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Good luck selling this one!

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I had an unusual cancellation today (for tomorrow). During the phone call booking the inspection for this vacated 1955 SFR the client mentioned that there was something in the disclosure about an oil leak from the now decommissioned underground tank. She was naturally worried about contaminated soil. I basically told her that soil testing was beyond my ability. I then suggested that her best first step would be to try to obtain the documentation from the, hopefully, licensed company that decommissioned the tank and see what that said about steps taken to remedy the situation. I also sent her a link to more info.

Anyway, she managed to get hold of the documents today. It was a licensed company. The problem is the report stated that, while they removed 52 tons of contaminated soil from the site, more still needed to be dug out. The homeowner, for some unknown reason, stopped the work before completion. The yard was subsequently restored over, presumably, still contaminated soil.

I actually feel for the homeowners...maybe. They did report it in the disclosure and who knows what actually went on when the decommissioning company was tearing their property apart. It’s possible that they thought they were being taken for a ride. Maybe what was left is not a big deal but, without a subsequent soil test report, who knows? With this damning report sitting out there, one that presumably their agent will also have to now disclose up front, it’s going to be a tough sale. I know I would probably just move on…as did my client. With plenty of uncontaminated inventory to choose from, even with new soil testing, why take a gamble?

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Mike, I didn't see the report, only got the gist of it from the client in the cancellation e-mail.

Randy, again don't know but I would guess it wasn't registered and/or the work exceeded the limit. Or, there's the thing about only active tanks being covered, so, even if it was registered at one time, the insurance wouldn't cover spills from an older abandoned tank discovered some time after conversion to gas. Any idea how much dirt can you get removed for 60k? BTW...the link I originally sent her was to info at the PLIA.

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or more directly to info on the insurance itself...


It's a good program but, as it's funded by the heating oil suppliers, it does only apply to homes with active oil heat. Even then it doesn't transfer automatically with a purchase. The new owners need to re-register.

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