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  1. #1
    pcollins is offline Junior Member
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    Propane bill dispute

    What is the name of your state? Connecticut

    My now former landlord and I are ina dispute over three individual propane bills. The apartment had a holding capacity of 200 lbs. and was full and unpaid for when I moved in a year ago. I worked out arangments with the oil company as I couldn't pay the $900+ bill all at once. In December the oil company called my landlord and told him that the propane was dangerously low; it had about 110 lbs. still in it. Thinking that the pipes would freeze (keep in mind the very mild December we had in CT), my landlord had the tanks refilled and tried to enforce a payment in full on me. This caught me a bit off guard, but I was willing to work with him. Then the same thing happened in Jan.,Feb., and Mar. The bill is in my name, not his. Though it states in my lease that I need to keep up all utilities, is he within his rights to have the propane topped off every month when the bill is mine to handle? I was never even notified when deliveries were being made, how much was being left in the tanks, or even what kind of money this would costme. I willingly gave him my $950 security toward it. Should I have? By my calculations, 200 lbs. of propane would have been overkill for this entire past winter.

    Any advice would be extremely apprieciated!
    Thanks,
    Pete Collins
  2. #2
    Cvillecpm is offline Senior Member
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    Talking

    Pete - in your ORIGINAL discussion with the propane company you should have discussed the useage (200 lbs is a SMALL TANK) as you could literally burn through that amount in 2 weeks (as a reference I have a buried 1,000 lb tank for a whole house generator). You should have asked * and apparently your landlord has it scheduled * for an automatic fill meaning when the truck is in the area, they will fill the propane...this is the MOST economical way as it takes advantage of the LOWER, SUMMER propane rates.

    You owe the propane bill - either give the propane company a credit card and pay it OFF .

    Your landlord is involved because the tank is in his name AND the heat is a requirement of your lease....
  3. #3
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
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    You still have to pay for the propane used. A 200 tank has a fill limit of 80%- 85% meaning 160 to 185, At home I have a 500 gallon that is considered full at 400. And use aprox 700- 750 gallons a year inc heat , cook, clothes dryer. leases for homes where the home has on site storage of fuel can be different. If the tank is a rental then it needs to be served by the firm who supplied it. As far as the LL ordering well even if you argue that since you didnt order it you shouldnt pay , you still used the fuel so I cant see a court siding with you on that. BUT next time around if you rent a place with a propane tank you need to get in writting from the LL the following info , WHO owns the tank, If the tank has monthly rental fee and who pays it and who services it. If you get a statement that tells you the LL owns the tank then you are free to use any supplier you wish to get the best possible price unless the lease says you must order from a named firm. If the lease requires the account to be in your name then when you set up the acct you need to make sure that the provider has a privacy policy that will not allow any 3rd party to discuss your acct or do anything else on your behalf with out your written consent.
  4. #4
    acmb05 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cvillecpm View Post
    Pete - in your ORIGINAL discussion with the propane company you should have discussed the useage (200 lbs is a SMALL TANK) as you could literally burn through that amount in 2 weeks (as a reference I have a buried 1,000 lb tank for a whole house generator). You should have asked * and apparently your landlord has it scheduled * for an automatic fill meaning when the truck is in the area, they will fill the propane...this is the MOST economical way as it takes advantage of the LOWER, SUMMER propane rates.

    You owe the propane bill - either give the propane company a credit card and pay it OFF .

    Your landlord is involved because the tank is in his name AND the heat is a requirement of your lease....
    Actually no, the OP stated the propane company called the landlord and told her it was low (110lbs in a 200lb tank is not low) The propane company should have called whoever was on the bill not the landlord.

    Regardless of that OP still will have to pay for the fuel used.

    On a side note, how much is propane up there now because 900 dollars for a 200lb tank seems kinda high to me?
  5. #5
    Cvillecpm is offline Senior Member
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    Smile

    AC - OP had to FIRST call and put the propane service in his name - the landlord can't do that - so in THAT ORIGINAL discussion, anticipated useage at the property should have been discussed and options for filling the tank should have been offered.

    AND, for some older tanks, the supply level should not go below half or the heating system may not work properly....with fuel oil level, it should not go below 20 to 25%.
  6. #6
    pcollins is offline Junior Member
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    Well AC, the $900 also included the turn on fee for the tanks. The total bill is just over $1,300 from this past winter.

