Resident trying to keep my home!

Hi All,

My name is Miss T and it is looking very likely that I will lose the property I have resided in for the last 26 years.

The tenancy agreement from 1995 states that the main tenant is my father and the second is my mother (joint) and there where 3 residents, myself, my sister and my brother.

Although at some point we all went off into different directions, the property in question has ALWAYS been my main home and I have held no other tenancy anywhere else, all documents and Identification has always led me back to the property, since we moved in and I have proof.

In 2019, my mother was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia and although I worked a job, I also cared for my mother.

When my mother passed away in March 2020 i started to the best of my ability to care for my father and as my father is a Greek Cypriot and speaks little to no English, he asked me to take full control of his finances and our home and wanted me to become the tenant, so I successfully obtained a lasting power of attorney for property and finance (currently in the process of applying for a health and welfare lasting power of attorney for my father).

A month ago my 81 year old father fell down a flight of stairs resulting in a hemiarthoplasty of the left hip, unfortunately I was not present when this happened, after my mothers passing I spent a lot of time with my partner whilst going through my grief, bereavement counselling and was placed on Fluoxetine for mild depression as well as suffering from an immunosuppressive condition.

My father was placed in supportive living to heal and so I could make our home safe for his return.

I was warned that should it be decided that my father would need round the clock care and there may be a cognitive impairment (he is yet to be assessed) then I would not be allowed to keep the home I practically grew up in and which holds far too many memories for me to bare to part with so I contacted the Hackney council housing management who informed me that even though my father is the first named tenant, as my mother had already passed the first and only succession went automatically to my father, however I was advised to find out if my father would be going into care and to find out if I am entitled to a discretionary succession.

But I’m also being told there is no way I will be able to keep my home and the tenancy can not be passed to me.

I think it’s time I mentioned that I do and have always lived in a 3 bedroom house and until recently it has just been my father and I and our 2 dogs, with my partner and his daughter staying on occasions, until we are married then he would reside with us.

I am so very desperate to keep hold of my childhood home that I am attached to not only because I grew up there, made a lifetime of memories in but I have a mental attachment to the property as it was part of my life journey with my mother and it’s the only thing that makes me feel connected to her.

Also would be a problem as my medical needs are dealt with at the doctors I have used for years and to move I’d have to change doctors!

I really need some help and advice!!

Sent from my iPhone

Edited by moderator to remove full name to protect identity

Unfortunately, if you are a tenant with a council or housing association, you may well lose your home.
It is very unfair, but that is the way the rules work.
All I can suggest is that you talk to the council and to Shelter, and to the Carers UK helpline.
Sadly, there have been others here in a similar position.
I wish I could give you better news.

As already stated your need to make contact with Shelter UK.

Hello, Miss T. I was once in a similar position.

When your family took on the tenancy of your present house, I presume there was means testing, and the letting was granted on the basis of five people in residence. Hence the house would be of a suitable size.

Unfortunately, since you are effectively a guest there, not the tenant, you have no right of succession. The council’s stand is that it has a social responsibity to house as many people as it can. Hence it would not be willing to grant you a tenancy based on a single occupier in a house big enough to house five people, when it very probably has families of five on its waiting list. It may be able to help you with a smaller house or flat.

By all means find out if Shelter or similar organisations can help - they have experience with things like this and may be able to suggest somthing. But don’t set your hopes too high.

Meanwhile, why not treat this as a new chapter in your life and look at the positive side? A smaller house would mean smaller rent and less upkeep - therefore more money and time to spend on the finer things in life, or savings. Involve your partner in decisions, even though you may prefer to live alone in short-term accommodation until you are married.

When I was in my late twenties we had to move out of the house where my family had lived since my early teens. I felt very settled in that house, but over time the family went separate ways like yours. Yes it was a wrench when the time came to move but we remained positive over where we would go next.

Now, several house moves later, I can go back and look at that house with fond memories of family life there. But there is no way I would want to move back in, even if that were possible.

Life moves on!