Home & Garden

The Great Water Heater Rental Scam

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 22nd, 2019 11:25 am
Jr. Member
User avatar
Nov 30, 2014
147 posts
193 upvotes
Toronto
I just purchased a 2 year old home.. our agreement says that we will take over the rental water heater. I am not sure what the price is and who the contract is with. Will I have any options or am I stuck with the rental?
Temp. Banned
Dec 19, 2009
3507 posts
1491 upvotes
12andy12 wrote:
Mar 2nd, 2019 12:35 pm
I just purchased a 2 year old home.. our agreement says that we will take over the rental water heater. I am not sure what the price is and who the contract is with. Will I have any options or am I stuck with the rental?
Maybe you should ask from whom you purchased the house from or maybe the Realty Agent you employed or perhaps even the lawyer you used.
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2007
2123 posts
1442 upvotes
SW Ontario
12andy12 wrote:
Mar 2nd, 2019 12:35 pm
I just purchased a 2 year old home.. our agreement says that we will take over the rental water heater. I am not sure what the price is and who the contract is with. Will I have any options or am I stuck with the rental?
Yup, you essentially agreed to assume the rental contract as part of the purchase of the home. These are generally the questions you want to know before making an offer to purchase, being that you are assuming a contract as part of the transactions.

There have been lots of discussions about how the lack of transparency or clarity in assuming rental contracts in purchase agreements needs to be better.

Look on the water heater as often whenever is the rental provider, usually has a sticker stuck to it with their name and contact information ... at the very least a service contact number.
I'd rather be outdoors camping, kayaking, and mountain biking ...
Newbie
Feb 6, 2019
3 posts
In our situation, we moved into our new built home 2 years ago and our water heater doesn't have any stickers or service numbers. Crown Crest Capital started sending us bills nearly 2 years later for the water heater rental and we had no idea it was a rental. We asked them to provide terms and conditions and contract from the builder but they can not provide it. Can one statement in a purchase agreement that seems like a grey area be enforced that easily even two years later? Whats worst is our lawyer does not seem to want to help us. I hate that this goes on in Ontario.
Newbie
Feb 6, 2019
3 posts
Any updates on the situation I am curious because we are dealing with Crown Crest with similar problem.
Newbie
Mar 6, 2018
6 posts
2 upvotes
Warning: long post

Just recently bought my first house and after 2 months of paying the ludicrous rental fee of $40 I have been looking to get rid of the "contract". The previous owners had the furnace & AC on rent-to-own to boot. Those got paid out before transferring to my name, which were undisclosed on sale contract until I decided to call Reliance on a whim just to see about the water heater buyout price. Luckily furnace & AC are registered on the title of the house, I am told, so the lawyers see it and seller could not have pulled a "fast one", which I have no doubt they were trying to.

I cannot stress enough how horrible my experience was dealing with Reliance. I assumed when purchasing the house the water heater was a minor detail that could easily be handled later (there was much more going on with the house that needed amending / addressing), but live and learn - if I purchase another place, buyout of the tank is going in as a condition.

I was offered $950+tax for buyout of the existing 6yr old 50gal Rheem power vent. Told greedy pricks at Reliance the tank is paid off 3 times over already by previous owner and the amount is insane and insulting as I can buy a new one with warranty for less than that. Tried calling about 3 times talking to different people, best I got was 10% off that price, I told them to F off.

Next was looking at HD / Lowe's for sales on water heaters. Found a few scratch and dent ones on clearance for half price or less that fell through my fingers, this is a great way to get a replacement (if you are lucky enough to find one).

Kijiji was the next target, I was surprised there were a few ads for used water tanks people were selling for unexpected sales of houses, replacing with a larger tank, etc. Ended up getting a 4yr old John Wood 50 gal power vent for $250 that was in great shape.

Next I called Reliance and asked them what to do if I want to cancel. I was told something like $180 if they remove and pickup, $80 to just pickup and $40 account closure fee if I drop off myself. (don't quote me on these numbers, but they are close). I told them to F off on all accounts and I will be dropping it off myself and not paying $40 for them to let me do all the work for them.

Dad and I replaced the tank ourselves, not more than 2 hrs to do. It was a straight swap connection-wise with zero issues. I threw the old tank in my truck to return to Reliance, called them for dropoff hours and locations. They will only accept drop-off between 9am-12pm and 2-4pm. WTF? I work for a living like many others and don't have the ability to nip out during business hours. The lady said I could possibly be turned away or have to wait as any time outside of those hours were receiving hours for the service guys . Whatever, book afternoon off work and go drop the stupid tank off.

Guy at receiving gave me a piece of paper and signed it as proof for return. Great, I am done with this now. NOTE: GUARD THIS PIECE OF PAPER WITH YOUR LIFE.

I call billing later that day to confirm drop off and I am told the last bill will be made up soon and sent over. I wait about ~3 weeks and meanwhile have moved on to other projects. I have not received any bill yet so I assume I will not receive another. Then I receive a bill in the mail at about the 4 week mark - it is for a full months rental that I do not even have. I get on the blower immediately and ask billing department what the deal is. They say it takes up to 30 days for an account to be closed, this is normal? I told them that is nuts and I wanted it taken care of right now. Said they cannot do anything, supervisor is not in the office blah blah blah.

