are getting for your money. Arrow is NOT following recommended practices advised by Sentricon. They are only coming out ONCE per year to monitor and re-bait. This is NOT adequate. Theyre wasting your money and if/when you do have termite damage, they will definitely find a way out of the warranty damage coverage - just research it..there are plenty of cases/claims/complaints documenting this.

Ninasgramma, have you removed such devices in your yard to see the size of the hole that is left? Have you read about how to install the sentricon system? No, I didnt think so. The directions call for at least a 6" diameter hole to be dug ~12" deep. This is to allow water to drain out of the bait stations and not to have dirt accumulate and fill the station. If you remove your stations, I can guarantee you that the hole will be bigger and deeper than you think. Do not make comments that are not fact based.

Woolooloo, you have contributed NOTHING with your claim. I never opened ANY mail that was not addressed to me. When things are addressed to "Current Home Owner" I think I am in the clear to open this. It wasnt addressed directly to MY name, but clearly I AM the homeowner and can open the mail - Jeesh...

Red, you have to be careful with some of the bait stations sold at big box stores. Some are actually pesticide that will kill the termites eating the wood and do nothing to the colony. This is ineffective because you want the termites eating the bait to bring it back to the colony in order to wipe it out. Sentricon and Advance both do this (if directions are followed and stations are monitored regularly).
There are online stores that sell quality stations (Advance seeming to be the most popular) that receive good reviews and work similar to Sentricon.

drodge said:   Not sure if it helps or not, but all the talk about being buried and therefore an improvement or a fixture was irrelevant to me in VA. Not exactly the same scenario, but similar. I purchased a home here with an underground propane tank. There was no mention anywhere in any of my paperwork about it. All of the homes in my neighborhood have them also. None of the other second-hand buyers got prior notice either that I know of. The tank was installed by the propane company when the house was built and the contract was with the original owner (with a kickback to the builder I'm sure). I was harassed endlessly by the propane company after I purchased the home. They informed me it was illegal to refill the tank through anyone but them (and their rate was about 25-30% higher than other companies in the area). I couldn't believe that was true, so I called around. No other propane company would fill it, not one. I even told them to come and dig up the tank at their expense. I figured it was worth buying my own tank to save that much on propane over the life of the tank. I tried calling their bluff, even going so far as consulting a lawyer. The lawyer cited many cases that went in favor of the propane company. Here at least, you are pretty much screwed. And, yes, I'm still paying for premium propane.

Could you start sending them an invoice for "rent" of your property? Just curious? Notify them that they have X days to remove, etc?

Red55 said:   OP living in GA, I would consider buying your own termite traps. I've seen them for sale at big box stores. The key is to monitor them on a monthly or at least quarterly basis. Something Arrow was not doing.

The traps just have blocks of wood, poison is not installed until there is termite activity. As to warranties . . . all of them are difficult to collect on. Seems the new money machine for companies, is to sell warranties and good luck on collecting.

Why not put real bait in from the beginning. Most people want the termites gone yesterday. Is there a big price difference between wood & bait?
FWIW the research I did a few years ago said that police, fire and termites were best left to professionals.

Kanosh said:   
OK - you called them, told them you didn't want their service, they came and removed their traps. Problem solved. As for the missing contract, a lot of people aren't that diligent about keeping documentation for what is probably an under-$300 annual contract. Even if they did, it tends to get lost in the shuffle when people are moving out.
This WOULD HAVE been a good time to make a good deal with the termite company. I'm sure they would have liked to keep your business and you probably could have negotiated a good deal.


The thing is, I don't think the OP explicitly told them on the phone he doesn't want their service. If he did, why would they continuously send him an invoice (with his name now; not old owner) afterwards? Just to waste some postage? Nah. And if he did told them to pound sand on the phone, the old service agreement is terminated. So they would of probably of told him they'll be taking out the stations.

