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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2004
    Location
    Out West
    Posts
    81

    Default WWYD? Who is responsible for heating oil costs?

    I'm going to try to explain the scenario as shortly and sweetly as possible.

    DH and I live in company provided housing. When we first moved into this situation the company was paying ALL utilities. Shortly after we moved in, they got together and decided that practice was going to stop. We decided to continue living in the housing because the scenario was still better than the costs of paying rent.

    Let me take a moment to point out that in our scenario, the company housing is as much of a benefit to the company as it is to the tenants - it ensures that someone is always on property watching out for intruders, problems on the premises, etc (of which there have been quite a few).

    Before we moved in the company did two things: Removed the pellet stove () and filled the fuel oil tank. The fuel oil lasted until right before Thanksgiving this year. Since the week of Thanksgiving, we will have put 450 gallons in the tank So, in less than 3 months we've used 450 gallons. I've looked up the average, in the most frigid months it is said to be about 100 gallons per month.

    I keep the thermostat at 60 when we're not here or sleeping, and 62 when we are around. It's not cranked up to 70. And the house usually can't even hold those temperatures anyway. It's most often in the 56-58 range.

    The house that we are assigned to is a VERY LARGE VERY OLD farmhouse. Very poorly insulated, if at all, really. There isn't even heat upstairs where we sleep. Because of this we've had to buy several electric space heaters. As you can imagine, our electric costs are through the roof as well.

    We have asked for the company to have someone come in and update insulation which they totally refused to do.

    We just ran out of oil, again. Of course on the weekend when no one will come out. We are moving out in the next two weeks, and the minimum fuel oil delivery is a lot more than we're going to need for that time.

    Is it crazy of me to demand that the company pays delivery on Monday? I WILL NOT pay for fuel oil to heat this stupid house after we leave. My money would be better spent rolling down my car window and letting it fly out. It doesn't even ever get warm in here.

    Oh, I almost forgot, they never provided us with a lease to sign.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2002
    Posts
    4,872

    Default

    you agreed to continue to live there after they changed the terms, so I don't see how you can force their hand.
    they obviously knew the heat would be outrageous and hoped you wouldn't think to ask--so they took advantage of you that way, but that's not against the law I don't think.
    I guess you could not pay the oil bill if it's not in your name. otherwise that's a bad idea of course.
    sorry you are stuck this way, but glad you're leaving in two weeks for new digs.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2014
    Posts
    959

    Default

    hm, if there's no lease, then there's no obligation by you to keep the house heated. Of course it's in the company's best interest to keep their pipes from freezing...

    Then again, you/your husband probably don't want to get fired.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2004
    Location
    Piedmont Triad, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,377

    Default

    Buy diesel to pour into your tank to get you through the interim. It's a pain to handle in 5 gallon cans but doable. To save a few bucks buy offroad diesel.

    A second on don't leave the house without warning the company or winterizing the plumbing. Damage to his career is likely.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2004
    Location
    Pottstown, PA (East Coventry)
    Posts
    3,174

    Default

    When we have run out of home heating oil DH goes and gets a 5 gallon container of diesel fuel. We primarily heat with wood and mostly use the oil for heating hot water. He will get the farm diesel if he can since it is less expensive since it does not have road taxes. Maybe you can just refill your tank with diesel until you move out and leave it empty. Just let the company know it will be empty so they can't try to charge repair of broken pipes back to you. Kerosene will be fine too
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2006
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    4,616

    Default

    set the temp to 75 so you burn everything up before you leave


    3 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2011
    Location
    Its not nowhere, but you can see it from here
    Posts
    3,969

    Default

    Since you don't have a lease, you don't know if this is like a rental car thing, where you pick up full and are expected to return full. The company did fill the tank before you moved in. If you decide to go the diesel route, make sure you shut off the pipes before moving out, so you aren't responsible for damaging the house. And next time, get it in writing! The CoTH mantra applies to leases, sales, boarding and renting!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2004
    Location
    Out West
    Posts
    81

    Default

    Thanks everyone. We just put about 20 gallons in but the heat is still not working for some reason. Ugh. DH thinks the circulator pump went (for the 2nd time since we've lived here).

