Is this legal? Mortgage on own home but moving back with mum

Couldn’t fit my question in the title, but more like: Is this legal? Having and paying the mortgage on our own home but moving back with my parents to care for them, in their (council house) home

I could do with some help/advice, please!! Sorry, but I need to explain the situation a bit, before the actual question…

I have elderly parents living in Berkshire. Just about 2 years ago, my partner and I bought and moved to our first home together, in Lancashire.

I was trying to visit my parents at least x1 a month. Was in “negotiations” with work (literally just like a week ago!) to change my rota with the view to upping visits to x2 a month because my parents need some extra help - but now, we had confirmation yesterday that my stepdad has cancer again.

It’s his third time to have cancer. He is 85 and is saying this time he is completely fed up and does not want any chemotherapy etc

So, as I say, I was in the process of trying to visit them more but (in my heart) this has pushed the situation into: I need to be there with them and look after them, myself. (I work/have worked as an HCA for 11 years.)
My mum is 75. As my stepdad no doubt gets weaker she is not really in a good position to care for him, herself as she has diabetes, did have cancer before, just generally weaker and sometimes bewildered/language barrier problems because she is Filipino.

My partner and I want to help them and we are willing to go to the extreme of leaving our jobs here in Lancashire and moving back down South, getting jobs there, and taking care of my parents. We are not, however, prepared to sell or “give up” the home we saved so hard to get!

So my question is, is this even legal? : Owning our own home and paying the mortgage on it - but not living in it (possibly, for some years!!) and moving back into my parent’s council house, and having jobs there, in that town ??

Please, no judgement. Yes, I knew they were “getting on” when we moved out, I did not forsee my stepdad getting cancer, yet again. :frowning:

Please no advice for them to move up here or to move into a retirement complex or a care home!!! I have pulled my hair out trying to get them to consider moving into a retirement complex near our own home (and I would / could cover the cost with my wages here!)
My stepdad had told me before, that both his sister and brother died in that council house, and he expects to die there too. :confused:

Sorry to sound callous, but if/when he does pass away before my mum - there would be no issue with all three of us (mum, me, my partner) leaving Berkshire and moving back into our own house in Lancashire.

Thanks for any insight. My brain is fried.

Welcome to the forum. It’s not a case of being “legal” or “judgement”.
As this is the carers forum, let’s look at it differently.
What do they both need?
If step dad has cancer and doesn’t want treatment, then he is going to need more and more help until he dies. If between them they have under £46,000 in savings, that help will be available through Social Services.
To get this, he should as Social Services for a Needs Assessment, and mum should have a Carers Assessment to see what support she needs.
Towards the end, he will be entitled to NHS Continuing Healthcare.
He is probably entitled to Attendance Allowance. Has he claimed?
You have a RIGHT to a life of your own, to enjoy your new home, a happy life.
Do you or mum have Power of Attorney for him?

Do you know how long dad is likely to have left?

Hi Sarah,

you would need to check the terms of your Mum and Stepdad’s rent agreement to see if they are allowed to let you move in and also the terms of your mortgage provider.

Were you thinking of letting your house or leaving it empty. You would definitely need permission from the mortgage company to let it and you would need to look carefully at house insurance if it was going to be empty for any length of time.

The Citizen’s Advice Bureau may be able to advise too.

I would explore BB’s advice about getting care for your Stepdad in their home. Do they currently receive help and support from a hospice?

As you say, you could move your Mum done your way, after your Stepdad passes.


Hi Sarah

I’m sorry you find yourself in such an overwhelming position. And your step Dad’s current health issues. And Mum own health needs.

You do need outside looking in on your situation. And I’m glad you came to the forum. Please take your time in not making to quickly - possibly rash decision/s. This will effect you whole life moving forward. There are plenty of ways for support in the family home. As been mentioned there needs to be a needs assessment. Your step Dad has made his decision and that’s his prerogative. However, he has to understand the impact on that decision on those around him. You all need support as you may well all have differing views. Yes, step Dad can stay at home till the end. But he will have to understand what’s is involved. What support the rest of your need for that to happen. There is now already a state of bereavement as it’s been made more finally.

