Capital disregard of second property for care home fees

An elderly client (A) owned her house jointly with her late mother. On her mother’s death, the mother’s share was divided between A and her sister (B). A now owns 75% of the house and B owns 25%. B has never lived at the property nor claimed any rent for her share as she is married and lived elsewhere. B has now gone into care and the local authority want A to sign a deferred payment agreement. The property B lived in as her home with her husband has been disregarded for the purposes of capital. Are there any grounds to apply for the B’s share of A’s home to be disregarded?

Sally Runnacles

Presumably, A and Mum owned the property as tenants in common? Other
possibilities exist and may affect matters.

I have not dealt directly with local authorities in recent years, and defer
to those who have.

However, I wonder if it may be worth challenging the value of the “25%”
share? Some years ago the DWP [at least] were willing to accept that the
value of a minority share in a property was merely that which an open
market purchaser would be willing to pay [ie possibly having no right to
occupy, or at best having to share with a total stranger …] Effectively
this was often negligible. Even if A relies on the Trusts of Land etc
provisions, can she not argue a “purpose” effectively minimising the value
of the “25%” share?

No values have been mentioned, but if the matrimonial home is disregarded
and the “family” property is effectively low value, are the capital limits

Kevin Mullen

The sister who occupies the property is referred to as “elderly and if she is aged 60 or over the value of the property interest should be disregarded. It can also be argued that the open market value of 25% share in the property particularly when the other joint owner is in occupation of it would be negligible.

Viju Chhagan

Thanks – we are arguing this point with the Council

Sally Runnacles