1. Our next Q&A session is on the topic of Christmas and dementia.This time we want our Q&A to involve our resident experts, you! Share tips and advice on navigating Christmas here in this thread.

    Pop by and post your questions or if you prefer you can email your question to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

is it possible to force the sale of a property

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by james05, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. james05

    james05 Registered User

    Aug 2, 2012
    Hi, my father had to move into a care home, there was a charge placed on his home as I lived there with my young daughter, a few years later i moved from the area because of my job and soon after my sister moved our father out of the care home into her home, my father has dementia.

    I'm wondering what happens next, as his house has been empty nearly a year now, can the council or anyone else force a sale of the house ?

    thank you for any info.
  2. Millie51

    Millie51 Registered User

    Jan 11, 2015
    Napier, New Zealand
    I think you have to get in touch with his lawyer, if he has one, if he doesn't then your lawyer would be the first step. He might have something already set up for the situation
  3. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    Radcliffe on Trent
    #3 Pickles53, Jan 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
    Not qualified to answer your original question, but just to mention another issue. Apologies if you already have this covered.

    Insurance companies may refuse coverage if a property has been empty so long. My mum's house has been unoccupied since last August when she moved into a care home where she died a few months later. To keep the insurance going we have to meet various stringent conditions, and they have already said they would not renew coverage for next year. We're hoping the house will have been sold before the renewal date in May as we will otherwise have to look for expensive specialist insurance.

    As it is they will not cover any valuable items and have significantly increased the excess ££
  4. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    I don't think they can force the sale of a home that has a deferred payment agreement (I assume that's what exists). Of course when the home is sold eventually that lien will have to be repaid. And Pickles has made an excellent point: an unoccupied home can be massively difficult to insure.
  5. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    I would imagine it all depends on what is written in the deferred payment agreement. The LA will obviously want the money back one way or another.

    Is there a reason why you don't want the house to be sold?
  6. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    He could be like my family. Family dont live in the area in which my mum is living in a care home, so they stay at her bungalow when they visit.

    WILLIAMR Account Closed

    Apr 12, 2014
    You are correct Pete.
    In the past the LA I am under told relatives to keep the house for a short period if the patient is not expected to live very long.
    We did make a complaint last year because a daughter was told to sell the house she occupied with her mother immediately. The house was jointly owned so the LA was wrong in this respect.
    The daughter got CHC funding for her mother after a lot of argument. Sadly the mother died 3 weeks after going in to care.
    If the mother had been liable for her own fees the daughter could have paid for 3 weeks from her own funds.

  8. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    Brixham Devon

    No one has to pay for their loved one's care fees. If the person has funds under the £23000.00 (approx) threshold the LA pay with the person in care giving a contribution. Do you mean the daughter WOULD have paid by choice as opposed to COULD have paid?

    Your example of a daughter being a joint owner doesn't seem relevant to the OP's query. The OP hasn't mentioned her Dad's house having any protection on it. She is asking what happens to the house/charge on it.

    Lyn T
  9. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    Personally, I can't see the attraction in keeping a property empty. At the very least it would be preferable to rent it out.

    We sold my mums house and MILs bungalow ASAP as we didn't want to be bothered with ongoing bills and maintenance of the house and garden. At this time of year, you either need to drain the heating/water system or keep the heating on. If there is no heating, there is a real risk of condensation buildup, leading to damp and mould.

    And with spring on the doorstep, the weeds are just waiting to grow.

    MILs bungalow was sold two weeks ago and it was looking tired and unloved, despite all the work we had put into it over the summer to get it really for sale. We were all pleased to see the back of it.
  10. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    Radcliffe on Trent
    Fair point, we don't live locally and have been staying at mum's house while we sort things out in preparation for putting it up for sale.It depends on individual circumstances of course but it could still be a more expensive choice to keep a house running for occasional visits rather than staying in a B&B or similar.

