Selling a property to pay for care

It’s common knowledge that, as an aging population, more and more people are becoming reliant on care homes later in life. The biggest issue with this, is that the cost of social care is rarely free and a person’s ability to pay for care is worked out through a means test.

Under a means test run by councils in England, if a person needs to go into permanent care, anyone with savings and property worth more than £23,250 must pay their care home bills. Once that threshold is reached, councils pay a share of the bills until a resident’s assets are down to £14,250.
After someone’s savings have dwindled to this figure, the council will pay care home fees, but those who still own a property must sell it to meet the bills. The only caveat to this is if the property is still occupied by:

  • a partner or former partner
  • an estranged or divorced partner IF they are also a lone parent
  • a relative who is aged 60 or over
  • a relative who is disabled
  • a child of the person going into care is aged under 18

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s election pledge was that ‘Nobody should sell their home to pay for the cost of that care.’ However, up to now there has been no count of how many people have sold their homes to pay for care, therefore, Mr Johnson has no way of knowing the potential cost of his pledge. It is estimated that between 40,000 and 70,000 people per year sell their home to pay for care. Now with billions of pounds of national debt following the Pandemic, it is hard to see that this is a pledge the Tory’s will be able to uphold.

Some people, if eligible, are able to enter into a ‘deferred payment agreement’ (DPA) with the local council. This is where the council makes a legal agreement to provide financial support for a person’s care costs, on the condition they will be repaid from the property at a later date. This usually involves the council placing a legal charge on your property with the Land Registry to secure repayment.

A DPA could last until the person passes away, after which the costs will be paid from their estate, or could be a temporary arrangement to give the person or their family time to sell the home when they choose to do so.

The decision to sell a family home, or a property belonging to a family member, is never an easy one, particularly if the decision has been forced through financial necessity. We have worked with many families in this position who do not want the heartache of putting the property on the open market and having to conduct viewings or deal with agents and solicitors.

If you are facing the difficult decision of having to sell your home, or someone else’s, to pay for care, and would like to speak confidentially and without obligation about the possibility of a quick property sale for cash, WeBuyProperty  will be happy to discuss this with you and answer any questions you may have.

Phone number: 0207 449 9797