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Selling Your House – Oil Tank OFTEC Regulations

storage tank for heating oil

To some, an oil tank is a necessity, a large mass that sits neglected behind a bush at the bottom of the garden.

For many, an Oil Tank is just something that stores fuel and no consideration is given to the day they ‘might’ want to sell or rent out their property.

Don’t get caught out.


One aspect of an Oil Tank installation is all about looks and quality of installation. If your tank is ageing and overgrown, potential buyers will simply walk away without even asking for the paperwork. The Installation has to look clean, professional and purposeful.


For someone to get a mortgage on a property, the Oil tank installation will need to be certified under a ‘Competent Person’ scheme such as OFTEC. For Local Authority Building Control to be satisfied, an installation needs to be endorsed by a qualified company. An uncertified installation will mean you’ll need to arrange a Building Control Notice, which can take several weeks or even months depending on Local Authority back-logs. Such is the delay, unless you have the right paperwork, there is little point advertising your house.

If your tank is showing signs of weather damage, is on unstable ground, leaks, situated incorrectly or was installed by a non OFTEC qualified engineer, not only could you be landed with a huge bill, the chances of ever selling house in a timely period will be drastically reduced.


Even if all the pipework is like new and no oil is leaking, a poorly positioned tank could also be the downfall of your house sale. It could even be that your tank fails to meet OFTEC requirements and a Fire protection barrier is needed.

  • 1.8m away from non-fire rated eaves of a building
  • 1.8m away from a non-fire rated building or structure (e.g. garden sheds)
  • 1.8m away from openings (such as doors or windows) in a fire rated building or structure (e.g. brick built house/garage)
  • 1.8m away from oil fired appliance flue terminals
  • 760mm away from a non-fire rated boundary such as a wooden boundary fence
  • 600mm away from screening (e.g. trellis and foliage) that does not form part of the boundary.

Your Oil Tank needs to be on solid ground, away from standing water, away from combustible sources and ideally shielded from direct sunlight. Where tanks are in drive ways they need to be protected from vehicular contact.

Source: Fourniers

Barton Petroleum can assist whether you require a totally new storage tank installation on your premises, the replacement of an existing tank or simply the safe removal and licensed disposal of a disused tank and/or its fuel contents, click here for details.