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Old 10-29-2013, 02:32 PM
 
14 posts, read 26,052 times
Reputation: 11

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Hello,

I am moving to Norwich, VT. I am not familiar with how oil as heating system works. I am renting part of a house. The landlord is asking me to pay for the oil up front as he has already filled the tank. He is asking for $800 due with security deposit, first months rent etc. The house is about 2000 sq feet.

Does this sound reasonable to pay for it all up front?

Are we billed for heating throughout the year also or are there no monthly bills b/c we payed up front?

Thank you
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:40 PM
 
129 posts, read 218,702 times
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I wouldn't say it's unreasonable to pay for it up front. I would make sure that you will get a refund for any oil that you happen to not use though.

Not sure whether your landlord is expecting you to pay for electric or not, but yeah, the oil is your heat so beyond the small amount of electricity (if any) required to power the furnace, you've paid for the heat by paying for the oil.

Unless the house is pretty new though, at 2000 square feet you'll probably burn through more than one tank of oil this winter. So be prepared to pay for more oil. If you're only renting part of the house, is someone else chipping in on the cost? Doesn't seem fair if you're stuck with the whole bill.
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:51 PM
 
14 posts, read 26,052 times
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Thank you for clarifying.

I was told by other landlords of houses we looked at that their houses burned about $600 to $700 worth of oil for the winter. So, this house seems kind of high.

Yes someone else is splitting the cost of the oil with me. The $800 seems kind of high for the tank being that we are splitting it with someone else (them being responsible for a smaller part of it.)
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:55 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
32,605 posts, read 76,128,047 times
Reputation: 40414
Quote:
Originally Posted by K... View Post
I am renting part of a house.
Who else is renting the other part(s) of the house?

Quote:
The landlord... has already filled the tank.
He is asking me to pay for the oil up front...
He is asking for $800 due with security deposit, first months rent etc.
Does this sound reasonable to pay for it all up front?
I say no.

If you rented the home by yourself your responsibility would be limited to
KEEPING the oil tank filled by way of regular deliveries during the season.

But with others sharing the space and presumably adding to the demand
and perhaps wasteful or at least not as frugal as you it opens up a rats nest of issues.
Not least being who controls the thermostat and authority if waste is observed (eg open windows)
Landlord needs to nail down these issues.
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Old 10-29-2013, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Vermont
5,440 posts, read 16,107,239 times
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It sounds like there are not separate tanks. How would you know how much each tenant burns? Are there meters on each boiler? I would want to know how it's being metered.

This seems kind of shady. In a split situation where they are not separately metered it's usually the LL's responsibility to pay for heat, and include the price in rent.
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:34 PM
 
14 posts, read 26,052 times
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The agreement is that the unit I am renting (3BR, kitchen, LR, DR plus garage of house) is responsible for 70% of the oil and electricity and the other tenant (studio apt) is responsible for rest. It is on one meter. The set up is not the best.
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:05 AM
 
Location: in a cabin overlooking the mountains
3,078 posts, read 4,168,451 times
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Is there a cage around the thermostat or can anyone come along and flip it up to 86 deg? If there is no cage then I would say it is the tenant's responsibility.

How big is the tank? Fuel oil is currently running about $3.60 / gal so you are paying for over 200 gal with the $800.

Also some tenants routinely cuase problems by not getting the tank filled. Instead they wait until it is empty, then go get 5 gal of off-road diesel and put enough in to tide them over for a few days. This causes problems which could have been avoided. I tell tenants I will pay for ONE cleaning per year. Anything over and above that caused by their negligence is their nickel.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:15 AM
 
444 posts, read 757,800 times
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Several years ago, in another state, I rented the second floor of a house. The ground floor was rented by someone else. There was one gas furnace for the entire house and separate electric meters for each floor. I paid half the gas bill. The thermostat was located on the ground floor. When I moved in the ground floor was occupied by frugal medical students who kept the heat down, and it was fine upstairs in my apartment. Then they moved out, and a wealthy family moved in (while their Lake Forest, IL, house was being remodeled). The family had the heat up high all the time, my apartment was hot, and the gas bill was huge. I moved out before the next winter.

Assuming there is just one boiler, it may be good to find out whether there is a separate heat circuit and thermostat for each apartment. Then you'll at least have control of your apartment's temperature. Other than that, the 70% of oil and electricity is fair as long as the other tenant isn't wasteful and the 70/30 split is appropriate based on size. If the other apartment is unoccupied you shouldn't have to pay its utilities.

It sounds to me as if you may end up paying a total of $1600 or more per winter for heat. If the house has a 300 gallon oil tank, it will probably have to be refilled at least once. The landlord should spell this all out. If he/she tries to jerk you around I'd look somewhere else.
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