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Can they keep the house

Raggedrobin

Registered User
Jan 20, 2014
1,427
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.
 

katek

Registered User
Jan 19, 2015
191
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.
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.
 

sue38

Registered User
Mar 6, 2007
10,854
52
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

Discretion to disregard property

7.011 Where the LA considers it reasonable to do so, they can disregard the value of premises not covered in paragraphs 7.002 to 7.008 in which a third party lives. LAs will have to balance the use of this discretion with the need to ensure that residents with assets are not maintained at public expense. It may be reasonable, for example, to disregard a dwelling's value where it is the sole residence of someone who has given up their own home in order to care for the resident, or someone who is an elderly companion of the resident, particularly if they have given up their own home. These are only examples and not exhaustive. Schedule 4 paragraph 18

7.012 As with issues of deprivation, LA’s should consider the intention behind the occupation of the premises by the third party. For example, whether it was to care for the resident or whether it was in anticipation of avoiding the inclusion of the property in the financial assessment. It would only be reasonable to disregard the property in the first example. The timing of the move into the property by the third party and the prognosis of the resident at that time will also be relevant.

Example
A close friend gives up their own home to care for the resident at a time when the need for residential care cannot be anticipated. This would be reasonable circumstances for the LA to give consideration to the exercise of discretion.

7.013 Where the LA has decided to disregard the value of a property, it is left to the LA to decide if and when to review that decision. It would be reasonable, for example, where the LA has been ignoring the value of a property because a long-term carer was living there, for the LA to begin taking account of the value of the property when the carer dies or moves out.
 

Raggedrobin

Registered User
Jan 20, 2014
1,427
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.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
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.
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,988
London
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?
 

Raggedrobin

Registered User
Jan 20, 2014
1,427
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.:)
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,771
Salford
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.
K
 

fizzie

Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
2,730
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
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,988
London
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.
 

Spamar

Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
7,214
Suffolk
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!
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,988
London
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?
 

Pickles53

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
2,474
Radcliffe on Trent
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.
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?
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
12,995
England
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.
 

Chemmy

Registered User
Nov 7, 2011
7,591
Yorkshire
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.
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
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.
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.
 
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count2ten

Registered User
Dec 13, 2013
186
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
http://www.housingcare.org/downloads/kbase/1546.pdf
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.
 
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Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
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.
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.
 

fizzie

Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
2,730
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