Tenants and propane tanks
Propane tanks are a component of a property and the landlord’s responsibility. It is therefore impossible for tenants to buy a propane tank. The specific conditions in which propane tanks are used vary from state to state and you should check which rules apply in your area before making important decisions. Once you have a clear idea of your situation you could call different propane companies and request/compare quotes to find the deal that best suits your needs.
If the property has a propane tank, tenants are responsible for propane and landlords are in charge of maintenance
On the one hand, unless a specific arrangement is explicitly mentioned in your lease, tenants buy propane according to their energy needs. Therefore, tenants should look around for the propane company that offers the best combination of price, safety and customer care and set up their own account. However, it is the tenant’s duty to leave the propane tank at the same level as it was when they moved in. Any excess propane can be sold back to the owner at a negotiated price.
On the other hand, landlords are responsible for home maintenance, which includes propane tanks and propane appliance systems. This means that landlords are in charge of repairs to tanks, valves, connections, gas lines, etc. The recommended yearly propane system inspection is also the landlord’s responsibility.
If the propane does not have a propane tank, installation is the landlord’s responsibility but tenants can act as legal representatives
Because propane tanks are an integral part of a property, only landlords can legally have a propane tank installed, whether it is bought or leased. This does not mean that as a tenant you cannot request to have a propane tank; it means that any propane installation will have to be done on behalf of your landlord.
If, as a tenant, you wish to have a propane tank installed, you should therefore enter into a specific agreement with your landlord allowing you to request the installation from a propane company and order propane according to your usage.
This may be more cumbersome than initially anticipated because you will have to have the tank removed when you leave; propane tank disposal comes at a certain cost since propane companies charge for emptying propane tanks of any excess gas above 5% and to physically remove the tank.
Tenants and propane: knowing your rights
Running out of propane is very inconvenient if you rely on it for heating, water heating, cooking, etc. It can be useful, if you are a tenant, to set up your own account with a propane company by getting quotes from different dealers and finding the most appropriate offer for your situation. Also, propane is a considerable investment and you do not want to be locked into an expensive agreement your landlord had signed.
Propane is a source of energy and state regulations treat it as such. Sometimes, tenants use propane under their landlord’s account. If the landlord does not get propane delivered automatically, tenants can run out of propane. However, it is in your interest to check your state’s laws because you might have the right to be notified by the propane company if your tank is about to run out of gas and given the opportunity to set up your own account.