What I think happened on the phone was the OP was unsure about the stations and didnt give the company a yay or a nay. BUT the company kept the account active but under his name now. In essence, it went from old owner to new from just a phone call. Time passes, OP found the company a rip off but didnt call company to cancel thinking nothing of it. The company didn't hear back at allotted time, so they *assume* he's still interested and they send out the invoices under his name. OP further ignores it; company received no payment all this time. Gets a guy to yank out stations.

yep, that pretty much sums it up bravebiffy. I never said I didnt want their services over the phone. I actually admittedly kind of forgot about the invoice the first time. After the last one, I began researching whether I wanted to use Aero or not and found a lot of negative info about them and had decided I probably wouldnt use them, but I may bait the stations myself. Literally a few days later and the stations were removed.

OP, if you haven't already filled in these holes you may want to do so ASAP. Now that you're aware of these holes, if someone trips on one of them you may be help liable. It could be considered negligent to leave these holes all over your yard, even if you didn't create them yourself. Just some advice while you sort this out with the company.

bravebiffy said:   Kanosh said:   
OK - you called them, told them you didn't want their service, they came and removed their traps. Problem solved. As for the missing contract, a lot of people aren't that diligent about keeping documentation for what is probably an under-$300 annual contract. Even if they did, it tends to get lost in the shuffle when people are moving out.
This WOULD HAVE been a good time to make a good deal with the termite company. I'm sure they would have liked to keep your business and you probably could have negotiated a good deal.


The thing is, I don't think the OP explicitly told them on the phone he doesn't want their service. If he did, why would they continuously send him an invoice (with his name now; not old owner) afterwards? Just to waste some postage? Nah. And if he did told them to pound sand on the phone, the old service agreement is terminated. So they would of probably of told him they'll be taking out the stations.

What I think happened on the phone was the OP was unsure about the stations and didnt give the company a yay or a nay. BUT the company kept the account active but under his name now. In essence, it went from old owner to new from just a phone call. Time passes, OP found the company a rip off but didnt call company to cancel thinking nothing of it. The company didn't hear back at allotted time, so they *assume* he's still interested and they send out the invoices under his name. OP further ignores it; company received no payment all this time. Gets a guy to yank out stations.



Do you actually READ the crap you post before you post it???????????

If you do, please quit embarrassing yourself with the unbelievably off the wall legal opinions about how contracts can be made and transferred legally. As it stands now, I am betting you are just another 12 year old on mommy's puter who sneaks in while parents are busy and posts made up crap on FWF.

FWF has so much drama..

BradisBrad said:   FWF has so much drama..

Like sands through the Microsoft hourglass icon, so are the days of our lives. ...

Kanosh said:   
If you operate a gold mine, and someone sneaks in a starts digging, that's trespassing. But we aren't talking about a gold mine here. It's a single family house. 


 

  
OH REARY?

Arrow Exterminators would welcome the opportunity to speak with you personally regarding your message, please send an email with your contact information to [e]info@arrowexterminators.com[/e] and someone will be in touch with you immediately.

gjohnstonbot said:   Arrow Exterminators would welcome the opportunity to speak with you personally regarding your message, please send an email with your contact information to mailto:info@arrowexterminators.com and someone will be in touch with you immediately.
  
I dunno if you work for Arrow or not, but I randomly sent an email to that email address 6 days ago (the day before this thread) and have not received a response yet.

tbuccelli said:   
drodge said:   Not sure if it helps or not, but all the talk about being buried and therefore an improvement or a fixture was irrelevant to me in VA. Not exactly the same scenario, but similar. I purchased a home here with an underground propane tank. There was no mention anywhere in any of my paperwork about it. All of the homes in my neighborhood have them also. None of the other second-hand buyers got prior notice either that I know of. The tank was installed by the propane company when the house was built and the contract was with the original owner (with a kickback to the builder I'm sure). I was harassed endlessly by the propane company after I purchased the home. They informed me it was illegal to refill the tank through anyone but them (and their rate was about 25-30% higher than other companies in the area). I couldn't believe that was true, so I called around. No other propane company would fill it, not one. I even told them to come and dig up the tank at their expense. I figured it was worth buying my own tank to save that much on propane over the life of the tank. I tried calling their bluff, even going so far as consulting a lawyer. The lawyer cited many cases that went in favor of the propane company. Here at least, you are pretty much screwed. And, yes, I'm still paying for premium propane.

Could you start sending them an invoice for "rent" of your property? Just curious? Notify them that they have X days to remove, etc?
 