    To clarify - I wouldn't leave without telling them that the fuel tank is empty, but I'm going to tell them to shove it if they tell me we need to fill it.

    DH has accepted a new job - same umbrella corporation but different company, so I don't really think his job is in jeopardy. Especially since we never signed any sort of lease or agreement.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    5,496

    Default

    I think I would have bought a pellet or wood stove off of craigslist the day we moved in.
    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2002
    Posts
    4,872

    Default

    yeah it was pretty cruddy behavior to take the pellet stove out on you.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,446

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by myalter View Post
    DH has accepted a new job - same umbrella corporation but different company, so I don't really think his job is in jeopardy. Especially since we never signed any sort of lease or agreement.
    I think you're reasoning is flawed in the last sentence. Look, if a company wanted to punish and employee for not doing what it considered the Right Thing, no one is going to bother to listen to the fact that company didn't present you guys with a lease and/or was skeevy about the rental deal. Theoretically, some disagreement about living situations and benefits has nothing to do with job performance. So if someone in the company wants to make things hard for DH, you can know that they aren't interested in being accurate or fair in the first place… which means the fact of the company's screw-up with no lease or no insulation or whatever won't matter/help you.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    2 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
    Location
    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
    Posts
    11,510

    Default

    Why not simply call the company, nicely explain that the tank is out of fuel again, and since you will be moving out soon, would they like to fill the tank (at their expense) and just let you pay for what you use til you leave, or would they prefer for you to fill it and give you a pro-rated refund of whatever is left over when you move out?

    It doesn't sound to me like they are intent on scr*wing you, just that they are trying to minimize expenses, and free heat was a perk they decided not to continue offering. I know it's a bummer, but given how costly it is to heat that house, it's understandable I think. They didn't force you to continue living there after they made the change, after all, and according to your OP, it was still less expensive for you than renting somewhere else.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina


    5 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
    Location
    In the saddle....
    Posts
    262

    Default

    Why don't you move out now, store your stuff, and live in a motel for the next two weeks? Gotta be cheaper than filling a fuel tank - many motels will give you a cut rate on long stays.

    At least it's an option. I don't think the company will pay your heating fuel. They gave you the first tank for free.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2003
    Posts
    4,919

    Default

    If it were me and the house was delivered to me with a full tank, I would give it back with a full tank.

    After all, you did get those first 450 gallons for free.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2004
    Location
    Out West
    Posts
    81

    Default

    Ok, as a clarification, the tank was filled BEFORE they decided to make everyone pay for utilities. We had never lived in housing that used fuel oil for heating and moved in the summer, aka we had NO idea how expensive it was going to be to keep this house heated, and of course no one thought to mention it to us. Not to mention, they refused to take steps that would help make the house easier to heat. So, I don't really feel like we owe them a full tank when we leave.

    I think I'm going to go with Lucassb's suggestion. Thanks!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 8, 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,640

    Default

    You might have air in the line. I'm not sure if your furnace is similar to mine, but there should be a light and reset switch near to where the oil line comes into the furnace. There is a small hex nut shaped bleed valve sometimes called a nipple. If you loosen that nipple a turn or two then hit the reset switch it will start to draw in the oil up the line. Close it quickly when the fuel starts coming out. Be ready with lots of paper towels! The thermostat should be on and calling for heat when you do this.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 8, 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,640



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2009
    Posts
    1,829

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gypsymare View Post
    You might have air in the line. I'm not sure if your furnace is similar to mine, but there should be a light and reset switch near to where the oil line comes into the furnace. There is a small hex nut shaped bleed valve sometimes called a nipple. If you loosen that nipple a turn or two then hit the reset switch it will start to draw in the oil up the line. Close it quickly when the fuel starts coming out. Be ready with lots of paper towels! The thermostat should be on and calling for heat when you do this.
    This may be the problem. You may also have sediment blocking things up - that can happen if you let the tank run dry. We used our air compressor to blow it out when that happened at our old place. Since you're already leaving I would just use diesel for the time being and tell them to shove it if they want you to fill it after you leave.



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