Can they keep the house

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Raggedrobin, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. Raggedrobin

    Raggedrobin Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    I was talking to someone today who has a relative who has a mother who is going into a permanent care home. This couple sold up their own house, and have kept the money they had from that, and have lived with the mother in the mother's house for over 20 years. They have been involved in caring for her in the last couple of years.

    They believe that because they have been caring for her for 2 years in her home and lived there a long time, they will be able to continue to live in the house and it won't be an asset taken into account of the mother's money. The couple are in their forties.

    I don't know if they are correct to think this, wouldn't it remain the mother's asset even if they have been living in it for a long time and cared for her in it (they didn't give up work to care for her)

    Anyone got an opinion on it? I don't have any more details I'm afraid.
  2. katek

    katek Registered User

    Jan 19, 2015
    I'm pretty sure the regulations say they would have to be aged over 60 to remain in the house and for it not to have to be sold.
  3. jeany123

    jeany123 Registered User

    Mar 24, 2012
    I found this,
    The value of your property is also ignored if a close relative
    continues to live there who is:
    - incapacitated (they receive or would qualify for a
    disability benefit)
    - a child you are responsible for under the age of 18
    - aged 60 or over.

    it is on page 15 of this
  4. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs
    In addition to what Jeany says, there is also a discretion to disregard the house in which a third party lives.

    Have a look at >>CRAG<<

    and in particular

  5. Raggedrobin

    Raggedrobin Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    Thanks for that, yes, I suspect they won't be able to keep the property, they will at least have to have a deferred payment scheme thing on it, if they are allowed to stay until she dies. The siblings of the couple living there are up in arms, because they feel the house should be sold to get their mother the best care they can, and feel it is her asset, not the couple's, so should be used for her benefit, not theirs.

    Interesting that in some circumstances it is discretionary, though. That could be a good thing when there is someone living there who it would really affect badly if they had to move.
  6. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    My sense is that the discretionary disregard really only comes into play when the person living there would be essentially homeless should the house be sold and thus have to be housed by the LA, or are really quite old and perhaps coming close to the age when they might well need care themselves.

    Personally, I'm on the siblings side from what you have said.
  7. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    I think they are a bit deluded to be honest. They chose to sell their house and kept the money. Whether they paid the mother rent or not, they will not be left destitute, as you say they also worked. I can't really see the right to live in a property they are not owning or properly renting when it's needed to pay care fees, unless it would rob someone of their live long home and they wouldn't be able to afford anywhere else. Had they kept their house and moved their mother in with them, surely they wouldn't now think the money she would have made selling her own home would be theirs to hold onto? So why would her house be theirs to keep living in?
  8. Raggedrobin

    Raggedrobin Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    Apparently they haven't paid any rent, either, although they did pay the utilities. Well I will reassure the woman I was talking to that it seems unlikely they can have their way on this. We both thought it sounded not quite right. Thanks all for your comments.:)
  9. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    A hard one to call, if they sold their house 20 years ago then anything they got wouldn't buy a dog kennel these days. What I wonder was the original motivation for moving in with her?
    If they've all lived together for 20 years and possibly have been splitting all the costs, they may well have been doing the lion's share of the housework and maintenance as she got older then I do feel they have some rights to be considered.
    I think if my brother or sister had looked after a parent for 20 years then I'd be reluctant to see them made homeless either by social services wanting it sold or me saying it should "be sold to get their mother the best care they can", part of me wonders if they want vacant possession for when the will gets read out.
    I believe from what I've read they have an excellent case for getting the council to disregard the house, whether it suits the siblings to have them carry on living there after mum goes into care is a different matter.
    I can see both sides, on the one hand no one wants her to end up in a council funded grotty care home when selling the house could put her somewhere much nicer, on the other hand unless mum has been paying all the household bills for the last 20 years then they do deserve some consideration for the contribution they have made into what for 20 years has been there home.
  10. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    I think you might find that because they gave up their home 20 years ago and have lived with the Mother ever since that they may well have discretionary grounds to live there. Property prices have increased so much in the last 20 years that they wouldn't be able to buy a new house and so effectively they gave it up for the Mother (or could make it appear so) also they are paying the bills which would be considered a decent contribution to the household.

