Sorry to hear about your problem. I was very disturbed to see that a Realtor from Florida suggested that your home inspector should/could have caught this problem. There is no way for the inspector to test the meter on an oil tank. It is not something that is covered in a home inspection (by any of the applicable inspections standards, in any state). To suggest that it was the inspector's error is just plain unprofessional and shows a lack of knowledge with respect to what really occurs during an inspection. Or maybe they just don't have oil tanks in Florida. First, I would check with the company that has been filling the tank (they probably own the tank too) to see if they have a record of the faulty meter. They may since it should have been noticed by the person filling/servicing the tank. If aware, the previous owner should have disclosed this during predisclosure, given it impacted the closing costs. Since the tank is outside, the owner may not have even been aware of the problem. Assuming you can prove it was defective at the time of the sale, I'd call the past owner and ask them to send you a check to avoid you having to "seek legal alternatives". . Also, Mr. Kirby's advice (below) is very sound. You might try contacting the company that has been filling/servicing the tank and see if they will help out.