Right to stay in the family home

Could someone please clarify the law for me. My brother is 43 and lives in the family home with my mother. He doesn’t work as he has mental health problems. However, he isn’t registered as disabled in any way and has never received benefits. Instead, he lives off our mother, who is happy about this as he provides her with love and companionship. She has left everything to me and my brother, including the house and about £100,000 in savings. When my mother dies, we have agreed that we will sell the house and my brother will buy a small flat of his own with his share of the inheritance. But what if my mother develops a long term illness, like dementia or Parkinson’s, and has to go into a nursing home? Would my brother have the right to stay in the house? Presumably, after her savings had been used up on the care costs, the house would have to be sold and he would be homeless.


Read page 3

Disregarded property
If a care home stay is expected to be
temporary then the value of any property
owned by the resident is ignored.
However if a stay becomes permanent
then the value of the property must be
In some situations, the value of a
property may be ignored by the local
authority. The disregards generally apply
where the home is occupied by one of the
 The care home resident’s partner (who
is not estranged or divorced from
 A relative of the resident who is aged
over 60, or is incapacitated.
 A child under the age of 16 years who
the resident is liable to maintain.
 A lone parent who is the resident’s

The local authority also has the discretion
to ignore property in special
circumstances; for example if it is the sole
residence of the care home resident’s
previous carer who gave up their own
home and/or employment in order to
care for them.

The best thing you can do is to get your brother some disability benefits, because if a son or daughter is disabled they have a right to stay in the house.
However, the real fly in the ointment is the plan to sell up and get a smaller place for your brother. You CANNOT do this before mum dies, because then the capital the house sale releases would then be taken for care home fees!!!

From above link
2 What is deprivation of assets?
Deprivation of assets means you have intentionally decreased your
overall assets, in order to reduce the amount you contribute towards the
cost of care services provided by the local authority.
The local authority must show that you knew you may need care and
support in the future when you carried out this action. It is therefore an
evidence-based test of both foreseeability and intention.
Inheritance Tax gifting rules do not apply to social care. Any past
disposal of assets can be considered as possible deprivation.


Just out of curiosity…
Is there any way to register as having a disability without claiming benefits?

When you think of all the people who get rejected for PIP and the folks who try hard to work with severe disabilities, surely there’s a way to show you have additional needs/struggles without involving the DWP??

DWP have now changed rules about PIP and mental health issues. Might be worth reapplying, or taking advice from a benefits advice service?

Accessing a disability benefit is a gateway for social care services. Which may be future need.

It would help if you could be a bit more specific about the nature of your brother’s illness.
One day, he is going to have to move, and settling down into a new home while grieving for your bother is going to mean that he will need a lot of help.
Has he any idea of household management, bills, etc.?
Does he have a learning disability, or autism?

He has always struggled with socialising (would hide in his room when family or neighbours popped round, wouldn’t come to the pub, dropped out of university, etc) and this has made it difficult for him to work. He has a masters degree, and should really be a teacher. Instead, he does the odd delivery job, but mostly stays at home reading. I suspect he also suffers from mild depression. He was always a very quiet, withdrawn sort of person. In a way, he’s sort of given up on life. He’s one of those people who just doesn’t deal with reality very well. No, he isn’t autistic or anything like that.