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  • FIRST POST
    • Tenapenny
    • By Tenapenny 4th Mar 17, 1:29 PM
    • 3Posts
    • 8Thanks
    Tenapenny
    Buyers trying to claim for new oil tank.
    • #1
    • 4th Mar 17, 1:29 PM
    Buyers trying to claim for new oil tank. 4th Mar 17 at 1:29 PM
    Hi everyone. I'm new to the forum's so apologies if I'm in the wrong place.
    My mum sold her house last month. Today she called me in tears. She has had a letter from her solicitor demanding payment of £2000 for a new oil tank. The people who brought her house have apparently gone to order oil and at the time of delivery the driver refused saying the inner skin if the oil tank had blown and that my mum would have been aware of it at the time if sale.

    We can't remember exactly how old the tank is but is definitely under 10 years old as mum had it replaced as the old one wasn't double skinned. She has had no problems with the heating and the boiler has been serviced every year. In fact the buyers demanded it was serviced prior to them purchasing. She had oil delivered last year with no problems. There was half a tank of oil left when she moved out.

    As you cannot see in the tank I have no idea why the driver apparently would say this.

    Also the letter hasn't given any evidence in writing only the buyers word.

    Mum is elderly and very upset as the letter mentions taking her to court if she doesn't pay. She left the paperwork for the oil tank with the new owners, so we can't say exactly when the tank was put it.

    Incidentally in mums new house the boiler was broken and she had pay for a new one.Her solicitor which is the same as her buyers but a different branch told her she had no hope of getting her money back. Yet they are writing demanding payment of my mum.

    Any advice would be much appreciated as mum is in bits and the solicitors isn't open till Monday.
Page 2
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 4th Mar 17, 6:33 PM
    • 9,492 Posts
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    lincroft1710
    Your mum's solicitor should write back to purchaser's solicitors as follows :

    "We refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v Pressdram"
    • catshark88
    • By catshark88 4th Mar 17, 7:30 PM
    • 869 Posts
    • 4,838 Thanks
    catshark88
    We had this with our house (bought years ago). We probably used a new oil supplier and they were more cautious than the previous one. We sucked it up to experience (though I may have sworn a bit). Great that your Mum has got you to help her with this.
    "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." William Morris
    • Hoploz
    • By Hoploz 4th Mar 17, 8:01 PM
    • 3,529 Posts
    • 3,119 Thanks
    Hoploz
    I don't see how they think she could possibly be expected to know about this.

    By the sounds of it, when it's filled the driver decides if it's good it gets filled, if it isn't good it doesn't. So as there was half a tank left, last time it was filled it must have been ok.

    If they'd arrived to an empty tank then this might be a clue that there had been a problem when she'd try to fill it, but she hadn't!

    I'm sure this will work out ok. Especially as the buyer had a survey and could quite easily have asked them to specifically observe the tank condition. Solicitor is obliged to pass this info on, but it doesn't mean the solicitor thinks they have any chance of achieving the windfall!
    • 3mph
    • By 3mph 4th Mar 17, 8:46 PM
    • 160 Posts
    • 180 Thanks
    3mph
    Firstly your Mum needs to send to the solicitor a copy of her fee scale for dealing with queries and advice.
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 5th Mar 17, 8:05 AM
    • 2,311 Posts
    • 2,578 Thanks
    glasgowdan
    Can't you just reply with a copy of the receipt for the last oil fill, copy of the paperwork for the last service, and simply state that you will not be replacing it?
    • Mickygg
    • By Mickygg 5th Mar 17, 8:33 AM
    • 1,291 Posts
    • 1,009 Thanks
    Mickygg
    I can't see that OP has answered if it's Scotland or England.

    If it's england its buyer beware. With my last property sale the buyers were hung up on the boiler telling me to get it serviced. With advice fom my solicitor she told me its buyer beware and they need to get it checked and pay for it. They didn't and the sale went through.

    I can't see how an oil tank would be any different. I wouldn't even respond. They should go back to their surveyors, I mean how many of us are experts in oil tank conditions?

    Sounds like they are trying your mum to see if she will bite.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 5th Mar 17, 8:35 AM
    • 22,926 Posts
    • 88,085 Thanks
    Davesnave
    Can't you just reply with a copy of the receipt for the last oil fill, copy of the paperwork for the last service, and simply state that you will not be replacing it?
    Originally posted by glasgowdan
    Presumably, the new owners already have the latter, and the date of the last oil fill, whilst possibly helpful, wouldn't prove anything in itself.

    I would stay one step removed. The new owners already have enough info and are just trying it on. If they have any claim at all it would be against the manufacturer, but I wouldn't help them with that in the OP's position.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • G_M
    • By G_M 5th Mar 17, 11:40 AM
    • 40,617 Posts
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    G_M
    ......With my last property sale the buyers were hung up on the boiler telling me to get it serviced. ......
    Originally posted by Mickygg
    Was it one of those new Smart boilers?

    Can't you just reply with ......?
    I repeat my advice from earlier - far better not to engage at all.

    Note: she should not respond either to the buyers, or their soliciters, either by phone or in writing, until she has obtained all the information she can and has had advice. Until then, ignore.
    • Article50
    • By Article50 10th Mar 17, 10:47 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Article50
    I agree with G-M. I have not had oil for years so I am bemused as to how the delivery driver was able to check inside the tank, did he have a telescopic camera ? In the absence of any technical data I would agree that all correspondence be ignored. I cannot believe that any surveyor checking would not have special requirements on checking oil tanks. I think it is a big try on personally.
    Last edited by Article50; 10-03-2017 at 10:49 AM. Reason: duplicate words
    • sparky130a
    • By sparky130a 10th Mar 17, 11:05 AM
    • 638 Posts
    • 774 Thanks
    sparky130a
    Since when did a delivery driver ( And that's what they are ) become qualified as to assess the integrity of a bunded unit?

