Forced Propane Tank Lease Termination

This is a discussion on Forced Propane Tank Lease Termination within the Miscellaneous Topics forum, part of the OTHER LEGAL ISSUES category; Several years ago I singed a lease with a one time fee with a local propane company, I will call ...

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Old Apr 10th, 2010, 08:45 PM   #1
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Default Forced Propane Tank Lease Termination

Several years ago I singed a lease with a one time fee with a local propane company, I will call them XYZ PROPANE for service including an above ground propane tank. As a condition of the lease the operations manager struck out and initialed the clause requirening me to buy a mininum amout of gas from them. The was done to persued me to NOT buy a tank outright and have the freedom of buying gas anywhere I want. This lease was their standad form at the time, but is a very simple lease with few items defined. There is no termination clause, there is no transeferability clause, there is no end date stated. It was generally presumed to be a perpetual lifetime lease but does not state so explicitely.

About 3 years ago another company bought the propane company but has not changed names, logos, or most employees. About a year ago they asked me to sign a new lease that gives them a lot of protection, takes away some of mine and offers me no additional benefits as they have admitted. Having nothing in this one sided deal I did not sign the new lease.

This year they billed me for a rental fee for not purchasing the minimum amount of gas which was specifically excluded as a requirement in the only signed lease between myself and a company doing business as XYZ PROPANE. Of course I objected due to the lease terms. They said they would only honor the previous lease if I agreed to sign a new one, to which I also object.

They now want to pick up the tank they claim is theirs. What I want to know is how do they aquire the right ot the tank but not the lease obligation? How do I know that they even bought this tank as part of the deal, maybe the previous owner, knowing he had a perpetual obligation didn't include it in the deal. (I know, not very likely)

Is this lease for them to provide me with a tank just as binding as it is on me to only buy gas from them when I do buy gas?

I use very little propane in most years, but need it for back-up. If they force me out of this it will cost me hundreds of dollars over the projected life of home ownership, what are my options? I am located in Michigan.

Thanks for your input.
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Old Apr 11th, 2010, 01:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: Forced Propane Tank Lease Termination

I wish to inform your old contract is still valid. As you have not signed the new contract therefore the rights and liabilities under old contract will govern relation between you and gas company. In this if the propane company breaks the lease then you can claim compensation for breach of contract. You can give a notice to company that as old contract is valid therefore they are required to perform duties under old contract and in case they violate old contract then they will be liable to pay compensation for breach of contract. Old contract was entered by the company and therefore even if new company takes over that does not change the contract entered by company before its purchase.

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Old Apr 22nd, 2010, 08:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: Forced Propane Tank Lease Termination

Thank you for the response. Does anyone else have anything to add or related experience with a simular situation?
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Old Jul 11th, 2013, 04:43 AM   #4
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[QUOTI have a propane tank (400 gal) that supplies gas to my home. When we purchased the home five years ago I assumed the tank was part of the property and that I owned it; and since have had the tank filled by two different propane companies. For the past two years I've been heating my home with a wood stove so haven't had the tank filled. Last week I received a letter from one of the propane companies who filled the tank in the past, stating that they owned the tank and that since we haven't had the tank filled for two years, they were going to charge me a minimum usage charge of 20 cents per gallon.
This leads me two my questions: 1) without my signing a lease of any kind, can they assess a minimum usage charge. 2) If neither I nor the propane company have proof of owning the tank, and since I'm in possession of the tank, do I then own the tank? (There are no identification markings on the tank that would imply ownership by the propane company)E=Unregistered;159013]Thank you for the response. Does anyone else have anything to add or related experience with a simular situation?[/QUOTE]
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Old Jul 11th, 2013, 10:53 AM   #5
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Default Re: Forced Propane Tank Lease Termination

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
[QUOTI have a propane tank (400 gal) that supplies gas to my home. When we purchased the home five years ago I assumed the tank was part of the property and that I owned it; and since have had the tank filled by two different propane companies. For the past two years I've been heating my home with a wood stove so haven't had the tank filled. Last week I received a letter from one of the propane companies who filled the tank in the past, stating that they owned the tank and that since we haven't had the tank filled for two years, they were going to charge me a minimum usage charge of 20 cents per gallon.
This leads me two my questions: 1) without my signing a lease of any kind, can they assess a minimum usage charge. 2) If neither I nor the propane company have proof of owning the tank, and since I'm in possession of the tank, do I then own the tank? (There are no identification markings on the tank that would imply ownership by the propane company)E=Unregistered;159013]Thank you for the response. Does anyone else have anything to add or related experience with a simular situation?
[/QUOTE]

It's a lead pipe cinch you do not own the tank, cannot produce any evidence that at any time you bought it or even leased it. Odds are the propane supplier can.

The company can remove the tank and if you do not wish to pay for usage, instruct them to do so. Or else you, as owner of the property, will charge them a lease fee for the space it takes up.
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