    WILLIAMR Account Closed

    Apr 12, 2014
    Hi Lyn

    The daughter could have paid for 3 weeks and if she would have had to in order to keep the property she would have paid.
    If the mother was only entitled to LA funding she would have made the LA pay and paid top up. The mother did not have £23,000 in a liquid form.
    The social worker was of the opinion that the daughter should downsize as she was left in a 4 bedroom detached house on her own.
    The daughter refused and after a fight the mother got CHC funding.

  12. Delphie

    Delphie Registered User

    Dec 14, 2011
    The local authority can apply to a court for an order of sale, if they want. I've no idea how often this happens though.
  13. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    Brixham Devon
    Now I am confused. In your previous post you stated that the Mother and Daughter were Joint Owners so the house couldn't be sold. So why would the Daughter have paid to keep the house.?
  14. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    Brixham Devon
    James just to clarify. Did you receive any communication from the LA when your Dad moved from the CH to live with your Sister? Has this happened recently? Have you any info about how much is owed? It almost appears as though the LA has forgotten about your Dad and the charge on the house. I'm stumped:eek:I hope someone will come along soon with the relevant advice.

    Take care

    Lyn T X
  15. nicoise

    nicoise Registered User

    Jun 29, 2010
    I am assuming the charge was placed upon the house because your father should have been paying for his care.

    Were the care fees paid by the council ever re-paid to them?

    If the debt was cleared, then the charge should be lifted from the property.

    If the debt was not repaid, can your father repay it from any other assets without having to sell the house?

    It is not so much a situation that the council forces the sale of the property, but rather more that it seeks to have the debt it believes is due to it repaid, which may mean having to sell the property to pay that debt.

    WILLIAMR Account Closed

    Apr 12, 2014
    Hi Lyn

    All I am saying was the daughter wanted to keep the house and if the law had been different she would have rather paid than downsized.
    I feel sure the LA just wanted the money and hoped she would have would have taken their instruction to downsize.
    Fortunately the daughter did not fall in to that trap and she found out about CHC funding very quick.

  17. lexy

    lexy Registered User

    Nov 24, 2013
    #17 lexy, Jan 26, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  18. realist1234

    realist1234 Registered User

    Oct 30, 2014

    'Noone has to pay for their loved ones care fees' - that is only true if a suitable home is found that does not charge so-called 'top-up' fees, ie above the max weekly fees that the LA will pay (currently around £481/w for residential and £581 for nursing). Given that most homes are now privately run, youll find that many if not the majority charge more than that max, and once the person ceases to be self-funding (ie assets below £23250), a 3rd party, usually family must pay the difference.

    WILLIAMR Account Closed

    Apr 12, 2014
    Hi realist1234

    Family does not have to pay any top up.
    When my step mother went in to care I was advised as a step son that I would have to pay a £1,000 plus top up or my step mother could be let out and I would be responsible for any damage she does.
    The facts are I could have not have been held liable and the council has to find a home within its limits or pay the extra.
    The only time top up will apply is if there is a suitable home at £581 and the relatives want a home for say £700 per week to be used.
    An LA can not legally go to the relatives and say only a home at £700 a week is available and we are only willing to pay £581 so you must pay £119 per week.
    I do know some have tried it on.

  20. Soobee

    Soobee Registered User

    Aug 22, 2009
    Yes, WilliamR is right to say you cannot be forced to pay a top-up.

    If there is a cheaper home available the council can move your loved one to it, but if they are in the cheapest nursing home in the area then the council are obliged to pay for it, assuming there are no cheaper rooms e.g. those without en-suite.

    Councils do have arrangements with care homes where they book out so many beds and pay a lot less anyway. So the amount you would be charged is not what they pay.

    regarding the original question, there are circumstances where a sale can be forced but I doubt this is one of them.

    I also found it hard to ensure an empty property once the owner had died; it was all ok to ensure it as an attorney but once the owners died they were less willing to renew it. It would only cover buildings and fire. Not water damage and we left the water and heating on low. It was empty for 2 years. It took us that long to clear it out! We were very fortunate that in that two years the value shot up. But it was pure pure luck not planning.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.