Call back again and talk to someone different, this time the person tells me did you not scan and email your return form to returns@reliancehomecomfort.com? This is why it is taking so long. I told her no one up to this point has told me I need to do this, guy I dropped the tank off with said the form would be processed in the office the next day. Told them I am not scanning the form, you can look it up in your database and process it, why should this be my responsibility?

Call back next day and got transferred to local branch, this is the first time I wasn't talking to someone in the Phillipines. Told the woman the story and she assures this is not all uncommon and Reliance is not perfect. My return form was lost and they also cannot locate the water heater unit at the branch. It would be best for me to scan the form in and send it to csr@reliancecomfort.com to help out. Whatever, I cave and email the form.

Call 3 days later, they've finally received it and will be crediting my bill for the month of service I didn't even have their tank. Told them I am not paying the $40 return fee, they said to dispute once I get the bill.

Call again a few days later after receiving cancellation bill, billing dept. cannot adjust more than $20 so a "dispute" has been opened and someone will call me back in 3-5 days. Never got a call.

Call again and I am forwarded to the billing manager overseas. After explaining everything AGAIN and waiting on hold for 10 mins I am told the charge is dropped and will not have to pay anything, account is closed. Still waiting on this bill credit.

TLDR: Keep harassing these A-hole crooks until they get tired of it. Do not give them a penny more than you have to.
Newbie
May 15, 2017
82 posts
24 upvotes
oxymoron29 wrote:
Mar 13th, 2019 2:55 pm
Warning: long post

Just recently bought my first house and after 2 months of paying the ludicrous rental fee of $40 I have been looking to get rid of the "contract". The previous owners had the furnace & AC on rent-to-own to boot. Those got paid out before transferring to my name, which were undisclosed on sale contract until I decided to call Reliance on a whim just to see about the water heater buyout price. Luckily furnace & AC are registered on the title of the house, I am told, so the lawyers see it and seller could not have pulled a "fast one", which I have no doubt they were trying to.

I cannot stress enough how horrible my experience was dealing with Reliance. I assumed when purchasing the house the water heater was a minor detail that could easily be handled later (there was much more going on with the house that needed amending / addressing), but live and learn - if I purchase another place, buyout of the tank is going in as a condition.

I was offered $950+tax for buyout of the existing 6yr old 50gal Rheem power vent. Told greedy pricks at Reliance the tank is paid off 3 times over already by previous owner and the amount is insane and insulting as I can buy a new one with warranty for less than that. Tried calling about 3 times talking to different people, best I got was 10% off that price, I told them to F off.

Next was looking at HD / Lowe's for sales on water heaters. Found a few scratch and dent ones on clearance for half price or less that fell through my fingers, this is a great way to get a replacement (if you are lucky enough to find one).

Kijiji was the next target, I was surprised there were a few ads for used water tanks people were selling for unexpected sales of houses, replacing with a larger tank, etc. Ended up getting a 4yr old John Wood 50 gal power vent for $250 that was in great shape.

Next I called Reliance and asked them what to do if I want to cancel. I was told something like $180 if they remove and pickup, $80 to just pickup and $40 account closure fee if I drop off myself. (don't quote me on these numbers, but they are close). I told them to F off on all accounts and I will be dropping it off myself and not paying $40 for them to let me do all the work for them.

Dad and I replaced the tank ourselves, not more than 2 hrs to do. It was a straight swap connection-wise with zero issues. I threw the old tank in my truck to return to Reliance, called them for dropoff hours and locations. They will only accept drop-off between 9am-12pm and 2-4pm. WTF? I work for a living like many others and don't have the ability to nip out during business hours. The lady said I could possibly be turned away or have to wait as any time outside of those hours were receiving hours for the service guys . Whatever, book afternoon off work and go drop the stupid tank off.

Guy at receiving gave me a piece of paper and signed it as proof for return. Great, I am done with this now. NOTE: GUARD THIS PIECE OF PAPER WITH YOUR LIFE.

I call billing later that day to confirm drop off and I am told the last bill will be made up soon and sent over. I wait about ~3 weeks and meanwhile have moved on to other projects. I have not received any bill yet so I assume I will not receive another. Then I receive a bill in the mail at about the 4 week mark - it is for a full months rental that I do not even have. I get on the blower immediately and ask billing department what the deal is. They say it takes up to 30 days for an account to be closed, this is normal? I told them that is nuts and I wanted it taken care of right now. Said they cannot do anything, supervisor is not in the office blah blah blah.

Call back again and talk to someone different, this time the person tells me did you not scan and email your return form to returns@reliancehomecomfort.com? This is why it is taking so long. I told her no one up to this point has told me I need to do this, guy I dropped the tank off with said the form would be processed in the office the next day. Told them I am not scanning the form, you can look it up in your database and process it, why should this be my responsibility?