He has now told me over the phone that he would have radiotherapy, but he is saying no to chemotherapy. The thing is, from what I’ve read online it is chemotherapy that is the main therapy against pancreatic cancer. Radiotherapy is used sometimes in conjunction with this. If he was told this at the preliminary consultation, he did not take it in - but I am not even sure just yet, just what the health professionals told him at that meeting/appointment when they told him the results. I rang them up and they said a letter will be sent to his GP, and then a copy will go to him. I can only read this when it arrives and I have the chance to visit in 2 weeks time.

My partner and I were already going to bring the POA papers to him at this time too. I have spoken to his daughter on the phone and she says she is willing to do it but seeing as she only got back into contact with her dad, my stepdad, just shy of 3 years ago - she recognises we are closer, and would be more suitable. Ultimately, it is up top him.

I am sure he is claiming Attendance Allowance. My mum gets Carer’s Allowance for looking after him but to be honest I would say that she is not fit to do so anymore, herself.

I will certainly look into a Needs Assesment for him. It will take some pushing because he is just “not bothered” half of the time. He seems to only seek help/try to organise help when things get too late. :confused:

Sorry - thanks, if you read all that!!

After talking it over, it seems “better” (well, not really but certainly “easier”) if I were to live with my parents and look after them - and get a new HCA job there on Sat and Sundays only.

My partner is one of 3 senior members of a 4-5 person team. He is going to try and get everyone together next month, in the New Year, to talk about a rotation of working from “home” (which would mean driving down to work from my parent’s house and us being able to be together.)

It’s the last case scenario, but I did not write in any of the above that my mum is diabetic herself and she is beginning to have memory problems. Again - without sounding callous - it’s really my stepdad who is the big problem because he does not want to leave that house/town, whereas my mum would be open to living with or near us in an assisted living facility that I would personally pay for, for the both of them.

I don’t know about Hospices. We really only got the confirmation of cancer 1-2 days ago. Stepdad has had cancer in the past twice and recovered but now he has a different one (pancreatic) and he is also 85. If/when he starts treatment, I can see him getting weak very quickly. He still washes at the basin for himself and walks around the house, just. But my mum does everything else for him: cooking, cleaning… And now I’d say my mum can’t handle bills/letters etc and definitely not carrying groceries by herself, if my stepdad goes downhill and can’t even get them when going out on his mobility scooter… :frowning:

I feel like I will have to leave my job here and move back in with them and get a job there. I have asked work for rota change x3 times and although I can appreciate they try to give me the requested day/s off - they absolutely cannot guarantee the same rota every single 2 weeks (we have a 2 week rolling rota.)

I am just completely overwhelmed. Sorry for the whole book I’ve written here :confused: Thanks for reading.

Thank you for the links and advice. The problem is, for me to really help them and organise things I feel like I need to be with them all the time. Work would never let me have a sudden 2 weeks off right now because we have some staff who have had positive results at work - so we are short staffed. (Mainly day shift and I work night shift but still, everything has a knock-on effect.)

Work does not know that my stepdad has cancer but I did already ask them x2 on x2 different occasions spaced months apart if they could change my rota to guarantee me certain pattern which allowed me to drive the 4 hours down to see/stay with my parents. Work have been apologetic and said they will try their best but they cannot guarantee it. I am close to leaving and having a break to sort out my parents affairs, then finding work down south if I stay with them.

My brother had pancreatic cancer when he was 59. From diagnosis to death it was very quick, just five months.
It’s normally very aggressive, given dad’s age and health, the outlook is not good.

Please ring the pancreatic cancer charity as soon as possible, and they will be able to give you lots of information that you need, in order to make the right decision for you. It’s going to be a tough year.

Under these circumstances, I would urge you both to keep your jobs, so that they you will have some stability and can keep paying your mortgage and have a secure situation to bring mum back into. Meanwhile make sure that all the support dad needs is in place.