A smiling carer chats with an elderly lady

Meeting care home fees – deciding when to sell your property

I come across many cases where people needing care have few assets other than a share or ownership of a house.

When they move into a care home the local Council will pick up the cost of care. The Council puts a legal charge on their property and waits for it to be sold before it seeks repayment of the care fees it has paid to the care home. As the person who has gone into care is over the financial eligibility limit they are a self funder, despite receiving temporary assistance from the Council to pay the fees while the house is unsold. This is a Deferred Payment Agreement.

But when should you sell the house if you are in that position? You may be an Attorney or Deputy having to make the decision.

One thing to check before you make the decision is whether the care home has a different fee rate for Council placements rather than private individuals. I recently dealt with a case where the house had to be sold and the care home then demanded a further £300 per week because the resident was now paying the care home fees direct, rather than the Council.

It all makes quite a difference.