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Care & carers

Carers right to stay in the home

(41 Posts)
qball101 Thu 02-May-13 23:45:13

After a long time trying to make things work at home my mother is moving into residential care and the local authority are going to means test her. She has no cash or assets to speak of other than her house. The great thing is that she seems quite happy to move which makes it much easier but my sister who has lived in the family home since the late 90s has been told she's got somewhere between 3 and 9 months to get out.

My sister has been my mum's carer for a significant period of time, although when she moved back home I would say that my mum was her carer to start with after my sister split from her husband. But for at least the last 5 years my sister has been my mum's carer, with it only being 'full on' for roughly the last 2 years.

I'm going to speak to CAB as I thought that carers had rights in these sorts of situations, although the council are saying there's no room for manoeuvre. My sister has some 'mental health' issues (for which she is medicated) which makes it seem even more unreasonable on the council's part and I fear that once the reality of being homeless dawns on her she'll do something stupid. We don't really care about the financial side of things but I am really keen to make sure that my sister gets more than 3 to 9 months in the home.

I was just wondering if there was any advice or information out there that members of this board might be able to draw to my attention?

Anne58 Fri 03-May-13 09:30:04

Try contacting Age UK, they may be a better first port of call.

Mishap Fri 03-May-13 11:20:42

This is from the Alzheimers Society website (same rules apply even if do not have dementia):

"A person's home will not be taken into account as capital if it is occupied by:

a husband, wife or unmarried partner
a close relative under the age of 16, or over the age of 60
a relative under the age of 60 who is disabled.

The local authority may also ignore the value of the house if it is the permanent home of a carer."

It looks as though you should go back to the LA in this.

And here is a (rather long!) link to what Age UK have to say about it all:

Good luck with this!

Galen Fri 03-May-13 11:47:26

This is right up someone's street. I'm surprised he hasn't jumped I'm.

Galen Fri 03-May-13 11:47:35


granjura Fri 03-May-13 12:18:30

I am amazed there is no cap though. So a spouse could stay in an 8 bedroom, 5 bathroom mansion worth, say 5+ mio- and it would not be taken into consideration?

granjura Fri 03-May-13 13:31:24

Of course, as per heating allowance and bus pass, etc - it would be difficult to decide where to draw that famous line. Some would think that 50.000 a year makes you very rich, others would say 80, or 100- perhaps even 150...

Those people with huge mansions worth millions are actually not that rare in some parts of UK- I can think of quite a few actually.

qball101 Fri 03-May-13 13:34:57

Thanks for the advice. I agree about the cap, the house isn't big though, it's about 900 sq feet and not worth that much. Like I said it's not a financial thing, I would be happy if the council would let my sister stay in the house until she's ready to move on and then take the money from the sale.

As it stands I think they are just robbing Peter to pay Paul as my sister is likely to become a burden on the council due to her mental health and the effects the forced move will have on it. They are also saying that she is responsible for selling the house and having sold a couple myself, I know this is enough to push even the most stiff upper lip to jelly.

Aka Fri 03-May-13 13:40:00

If your sister is over 60 and it's her permanent residence she is entitled to stay in the house as Mishap says.

HUNTERF Fri 03-May-13 18:48:01

If you look at Age Concern Factsheet 38 shown in Mishap's post paragraph 3 Councils have discretion to disregard a property if somebody has given up a home to care for somebody now requiring care in a care home but it is not obliged to exercise this discretion.

The fact that the daughter is disabled may prevent the council from forcing the sale of the home in this case and if she is over 60 the council definitely can not force the sale of the home.

I have been involved in a similar argument over the last few days.
The daughter moved back with her mother after being early retired and widowed in 2008. She inherited half of the property when her father passed away in 2003.
The mother went in to care early in 2011 on full NHS funding.
An assessment has just been carried out and they tried to put the mother on social funding.
The daughter is now 61 and the Social Worker tried to say she was not 60 when her mother entered the nursing home.
The daughter did point out she was an owner occupier and carer but the Social Worker then remarked that she had only been in the house for 3 years when the mother entered the home and said the daughter should have realised care was on the cards in 2008 so deprivation had happened in this respect and the Social Worker also said that 3 years was not a substantial time to care for somebody.
After some argument it was agreed the mother had to be fully funded by the NHS but as money is so short I think councils and the NHS are trying it on.


absent Fri 03-May-13 19:18:07

HUNTERF And home owners aren't trying it on?