Call back next day and got transferred to local branch, this is the first time I wasn't talking to someone in the Phillipines. Told the woman the story and she assures this is not all uncommon and Reliance is not perfect. My return form was lost and they also cannot locate the water heater unit at the branch. It would be best for me to scan the form in and send it to csr@reliancecomfort.com to help out. Whatever, I cave and email the form.

Call 3 days later, they've finally received it and will be crediting my bill for the month of service I didn't even have their tank. Told them I am not paying the $40 return fee, they said to dispute once I get the bill.

Call again a few days later after receiving cancellation bill, billing dept. cannot adjust more than $20 so a "dispute" has been opened and someone will call me back in 3-5 days. Never got a call.

Call again and I am forwarded to the billing manager overseas. After explaining everything AGAIN and waiting on hold for 10 mins I am told the charge is dropped and will not have to pay anything, account is closed. Still waiting on this bill credit.

TLDR: Keep harassing these A-hole crooks until they get tired of it. Do not give them a penny more than you have to.
I unhooked mine and moved it into my garage. Paid them the roughly ~$80 to come pick it up. Wasn't worth my time to load it into the back of a truck, drive through traffic, lug it to their shop, and deal with the hassle you did. Money well spent in my opinion.
Member
Aug 31, 2014
213 posts
117 upvotes
Toronto, ON
bhrm wrote:
Mar 10th, 2015 10:58 am
It's a Polaris, and funny enough it was repaired twice in a week for two separate issues. Worth to keep renting?
it's a few years late, but I have a combo Polaris PR 100-34-2NV with an air handler. What were your issues? did you keep renting it?
quick googling found them to be $2700USD, so like $4000+ installation. Is it still worth it to buy my own?
Newbie
Jul 24, 2016
19 posts
7 upvotes
Just purchased a new house from a builder and was told I have to close the house with a water tank, something about regulations, or so i was told.

Called up Reliance and got a fairly good rep. I asked her what the process is for cancelling the hwt agreement. She basically said do NOT pay the first bill and call us to cancel free of charge. If you do pay the first bill you are assuming the vaguely written contract in the purchase agreement.

As the house is a new build and closing isnt until late summer she couldn't put any notes on my axcount. She did send me an email confirming everything we spoke about. Hopefully its not too big of an issue upon closing.
Deal Addict
Apr 24, 2007
2232 posts
498 upvotes
That's what I did. Removed the tank the week after I moved in. Never had to pay a penny.
Sr. Member
Apr 18, 2009
884 posts
322 upvotes
Toronto/Plano/Atlant…
Anyone know the approximate cost of a 189 liter, power vent , 62000 BTU water tank ? Most , if not all of the models listed on the Home depot and Lowes websites stop at 50000 BTU .

My home heating is connected to the hot water tank , hence the higher BTU tank.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 2, 2012
2736 posts
1536 upvotes
KINGSTON,ON
10131984 wrote:
Mar 15th, 2019 3:35 pm
Just purchased a new house from a builder and was told I have to close the house with a water tank, something about regulations, or so i was told.

Called up Reliance and got a fairly good rep. I asked her what the process is for cancelling the hwt agreement. She basically said do NOT pay the first bill and call us to cancel free of charge. If you do pay the first bill you are assuming the vaguely written contract in the purchase agreement.

As the house is a new build and closing isnt until late summer she couldn't put any notes on my axcount. She did send me an email confirming everything we spoke about. Hopefully its not too big of an issue upon closing.
I'm going to guess that cancelling the HWT rental agreement with Reliance will mean that you will have to buy out the tank at what ever price they put on it.
Did you ask what that buy out is? It may be $3500 or it may be $5000.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 2, 2012
2736 posts
1536 upvotes
KINGSTON,ON
emale wrote:
Mar 16th, 2019 2:06 am
Anyone know the approximate cost of a 189 liter, power vent , 62000 BTU water tank ? Most , if not all of the models listed on the Home depot and Lowes websites stop at 50000 BTU .

My home heating is connected to the hot water tank , hence the higher BTU tank.
This post is about HWT rentals. You are probably looking at a boiler system. Starting a new post and asking the same question. Cheers
Sr. Member
Apr 18, 2009
884 posts
322 upvotes
Toronto/Plano/Atlant…
MrFrugal1 wrote:
Mar 16th, 2019 9:30 pm
This post is about HWT rentals. You are probably looking at a boiler system. Starting a new post and asking the same question. Cheers

I should have added more details in my original post. I have a rental water tank with Reliance ( its a Superflue brand tank) , I got when I purchased my home new back in 2006. The contract ended a couple years ago. Planning to buy my own tank this summer.
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2007
2123 posts
1442 upvotes
SW Ontario
MrFrugal1 wrote:
Mar 16th, 2019 9:30 pm
This post is about HWT rentals. You are probably looking at a boiler system. Starting a new post and asking the same question. Cheers
It's a water heater, 189L is essentially a 50g tank.

Most 50g tanks are rated at 32~40K BTU, but a number of brands, including GSW, Giant, Rheem, also have a version with 62K BTU burner for higher recovery and output.

In this case, the WH is feeding a coil inside an air handler that is providing force air heat to the home ...
I'd rather be outdoors camping, kayaking, and mountain biking ...

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