What to Do if There’s an Oil Tank at a Property You’re Buying?

Q: Gerald, my wife and I found a home we want to buy but it has an oil tank buried in the front yard. What should we do? Evan, Jersey City

A: Good question, Evan. The first thing you should do if you’re buying a property with an oil tank is to do a soil test to check for contamination. There are underground oil tank inspection companies that specialize in this so it shouldn’t be hard for you to find a company in your area to do it. In addition to doing the soil test, to be safe, I would suggest removing the oil tank altogether before you close on the property. When you remove an oil tank, you want to make sure you get all the appropriate paperwork that confirms the oil tank was removed properly. You may even be able to get the seller to remove the oil tank for you prior to closing. In addition, I would also suggest you have an oil tank sweep done on the entire property to check to see if there are any other underground oil tanks on the premises.

Thanks for your question, Evan. Good luck. For more real estate tips and information, visit my blog at

I’m Gerald Lucas and I’ll see you again soon.