NHS Continuing Care application refused: legal charge put on property

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by smiffysmiffysmiffy, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. smiffysmiffysmiffy

    smiffysmiffysmiffy New member

    Jan 2, 2019
    5
    Hi all

    Looking for some advice if possible please.
    My parents had lived in their ex-council house for 35 years and I helped them to buy in 1985 as didn't want them to be moved to a flat by the council. They wouldn't have got a mortgage on their own as they were both retired and in reality I paid the majority of mortgage/bills quite happily as I had 'live-in accommodation' at the time and wanted to ensure they were provided for.
    My Father developed vascular dementia and had other associated health issues and was hospitalised for most of 2006 before being transferred to a care home. I maintained and still do that he was entitled to NHS Continuing Care. The LA did a shoddy job carrying out the DST etc. and treated the family very badly and it was all very distressing. I rejected the LA's financial assessment as I maintained that as joint owners my father's beneficial interest in the property should not have been assessed by dividing the current market value in two and should have based its value on the “beneficial interest to a willing buyer”, which would have made the valuation lower because finding a buyer willing to go into joint ownership with me would have been almost impossible.
    Unbeknown to me the LA put a legal charge against the property [they sent three separate letters to the empty property knowing full well my Mother had passed away many years earlier and my Father was in the care home and I was miles away juggling a full time job and family as well as visiting Dad as frequently as possible.
    So Dad passed away in 2007 and the house is being let out [with all the worry that brings!] as I am not willing to sell the house and give the LA any money for a man who worked all his life and never claimed a penny piece and who had vascular dementia and other health issues and was entitled to NHS CC. Sorry this is long, the question is - has anyone successfully challenged their LA in a similar situation and won? And what happens when I tell the LR [should have done so in 2007] that I am now the sole owner as the charge should only have referred to my father's share of the property and what happens now he is no longer with us?

    The fight goes on, it's the principle of the matter but I am rather weary of it all.
    Thanks
     
  2. Amethyst59

    Amethyst59 Registered User

    Jul 3, 2017
    5,738
    Female
    Kent
    Heavens this is a complicated matter. You might find that one of the members has experience of this, but it might be a better option for you to telephone the help line. They really are helpful.
    National Dementia Helpline
    0300 222 11 22
    Our helpline advisers are here for you.
    Helpline opening hours:
    Monday to Wednesday 9am – 8pm
    Thursday and Friday 9am – 5pm
    Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4pm
     
  3. smiffysmiffysmiffy

    smiffysmiffysmiffy New member

    Jan 2, 2019
    5
    Thank you for your quick response. I'll will try the helpline now.
     
  4. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,924
    Male
    North Manchester
    This is made more complicated by your timescale

    CRAG (Charging for Residential Accommodation Guide 2011) allowed for the open market valuation of a jointly owned property to be taken into account.advising that it could be zero.

    This did not appear in the replacement CA2014 (Care Act 2014) and LA's aggressively starting working on a valuation rather than the open market value.
    I have not read of any court challenge to this approach.
     
  5. witts1973

    witts1973 Registered User

    Jun 20, 2018
    673
    Male
    Leamington Spa
    I feel for you,has this just come out of the blue after all those years?The LA's must hate it when they find out some people that they will have to find and provide care for are living in rented property that they can't touch,but you and probably me are going to be harassed
     
  6. Normaleila

    Normaleila Registered User

    Jun 4, 2016
    662
    With regards to LR, a charge on a property is just that - there isn't such a thing as a charge on a share of a property. A charge means the sale proceeds can't be distributed until who gets what has been decided.
    I think you need to take legal advice and sort this sooner rather than later. Things can only be getting more complicated. Have you exhausted all appeals against the CHC decision? If the house belonged to you and your father, did you apply for probate? Or did his share come to you automatically? Could the LA claim half of the rents? (I have no idea.) Have you calculated how much CGT you may be liable for? How much longer can you cope with this stress? Is it worth it? You need to consider all these issues before deciding what you want to do next.
    I wish you well.
     
  7. smiffysmiffysmiffy

    smiffysmiffysmiffy New member

    Jan 2, 2019
    5
    Thank you for your reply. I am still waiting for the outcome of the last appeal. I fear my case may have got lost when all the changes were made from SHA to whatever it is now. I have put in a SAR for the local authority and will do the same for the NHS to see what they have on file. I didn't apply for probate as I was a joint tenant with my father so on his death I became the sole owner. I've no idea what the LA can claim I'm not even sure what the bill is at the moment as the last time they wrote to me was in 2009! The last time I heard from my claim was 2014. The thing is it's so distressing every time I have to get the box of files out of the attic and read through my Dad's note and the DST etc. that it floors me - hence I need to get a grip of it this year and sort it out. Don't think the CGT will be that great - it's an ex-council house up North so won't fetch much. Never bought it with the intention of making money - it was just to secure my parents' home given they'd lived there for 35 years when the right to buy came about in 1985! I will post here again when I have an update.....! Thanks all.
     
  8. smiffysmiffysmiffy

    smiffysmiffysmiffy New member

    Jan 2, 2019
    5
    Hi, thanks for your reply. No it hasn't come out of the blue - it's been rumbling on since 2007 but it's just exhausting getting all the paperwork out and resurrecting everything. I need to get a grip of this in 2019 and sort it out one way or the other - but it's very complicated even with all the resources on the internet and forums like this. Thanks
     
  9. smiffysmiffysmiffy

    smiffysmiffysmiffy New member

    Jan 2, 2019
    5
    Thank you for your reply. I think as this case started in 2006/2007 it fell under the previous guidance [which changed at some point several times before the Care Act 2014 came into force on 01.04.15] this is what makes it difficult as the case started under one regime and then the appeal held under another - most confusing. At the time of the financial assessment I don't believe the LA actually obtained a proper valuation and in any case at the time I maintained that the LA couldn't force a sale or include my father's share of the property given no-one would be interested in buying a half share in a house - I was told by a solicitor that my father's beneficial interest should have been disregarded. It's all a mess compounded by the distances involved and I was working full time and had young children - hence it's rumbled on for so long. I will update the forum when I have any progress. Thanks
     

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