    That's right, they're not. Completely ignore.
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 10th Mar 17, 12:15 PM
    • 204 Posts
    • 266 Thanks
    ProDave
    Some interesting points raised. As an owner of a bunded tank I can answer some questions.

    Firstly the bund is there to catch an oil spill if the tank bursts. In our case it was a building regs requirement as we are close to a stream. The effect of having a bund is the tank is twice as big as the bund has to be capable of containing the whole contents of the tank.

    How would the owner know if it had burst? well firstly your oil level may have gone down very quickly or you might have run out of oil sooner than expected. Secondly, if like us you have a remote reading oil level gauge then that will have a flashing light that comes on if it detects oil in the bund.

    How would the delivery driver know? To fill the tank you unscrew a large lid on the outer tank. Then you look inside and you see the inner tank with another lid that he then removes to fill it. He could (and probably has in this case) checked the bund for oil with a dipstick.

    Cost of replacement? It's not just buy a new tank. you have an old failed tank, partly full of oil to be removed and disposed of first. That will be treated as contaminated waste so there is a cost to have the oil removed and then the failed tank transported and disposed of

    Lastly did she know? Well if it was okay at last service and okay at last fill, and she does not have a remote reading sensor with a big light flashing at her, then she could not reasonably have been expected to know that there was a problem because you would not normally expect the house owner to go dipping the bund just in case.

    One last thing to check is how much oil is in the bund? If only a little, then it could well just be a spillage from a previous careless driver who allowed some to overflow from the main tank into the bund. To determine that the tank has actually failed, then you need to confirm that the level of the oil in the tank is exactly the same as the level of oil in the bund.
    • Article50
    • By Article50 10th Mar 17, 2:35 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Article50
    Thanks for that great explanation, seems to me either the buyer and/or his surveyor could have picked up on the potential problem before purchase. I don't see how the vendor can be liable in this instance. Also scouting round there seem to be a lot of oil tank specialists who would check anyway.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 10th Mar 17, 2:36 PM
    • 9,492 Posts
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    lincroft1710
    Having known of bund walls for commercial oil tanks since the early 1970s, I was not aware that domestic installations had them. My parents had oil CH in the 1970s, the tank was mounted on 2 brick plinths but no bund wall.
    Last edited by lincroft1710; 10-03-2017 at 2:42 PM.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 10th Mar 17, 3:22 PM
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    G_M
    Building Regs have changed since the 70s. We (society) are far more conscious of environemental issues eg the impact of oil spills.

    Not all domestic tanks need bunds. It depends on size, location etc.

    Check the OFTEC website.
    • sparky130a
    • By sparky130a 10th Mar 17, 4:12 PM
    • 638 Posts
    • 774 Thanks
    sparky130a

    Firstly the bund is there to catch an oil spill if the tank bursts. In our case it was a building regs requirement as we are close to a stream. The effect of having a bund is the tank is twice as big as the bund has to be capable of containing the whole con
    Originally posted by ProDave
    Interesting, industry standard is 110%.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 10th Mar 17, 7:43 PM
    • 9,492 Posts
    • 7,494 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    Building Regs have changed since the 70s. ].
    Originally posted by G_M
    I'm fairly certain there were no BR or PP applied for
    • Mickygg
    • By Mickygg 10th Mar 17, 8:07 PM
    • 1,291 Posts
    • 1,009 Thanks
    Mickygg
    Was it one of those new Smart boilers?

    I repeat my advice from earlier - far better not to engage at all.
    Originally posted by G_M
    No, it was a 20 year old boiler.

    I've seen several boiler services and personally i think they are a waste of money. I can do a decent check myself.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 10th Mar 17, 8:51 PM
    • 22,926 Posts
    • 88,085 Thanks
    Davesnave
    No, it was a 20 year old boiler.

    I've seen several boiler services and personally i think they are a waste of money. I can do a decent check myself.
    Originally posted by Mickygg
    It may be a waste on a 20 year old boiler, but on a new one with a 7 year guarantee it's part of the conditions.

    Same for the tank, which is usually covered by a 10 year guarantee.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • G_M
    • By G_M 10th Mar 17, 9:26 PM
    • 40,617 Posts
    • 46,477 Thanks
    G_M
    Originally Posted by Mickygg
    ......With my last property sale the buyers were hung up on the boiler telling me to get it serviced. ......
    Originally Posted by G_M
    Was it one of those new Smart boilers?
    No, it was a 20 year old boiler.
    Originally posted by Mickygg
    Then I'm surprised the boiler was able to tell you to get it serviced.
    • Freecall
    • By Freecall 11th Mar 17, 10:15 AM
    • 1,047 Posts
    • 948 Thanks
    Freecall
    Since when did a delivery driver ( And that's what they are ) become qualified as to assess the integrity of a bunded unit?
    Originally posted by sparky130a
    1st March 2002

    The Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001

    A person who has 'custody' of the oil is responsible for ensuring that containers in which it is held comply with the regulations.

    This certainly applies to the oil supply companies just as much (if not more so) than end users.
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