Payment for central heating oil remaining on house purchase

A friend who just bought a house in Brittany has been told the she has to pay for the heating oil remaining in the tank of the house for which she has just exchanged contracts.

This matter is not included in the contract (as far as I know) but the Real Estate agent has said this is normal. It was not a feature of my house purchase and I was pleased to discover 600 litres of heating oil in my tank when I moved in.

Any thoughts on this?

There is a residual 500 litres of heating oil in our tank when the boiler goes out. The pump aparently can’t suck it up, so when the indicator (dip-stick) reads 20 cm of oil (that’s 500 litres) it’s basically as good as empty, and we have to order some more.

If I were you I’d check your tank isn’t like ours!

Does she want the oil… is it the “right” grade… as there are various grades and she might prefer a different grade… and what price is being asked… ???

It might, in fact, be an idea to have the Seller empty the tank and the Purchaser start afresh…(is it possible to see that the tank is clean inside…easily done with plastic tanks…).

On the other hand, a “clear” plastic tank, kept outside in the sunlight, will allow the fuel to degrade… unless the fuel is the “exterior” grade…

I would have thought that there are several questions to be asked… and it is not"set in stone" that the buyer pays for the existing fuel… :thinking::relaxed:

(A few years back, when a tenant left a council property… they asked the commune to buy the fuel remaining… the council refused (for whatever reasons)…and the tenant arranged to have the fuel collected by a friend (or whoever). No problem…)

I would be happier to see the tank empty, ask them to take it away, it could be water condensation not oil!

I have heard of this principle before.

If the oil is not wanted - it would be interesting to see what the outcome is if buyer does not actually want it - as I would expect the vendor to have to arrange for it to be removed.

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I suspect the agent wants a quiet life. The house is bought ‘as is’ on the day of the Acte de Vente so anything in there - unless agreed prior - belongs to the new owner. I don’t think this can be legally enforced - the vendor had every opportunity to empty it beforehand. In your friend’s shoes, I’d not pay … as others have said, you can’t guarantee the quality etc. Vendor’s problem, not your friend’s.


As I said Sandy, I would be happy for him to take his potential ‘rubbish’ with him/her :neutral_face:

…Alternatively (never bad to have different view) - if the tank has recently been topped up it may be handy to have some fuel as the heating will be needed soon as there will be enough to sort out in those first couple of weeks.

The delightful people we bought our house from (who are now good friends) left a couple of hundred litres of fuel deliberately, plus two chairs, a bed, a poker for the fire and some wood, lightbubs in all fittings (previous house purchases have been stripped), a toilet brush, some soap, a few rolls of toilet paper etc etc… all for no extra money.

They basically knew we would be arriving late, after a long journey, in winter and thought carefully about what would help us. Bless them, as they also knew our lorry would be turning up the next day so reappeared to help us unload. Now how lovely is that!

We offered to pay for the fuel, but since there was no way of accurately measuring how much there was they said not to bother.

Find out how accurately the amount left can be measured, and offer something way beneath market price.

Nice people Jane, in this case, if it were me, I would prefer they took the 'fuel? with them :slightly_smiling_face:

We paid for the fuel left in our tank, but were aware that was going to happen.
The fitted kitchen was also left and a wonderful seventies sideboard, with a set of beautiful glasses and a wardrobe in the same style as tge sideboard.
Now retro and probably worth a bit.

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We were asked to pay for carpets and curtains once for a house in the UK. We new that they were well used and poor quality so said no they could lift them all and take them. Of course they didnt because it wasn’t worth their while. I would call their bluff and see what happens. I don’t think I could be bothered to drain an oil tank.

Knew- autocorrect.