    I think they could plead their case on discretionary grounds
  11. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    Wow. So they lived rent-free for 20 years while their savings had a chance to grow and now they'd like to continue living rent-free in someone else's house just because of a two year care period? They clearly didn't give up their home with a purpose of caring for her, so I see no grounds for discretion. What a nerve.
  12. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    Now why did they sell up 20 years ago when they've only been caring for 2 years? House prices have gone up a lot in 20 years. I smell something odd here!
  13. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    Because they realised they could live rent-free and thus use their money on other things! They didn't care for her for 20 years, they just lived with her and cared for the last two. You probably don't know but has anyone LPA for the mother?
  14. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    Radcliffe on Trent
    Definitely agree Beate. Of course, one option would be for them to start paying a commercial rent which might cover the fees? Especially if any balance could be put onto a deferred payment scheme?
  15. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    If they moved in 20 years ago, continued to work would they not be classed as lodgers.?

    Paying the utility bills is the same as someone renting a house and they pay rent too but the house is not theirs nor do they expect it to be. Surely the couple should just expect to move on and rent somewhere else.
  16. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    It's an interesting one and I tend to side with the siblings.

    A friend's son-in-law was due a share in a maiden aunt's house after her death. A cousin (also a beneficiary) moved in supposedly temporarily, but is now pregnant and has now moved her boyfriend in too.

    Bit of a moral dilemma there - do they kick them out - but if not, how is that fair on the other cousins who are struggling to support young families themselves and would appreciate an inheritance at this time in their lives?

    Another scenario - both my SIL's have sons in their mid-30s who are still living at home. Both the boys (men!) have siblings who have moved away.

    If that is still the case when my SILs & BILs die, then who gets the houses? The ones who have lived there 'all their lives' or will they be asked to buy their siblings out or move so it can be sold and the monies shared equally. I'm sure they've contributed 'board and lodging' since they started work, but that's hardly the same as standing on your own with a mortgage and related bills, whilst raking in a decent salary.

    I agree that a lodger status seems appropriate in such cases.
  17. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    #17 Witzend, May 1, 2015
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
    I don't really see any argument re the son in law and the pregnant cousin. If they are supposed to get defined shares once probate is tied up, then unless there is enough cash to give other beneficiaries their fair share, the house must be sold and the proceeds divvied up. The pregnant one and her b/f can use that cash to fund accommodation elsewhere. I dare say it would not be altogether comfortable for whoever is executor to tell them they would have to move out, but they must surely understand that an executor is bound to follow the terms of the will - unless they make a Deed of Variation which must of course first be agreed by all beneficiaries.
  18. count2ten

    count2ten Registered User

    Dec 13, 2013
    #18 count2ten, May 1, 2015
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
    Had a case once where a son , and his girlfriend, moved in to live with his mother who had a a diagnosis of dementia. Within 6 months he contacted social services and asked for his mother to be moved into a care home because he now had a diagnosis of depression and couldn't cope. At the review he calmly informed us that that because of his "condition" he was in receipt of benefits, and therefore the property would be disregarded and he would be able to continue living there. We moved his mother into a care home in her best interests, as there were some safeguarding issues, difficult to substantiate, and the LA would not get involved in a protracted dispute to evict the son and his girlfriend anyway. Interestingly, he hadn't seen his mother for years before he moved into her home, he had been moving from country to country, and had no property or capital. (according to him, and how could it be proved otherwise? who has time to check these things? ) - so it was no surprise to discover at the 6 month review he had not visited his mother at all since she moved into the care home . Too upsetting for him apparently.
  19. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    Some people are just shameless. Can't say I'm altogether surprised, though. Do you think he was shamming the depression in order to get benefits and get shot of his mother?

    You do wish anybody up to such tricks would be found out and banged up a la Saints and Scroungers... Mind you, banging anyone up just costs even more taxpayer money.
  20. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    Some people are not even human. Social Services hound the people who are upfront and honest and have often cared for years and then let these kind of criminals get away with it. Thank goodness they did move the Mother, I dread to think how she would have been treated by him in her home with no one watching. Frightening

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