liabilty, real estate law, layers, long island, buried oil tank, buried gas tank, insurance, law

What if my NEW home has an OLD buried oil tank?

buried oil gas tank, insurance claims, coverage, long island, lawyers, property, damage, NYC,

After a long and exhausting search you finally found the right home!

Its perfect for your family and a nice transition from the city life that has been wearing on your nerves.

You are about to go into contract on the home but because your smart as hell, and watch a ton of HGTV, you find out that the home may have had a buried oil tank.

This is not uncommon many properties on Long Island have buried oil tanks. Installation of underground metal oil tanks in Long Island construction was common up to several decades ago.  After years of being buried, metal oil tanks can deteriorate and develop leaks.  Leaking oil tanks are an environmental hazard.  (The newer buried oil tanks are made of fiberglass and less likely to deteriorate and leak.)

A very EXPENSIVE environmental hazard!

Partner, Matthew Greenblatt suggests a clause in the contract that the seller represents there is no tank buried there, if there was a tank, that it was properly remediated under the environmental laws of the county. 

  1. ASK the seller, broker or realtor for information regarding the home. Specifically, whether or not the home has had a buried oil tank.
  2. If YES but it has been removed;  confirm that it has been removed properly according to the codes of the county. and that soil has been checked for contamination. Ask for a certificate if available.
  3. If there is a tank or the seller cannot prove the tank was removed properly, the best thing to do is have representation put into the contract, stating, the seller represents that there is no oil tank or that if there was one it was removed properly under the environmental laws of the county.

If no agreement is made before the close then the liability is transferred to the new owner and environmental clean up can run costs of  15,000+

Here is great article from the NYT on the subject.

  • The Law Offices of Greenblatt Agulnick

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