  I'm telling you guys, I went to two different lawyers after researching it myself and not believeing what I found.  Both told me to pound sand it's been tried again and again in court and it's a dead looser.   No one will fill it other than the company who owns it, and if they won't come get it you're screwed.  I guess I could dig it up and dipose of it, replacing it with my own.  That's about the only choice.  The tank is clearly marked by cutting the owner's name into the metal near the filler so it's not like you could even resell it.  I tried forcing them to come get it, and they laughed.  I'm not about to pay thousands to a lawyer to take a case to court  where there is already contrary case law and the judge is going to throw it out immediately. 

drodge said:   
tbuccelli said:   
drodge said:   Not sure if it helps or not, but all the talk about being buried and therefore an improvement or a fixture was irrelevant to me in VA. Not exactly the same scenario, but similar. I purchased a home here with an underground propane tank. There was no mention anywhere in any of my paperwork about it. All of the homes in my neighborhood have them also. None of the other second-hand buyers got prior notice either that I know of. The tank was installed by the propane company when the house was built and the contract was with the original owner (with a kickback to the builder I'm sure). I was harassed endlessly by the propane company after I purchased the home. They informed me it was illegal to refill the tank through anyone but them (and their rate was about 25-30% higher than other companies in the area). I couldn't believe that was true, so I called around. No other propane company would fill it, not one. I even told them to come and dig up the tank at their expense. I figured it was worth buying my own tank to save that much on propane over the life of the tank. I tried calling their bluff, even going so far as consulting a lawyer. The lawyer cited many cases that went in favor of the propane company. Here at least, you are pretty much screwed. And, yes, I'm still paying for premium propane.

Could you start sending them an invoice for "rent" of your property? Just curious? Notify them that they have X days to remove, etc?

 

  I'm telling you guys, I went to two different lawyers after researching it myself and not believeing what I found.  Both told me to pound sand it's been tried again and again in court and it's a dead looser.   No one will fill it other than the company who owns it, and if they won't come get it you're screwed.  I guess I could dig it up and dipose of it, replacing it with my own.  That's about the only choice.  The tank is clearly marked by cutting the owner's name into the metal near the filler so it's not like you could even resell it.  I tried forcing them to come get it, and they laughed.  I'm not about to pay thousands to a lawyer to take a case to court  where there is already contrary case law and the judge is going to throw it out immediately. 

  

Sounds like your next step is to file a complaint with the state AG's office.  If they will not come and get it, be sure you fill with water before using a cutting torch on it to cut it up and sell for scrap.  There is no way there is a law that says that you have to provide a "home" for the abandoned property of a company, not even in VA. 
 

It is true that only the owner of a tank can fill it (in Virginia and most places), but I would just want to stop using the de facto monopoly tank if the company will not remove their property from your property.

A 20 lb propane tank for a grill is only good for 12 years in some states (e.g. NJ, MA). After that it must be disposed of or re-certified, which can only be done a limited number of times. How long is a buried propane tank supposed to last? Who is liable for damage from a tank owned by Propane Co on your property?

You might be interested in this article       from Richmond, Virginia. I would be pestering the attorney general's office, the consumer protection office (if there is even any consumer protection in VA), the public utility commission, my state rep (sorry, delegate), senator, and so on.  And I would be especially communicative to State Senator John Watkins (R-Midlothian) who claims propane does not need regulation like other utilities need in Virginia.  I'm curious as to who might be funding Mr Watkins's campaigns...

Also see a statement     by the Virginia attorney general.  It is disengenious to claim that propane is not a monopoly for some when some Virginia propane consumers are being forced to use one provider and cannot switch without exceptional action.  In other states, it is easier to change natural gas providers.

You might shop around and ask if any other providers would be willing to excavate the tank to earn your business....

ps. I wonder what happen (hypothetically) to a propane tank that is emptied of fuel and filled with water and some pool chemicals? 

drodge said:   
  No one will fill it other than the company who owns it, and if they won't come get it you're screwed.  

I'm still not understanding - neither of those things even imply that you are required to use that company's tank with that company's propane. Just get your own tank (or have another supplier bring you one), and let the current one just sit there unused.
  



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