Losing a house to pay for mother's care?

My friend’s mother has now been admitted to a nursing home. She used to live with her daughter in the family home. Her daughter gave up her job years ago to care for her mother and was her full time carer. Her care needs have now worsened meaning that she had to be admitted to a nursing home. The house has not been registered and the title deeds have been misplaced. If the house is used to pay for her mother’s care my friend will be homeless and will not be able to pay if a charge is placed on the house, because of her low income. Our questions are:
What is the criteria for Discretionary Disregard in relation to the house?
Have people here been able to claim discretionary disregard in similar circumstances to this?
If so, we were wondering what evidence helped support your claim (if you feel able to share)
Any advice gratefully received.
N.B My friend’s mother owns the majority of the house but not all of it. My friend owns a small part of the house.

Full details in the 2014 Care Act Regulations, or Age UK have a leaflet, or Google Charging for Care.

If your friend is over 60, it should be disregarded.

With regard to the location of the title deeds, they might not be in the house!

When we bought our house with a mortgage, the Halifax keep the deeds until the mortgage was paid off.
We later had a small loan from HSBC, also secured on the house.
So when the Halifax were paid off, they sent the deeds to HSBC.

It’s a long time ago now, but when HSBC were paid off, I’m sure I had to ask them for the deeds back.
They arrived with a letter saying "sorry we forgot and they’d also forgotten to take the “charge” off the house!!

Your friend might also like to consider the circumstances under which she owns a portion of the house.
If it was the result of a will, then that should act as proof.

Once this is sorted, I think you can volunteer to register a property with the Land Registry.
It’s based on the coast near Weymouth.
I wanted copies of the documents for all my neighbours (and ultimately discovered that I owned the bottom of my neighbours garden!!)
It’s a wonderful modern building, deserving of an architectural award. Worth making an excuse to go in and see it!!!

As Bowlingbun as stated…


Thank you for your replies everyone, they are much appreciated.

Unfortunately my friend is only 50 and there is no will. We are very concened that she will be homeless even if a deferred payment is put o the house. Would this be something that can be argued when she speaks to her local council?

Tell her to insist the council puts everything in writing, and DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING until she has taken proper legal advice.

The rules councils have to follow are all in the Care Act Regulations, she needs to investigate.

Make contact with …


Tell your friend to look at Age UK factsheet 38 Property and paying for residential care. Pages 8 and 9.

Whilst I understand your friend wants a cast iron answer, please gently point out that those on the forum are fellow carers, NOT paid advisors. We have given lots of information, but CANNOT give a definitive answer. She must consult a solicitor, ideally a specialist in social care law.

I agree with Bowlingbun she needs to see a solicitor.
You say that the title deeds have been misplaced and that your friend owns part of the house. I don’t disbelieve you, but this is all second-hand information so we can only speculate about the deeds, whether registration is necessary and possible etc. If the council were to place a charge on the house, it would want to find out more about the legal situation itself.

I am also not clear about this:

If the house is used to pay for her mother’s care my friend will be homeless and will not be able to pay if a charge is placed on the house, because of her low income.

If the mother has enough money to pay for care, she will have to or the council will pay in return for the charge. If she has not enough money, the mother will have to pay. Your friend is not liable to pay for her mother - although I suspect their finances are complicated.

Thank you so much everybody. Your replies are really appreciated. It sounds like the best next step for my friend is to get a specialist solicitor so that is how we’ll try to proceed.

Many thanks

Happy to help.

I can’t say for sure but I believe from when I looked into it that they can’t force the sale of a shared property if ownership is partly in someone elses’s name. It is worth trying to clarify that before getting too stressed out .