Getting Tenants to Switch from Oil to Propane

My communities have no gas lines and therefore tenants have above-ground oil tanks or propane tanks. Oil tanks eventually leak and lead to costly remediation so I ask the forum if anyone has had success in converting tenants from oil to propane (all tenant owned homes) through incentives, penalties, or some other measure?

What we have tried:
-All incoming homes must use propane (easy)
-Incentivizing tenants financially to switch over ($500 credit if you switch now, $400 for next month, etc)

Has anyone had success in this area?

Additional questions:
-Anyone have estimates on the cost of converting MH furnances from oil to propane?
-Anyone know of new technologies that prevent leaky tanks or spills?
-Anyone purchased insurance for oil tanks, or forced home owners to purchase?

Thanks for any help on the topic, guys!


We have done this. It is not an easy process and all appliances must be reconfigured for propane v. natural gas. Most of the cost was in this (buy new appliances if could not be converted, plus labor).

Who will own the tanks? There are “Cylinders” (50gal) and “tanks” (350 gal) and they both are not cheap. Tanks could serve many households but who pays for filling them? This was another big cost (the tank). They can be rented but …

Who pays for the initial work & fill, if you “force” the tenants to change?

The local inspector will have to certify the work, and this was another big cost because we had to satisfy various code violations (tank too close to home, under power line, etc).

I think we spent something north of $1000 per conversion. It might have been double that.


We have been in the process of having home owners switch away from oil over the past 3 years.
Our community rules have been modified to that end and homeowners are responsible for all associated costs. Incentives are not needed or necessary. Our property our rules, if you don’t like it live somewhere else.

It is mandatory that all home owners with iol furnaces are required to carry specific insurance coverage in the event of a oil leak. This can be difficult to find and encourages home owners to switch.
All metal oil tanks must be replaced when 10 years old with fiberglass oil tanks.
In the event that a existing oil furnace requires replacement the home owners will only have the option of electric or propane.
Homes brought into the community must have electric or propane furnaces.

One of the upsides to requiring the replacement of metal with fiberglass tanks is that the cost is quite high. As a result some homeowners fearing having to replace a older furnace in the future chose to install a new propane furnace rather than the fiberglass oil tank.

We also know of some park owners, due to the difficulty of finding reasonable park insurance, that have forced home owners to install electric or propane furnaces. The home owners are on the hook for all costs.

Curious if anyone has more to contribute to this post. I also am very concerned about the environmental liability of heating oil tanks. Is the risk of heating oil tanks leaking or tipping, high enough, that a prudent Park owner would force Tenants to switch to propane or electric?

Metal tanks will eventually leak. Insurance companies do not insure for remediation costs on a tank over 10 years old. The catch is that the client is not informed of this by their insurance company.
Although I have not experienced leaks I know of at least one spill in a park that resulted in the removal of 3 homes and cost $250K to remediate.