Seeking Urgent Advice - Registering as a Carer

Hi, my name is David and I live in Western Australia. My mother is 77 and lives in Reading, UK. She has advanced Parkinon’s disease and needs full-time care from my sister, who lives with her. The complicated part of this is that my sister has been living informally in my mother’s flat for the last 18 months, i.e. not officially on the lease. Also, when she moved in she brought her cats with her, which are also not registered on the lease.

A few days ago the landlord did their first inspection in about 2 years and even though they did’nt make any comment when they were there they have just sent an eviction notice to my mother yesterday to say that she has breached her tenancy agreement by having an un-registered person living there with cats.

I’m not sure if my sister has been formally registered as my mother’s carer yet, but I see this whole thing going to court; the land-lord can’t just evcit a 77 year old lady with Parkinson’s disease.

My sister has a history of drug and mental health issues herself and right now is in shock and struggling to process what has happened. I’m on the other side of the world and can’t travel due to border restrictions etc.

At the very least I want to find out how my sister can get formally registered as my mother’s carer in order to strengthen her argument for being allowed to continue to live with my mother. If my sister was forced to leave then my mother would have to go to a nursing home, which she does’nt want and which has higher COVID risks etc.

Can anybody anybody please advise on what my sister needs to do to become a registered carer for my mother?
Thanks in advance.

I would contact the citizens advice bureau and Shelter for advice.

Have a read of this section of the Shelter website:

Tell us more about mum first, so we can see the bigger picture.
Is it a private or social landlord?

To add more info on this, my Mother’s lease officially recognises her and my niece as the rightful tenants…my niece being my Mother’s granddaughter who she raised from the age of about 2 because my sister had drug problems etc and couldn’t cope. My niece is now 19 and still living in the flat and going to the local college. Up to 18 months ago it was just her and my Mother; then my sister got evicted from her own place and, with nowhere to go, moved in with my Mother and niece and took her cats with her. It was at a time when my Mother was getting increasingly frail and needing somebody to help with day to day things, and my niece never stepped up to take this on (she’s not very mature), so my sister actually did fill a need and has done ever since.

I found out today after ringing my sister that she isn’t my Mother’s official carer, in fact my niece is officially registered as the carer and gets paid a supplementary allowance for this, even though she demonstrates little competence or interest with this.

So the way I see it my sister needs to take over in an official capacity as my Mother’s carer, and then the three of them need to look for a place somewhere else as their current flat is only 2 bedroom and my sister has to sleep on the sofa bed in the lounge room. Either that or find some legal avenue for being able to remain in their current residence under extenuating circumstances.

Also, it is a private rental with rent paid for by the local council.

Hi David, I spent 3 happy years working in Roebourne Hospital, many years ago!

Your family situation is an absolute mess. Niece claiming Carers Allowance fraudulently, mum claiming Housing Benefit, probably not declaring your sister is living there, a total minefield. Was your sister working at all? Claiming any benefits herself?

I am usually able to think of a way out of things, but really, mum moving into a home would be the easiest solution.
Someone needs to contact Social Service and ask for a Needs Assessment for mum. Even more complicated because of the virus, social workers in my area are not allowed to do face to face visits!

Just because they’ve been given notice does NOT mean that they will be chucked out in the street on the day the notice expires. Have a look at the Shelter website for more information.

Hi bowlingbun, my sister has never really worked her entire adult life, she’s on disability benefits for bipolarism and other mental health issues. I’m hoping there’s some way they can all stay together under the one roof and avoid putting my Mother in a home because of COVID risks and stress from being seperated from family etc.
My sister has Legal Power of Attorney for my Mother’ health and wellfare concerns. She is going to contact Shelter, AgeUK, and a few other organisations tomorrow.

In that case, they should be able to find a private rental. Also suggest they contact the local council, the rules about waiting lists have changed recently, and with two vulnerable people that might make them a priority.

To be honest honest, even though I’m a bit judgemental about my niece, she also has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and takes medication for it, so all three if them are vulnerable in that respect. Thanks for the advice bowlingbun, hopefully the next few days will provide some posotive answers on where this is heading.

Hello David,

There are many moving parts and it sounds like there is a level of co-dependency between your mother, sister and niece so the best course of action would be to get in touch with citizens advice immediately who can probably sort out some legal aid, it would most certainly suit them best to have an appointed person (solicitor) to communicate matters through on their behalf.

Horrible as it sounds I do think if they want to remain together they will need to start looking at other accommodation, you can’t rule out that they had that one landlord in 100 who was actually sympathetic to their situation, but legally had no choice than to issue notice or face prosecution themselves if discovered to be turning a blind eye due to our overcrowding laws.

Best wishes

A few days ago the landlord did their first inspection in about 2 years and even though they did’nt make any comment when they were there they have just sent an eviction notice to my mother yesterday to say that she has breached her tenancy agreement by having an un-registered person > living there with cats> .

I also contribute to a pet forum and one problem that crops up time and time again there is that of trying to rent privately with cats and/or dogs. So many private landlords these days will not accept cats/dogs in their properties even if a heftier than usual deposit is offered to offset any damage.

First step should be the Council Housing Officer, who can guide them through the what to do and when process. They were very helpful to someone I know who ended up in council accommodation with dog.