    If this is something that I have to pay then I'll do it. I'm just real upset that my LL and the oil company had talked numerous times and had more shipments delivered to my home with my consent. I mean, the bill's in my name, I'm the one paying for it in the long run, and the tank does not belong to my LL, so why was I left out? The initial payment I can completely understand. That was an absolute need... but the three other deliveries to top off the tank? The oil company and I had several conversations and I told them I would call when I needed propane, and because I did not pay for the initial cost for turning it on in full, I was even told none would be delivered until I finished paying that...
  7. #7
    Cvillecpm is offline Senior Member
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    Wink

    PC - OIL and PROPANE are not the same....OIL makes more sense for a 200GAL tank.

    You can't NOT have your tank filled and unless YOU KNOW HOW TO READ THE GAUGE (measure with a measured stick that are not even available any more), then you would come home one evening with NO HEAT.

    Pay the bill and take this as a lesson that you should not have to learn again.
  8. #8
    pcollins is offline Junior Member
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    Yeah... guess I'll suck it up and pay. You've all been great and I can't thank you enough!!!!
  9. #9
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
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    normally the only extra fees that go with propane services are 1 when tank runs empty some firms insist on pressure test to make sure lines are ok 2 delivery during non business hours like running out on a weekend or holiday. 3 tank rentals , turning on a tank is one valve, and even a customer can do that them self. Propane prices depend on how many gallons are delivered, most firms give better price when 250 gallons or more are delivered. This last winter here at home the highest price I paid was 1.79 per gallon wich is customer owned tank rate. My tank was bought and installed in 1963 and this heating system has no problem with operating correctly with just under 5% in the tank. many propane firms have policy requesting refill orders at 20 to 25% so that if there are delays the customer will not run out before they get there to refill. OP search your states privacy laws and send the propane firm a certified letter reminding them that customer privacy regarding accounts should not be violated by having any discussions with any 3rd party with out your written consent regarding your account is poor business practices and could lead to lawsuit. That should do the trick to get them to respect your privacy. If your LL doesnt like it your LL can at next lease renewal address the issue in writting.
  10. #10
    xylene is offline Senior Member
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    I don't get this.

    FACT - The energy bill is in the tenants name.
    FACT - The tenant had a billing arrangement
    FACT - The Landlord paid to have the tanks filled.


    I don't get fact 3.

    Bickering over the details of heating systems is not relevant and when its advisable to fill is also not relevant.

    If the tenant was not maintianing heat as required by the lease the landlord should have evicted him.

    Why would the tenant be responsible for propane that now belongs to the landlord. (AKA the propane the tenant didn't use... and how much is that?...)

    What was a simple dispute between the tenant and the energy supplier is now a 3 way battle with limited evidence. yay.
  11. #11
    xylene is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cvillecpm View Post
    PC - OIL and PROPANE are not the same....OIL makes more sense for a 200GAL tank.

    You can't NOT have your tank filled and unless YOU KNOW HOW TO READ THE GAUGE (measure with a measured stick that are not even available any more), then you would come home one evening with NO HEAT.

    Pay the bill and take this as a lesson that you should not have to learn again.
    Are you just making this up as you go along?

    Oil companies deliver propane!

    Sticks? what?
  12. #12
    pcollins is offline Junior Member
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    Yesterday afternoon, I came to grips with the realization that I needed to pay this. I left work at 3:30 and came in this mornig to two threatening messages from my landlord. The first one was him threatening to talk directly to my companies human resources head (whom he named) and have my paycheck garnished. The second (with was sent a mere hour later) is him threatening to come to my place of employment and 'get his money from me, one way or another'. Is this a form of harrassment? I can't reach him to talk things out, but if he stirs things up at work for me should I call the police and tell them of these threats? In the past he's threatened to change the locks of me or even remove the doors (which I know is absolutely illegal), if I was out immediately after the expiration of my lease... I'm real sick of this guy...
  13. #13
    pcollins is offline Junior Member
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    Oh... and he's also 'holding' my mail until I can 'end business' with him. I guess that not ALL of my mail has been redirected...

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