HUNTERF Fri 03-May-13 19:46:33

In the case that I have mentioned above I knew the mother in 2008 and she was physically disabled but no signs of dementia at that time so in my opinion the daughter took a reasonable decision to move in with her mother.
The mother was taken in to care 2 weeks before the daughters 60 birthday on full NHS funding.

If the daughter had moved in a short time before just to protect the house there may be an argument that deprivation had happened but she had been in the house for nearly 3 years

The problem is what is the definition of a short time.
15 years may be a short time in some peoples opinion.

The daughter is now over 60 anyway so I think the social worker is trying to bend the rules.


Ariadne Fri 03-May-13 21:05:36

There you are, galen! smile

Galen Fri 03-May-13 21:12:50


HUNTERF Sat 04-May-13 11:35:51


You are right. There is no cap on the value of the home.
If there is a joint owner occupier which can be a son / daughter the house can not be sold by the council so it does pay to will half the house to the children on death of the first parent.
I do know social workers try every trick in the book to try to get the son / daughter to downsize if the property is jointly owned with the parent but they have to back down if the son / daughter stands firm.


bentley49 Sat 04-May-13 13:41:26

As far as I am concerned it is not the business of the council that the person has been caring for the person requiring care. The carer or joint owner should be given 3 months to come up with the money for the care and if it not paid bailiffs should go in to throw the carer or joinr owner out.

Grannyknot Sat 04-May-13 13:47:06

Am I understanding it correctly that people can be thrown out of their homes if the home belongs to an elderly parent who now has to go into care? The house simply gets taken by the local authority?! What a weird, distorted, system.

Mishap Sat 04-May-13 14:40:45

Let us go a bit gently on the SWs - they did not chboose to become financial gatekeepers of a system they mostly disapprove of.

And gently bentley on those carers who have given so much for no return and would find themselves without a home under the system you are advocating. Thankfully we live in a society that is not so harsh as to ignore what they have contributed (and all the money they have saved the state) and LAs have the discretion to act with honour. Let us hope that they do.

granjura Sat 04-May-13 16:03:21

HunterF - how can you justify a spouse keeping a multi-million house and expect the State to pay for care - and then children to inherit the lot. There definitely should be a cap - where to put it though, is the question.

Oh and btw - it is not THE STATE that pays, it is US THE TAX PAYERS - most of whom are not multi-millionaires!!

Nelliemoser Sat 04-May-13 16:07:27

Grannyknot not necessarily.

Factsheet 10  April 2013
Paying for permanent residential care
There are plenty more sites out there about this point.

HUNTERF Sat 04-May-13 16:12:14


The position is if one parent wills their half of the property to their children and then dies and the other parent has to go in to care the council can not take any of the house because the child has a right to live in the property.
If the child is simply living in the property without any title to it the council can take the house to pay the care home fees.
If somebody has been a carer for a substantial time then the council has discretion to let the carer stay and the fees can be taken when the carer leaves.
In qball101 case it appears that the council could let her stay but is not letting it happen.
In a case where a child has say never left home if they have no title to the property it can be taken but you would hope the council would put a charge on the property and take their money when the child dies.


HUNTERF Sat 04-May-13 17:21:22


It is not a question of justification. It is the law which has to be complied with.
In most cases the spouse is a joint owner and has a right to live in the property so none of it can be taken from them.
The same situation happens if say one parent has passed away, the child inherits half the house and then moves in.


HUNTERF Sat 04-May-13 17:21:36


It is not a question of justification. It is the law which has to be complied with.
In most cases the spouse is a joint owner and has a right to live in the property so none of it can be taken from them.
The same situation happens if say one parent has passed away, the child inherits half the house and then moves in.


Ariadne Sat 04-May-13 17:51:42


granjura Sat 04-May-13 17:53:11

They can stay all they want if they can afford it - but as a taxpayer I'd really resent my taxes going to pay for people to stay in multi-million homes whilst WE pay for the care of spouse.

Stupid laws need changing - no wonder many young people working so hard raising families, with little hope of a decent pension in the future - are resenting pensioners' special rights when they are so unfair.