I hope someone can help advise me what, if anything I can do about my son, aged 25yrs, can do in this situation.
Around 10months ago I initiated the process of getting him his own place with supported living. The council came up with and lost 2 houses due to being too slow in acquiring the houses and taking in one instance 8weeks to inform me that they had lost it. I thought it was all going through. We are now on the third house. 2 days before picking up the keys the housing department side of things informed the social workers that I was not able to sign the tenancy agreement on my son’s behalf because the deputyship had not finalised in the courts. The courts are behind due to covid and is taking longer than usual and this delay is out of my hands. Even the social workers were surprised and said they had not come across this before.
They are now saying my son will loose the house and it will be offered to the next person on the list. At no stage was I informed that this was required BEFORE my son moved out. I even asked that very question and was told it would be ok.
What can I do, please?
Hello & welcome Tracy
Give the above a ring.
Let’s us know how you get on.
I’ve placed many additional needs adults in supported living is your son not able to sign for himself.
You could also speak to your local Mencap.
Hi, thank you, I will contact them.
No he has severe learning difficulties and autism. I would place his mental capabilities at age 4-5.
It’s so frustrating that the council choose to leave it right to the last minute to say something. I think they have behaved unreasonably and by the reaction of the social worker and adult care team, they have not done this before. Trying to get these things co-ordinated when you have no control over any timescales is impossible.
I have had a lot of problems over the years with my council and they did in fact fail their last Ofsted inspection and was put in to emergency measures. On the revisit it was noted that improvements still needed to be made and the transition department was still failing.
Bit of a postcode lottery as to what services you get or even what social worker you’re assigned.
Maybe then it’s time to speak to your mayor and/or M.P.
It’s tempting to say complain to the council because there’s no way this is going to go forward now.
That said, they are correct that your son can’t take on the tenancy and no one else can without a Deputyship in place - and they should have known this and told you so at the outset.
Even Power of Attorney (which is simpler because the person granting that power has capacity at that point) is taking 4-6 months to clear the Court of Protection, and Deputyships are taking 8-10 months at present. Assuming there are no problems.
I’m afraid there’s not a lot you can do without that Deputyship.
This is all so short sighted, because parents will normally die before their children. What will happen then? My son was supported by his care agency at the time to sign for his tenancy, so it’s an unlawful contract, but kept everyone happy. I have studied contract law as part of a degree, so kept quiet. Why is it so difficult for SSD to consider in their arrangements what will happen when there is no longer a parent alive?!
I can’t go into detail here but there have been a few cases where social workers encouraged the “service user” without capacity to sign the tenancy, and where the parents hadn’t understood that this was an issue. In one case it backfired stupendously and left the individual with a huge bill. And, as they’d signed it, they were stuck: the social worker tried to deny responsibility and it all got very messy for a while.
I would absolutely always make sure the legal i’s were dotted and t’s crossed. It really isn’t worth the risk.