First Weber Group
Certified Distressed Property Expert
Then that is a serious dilemma. The company would need to prove that it is their tank which was buried there (I was thinking underground enclosure for aesthetic purposes). And you need to find out if the previous owners bought the tank. And beyond finding that owner (which you should try to do), I have no clue as to how you may proceed. You may need to get an attorney involved. And quickly before the company puts a lien on the property.
You may also need to make a choice of paying for the tank (which from my experience can be from $500 (used) to $1500 (brand new)) or pay for the lawyer at a couple hundred per hour and you may still lose.
That's the only advise I can offer at this point yet I would at LEAST have a consult with a real estate attorney. Consults are usually free or offered at a minimal cost.
I hope that things will go well for you.
The tank is a 500 gal. tank buried in the ground and is not, IMO, considered readily removable. And around here, folks do either purchase their own tank or lease. Many have found that the inflated cost per gal. of propane delivered to a leased tank makes replacing it with an self-owned tank more economical. There was a two dollar a gallon price difference just this winter so four or five fill-ups pays for the cost of installing your own reasonably sized tank. Depending upon outside temps and the size of the house, folks may fill up their tanks twice or more just in one winter heating season.
It must have been the older agreement of sale. "Section 7 - fixtures, trees, shrubbery, etc". does, as you mention, state "remaining heating and cooking fuels, excluding propane, stored on the property at time of settlement." I take this to mean the fuel itself as companies may buy back unused propane and credit the seller.
In addtion to the standard wording of Section 7 there were addendums listed such as stove, microwave, exterior out building... concluding with the phrase "All items currently in/on property" are INCLUDED in the sale and purchase price. The following items to be EXCLUDED from the sale contains the word NONE.
There is no wording on page 3 such as you describe. No other addendum mentions the propane tank or propane service.
As this was a foreclosure, I am 99.9% sure that the lender had their own addendum to the Agreement of Sale and it would have mentioned something in there. As for the deed, yes. If it's permanently attached, then it's part of the property. However, propane tanks are readily removable and are almost always leased instead of owned.
If you are hunting for better prices, then shop around and go with a company which is cheaper. If the company is the same as the one who owns the tank, then just sign up with them. If it's a different company, have the company who owns the tank remove the tank (reimbursing you for the remaining fuel in the tank) and have the new company come out and put in their tank.
Many propane tanks are rented by the owner, not sold to the owner.
If this is indeed the case, the propane company would indeed still
own it. The seller could not have conveyed what he did not own
when you purchased the home.
If you are using propane currently, it is a simple matter to sign up with the propane company to continue
service in your name.
I hope that helps.
Assoc Broker Prudential Indiana Realty Group