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When It Comes To a Point Where You Could Be Left Homeless - Carers UK Forum

When It Comes To a Point Where You Could Be Left Homeless

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
My Sister, Mum and I all jointly own our home. Although my Sister has never lived here and mortgaged her third and still owes a massive amount.

I've been burying my head in the sand with regards to Mum, she is in a care home and I always thought she'd come back to live with me. Now this is looking more and more unlikely. But obviuosly its her choice and I respect that.


Now instantly my Sister wants the family home sold to pay of her mortgage and release equity. She doesn't seem to realise she is taking the roof from my head for her own gain. I will get a third of the sale, but I am unemployable after two years of caring for Mum and the fact I suffer from Ankylosing Spondylitis..
This is the same sister of whom you've posted before, isn't it? Surely the house won't be sold unless you and your mother agree? Is she asking for you to buy her out?

You mentioned she had a mortgage on her portion of the property. Is this an equity release loan? Not sure I understand.

Just don't sign or agree to anything!
Does your mum still have legal capacity (ie, she hasn't got dementia, has she?) (If she has, who has Power of Attorney over her financial affairs - hopefully you!)

My understanding of joint ownership is this - that, yes, any of the joint owners CAN insist on selling the entire property if they wish, BUT, they have to take you to court first to 'force' you to agree!

That would be expensive for your sister. So I THINK that you are entitled (with or without your mum's opinion on the matter!) to unilaterally tell your sister you do NOT want to sell the house, and if she insists, she'll have to go to court over it.

That said, to be honest, IF you could buy her out, that would be the best. However, do NOT 'take over' her mortgage. As in, don't say to her, 'OK, sis, here is cash for the percentage of the house you own outright, and instead of paying the mortgage company for the rest of your share, as you are doing now, you can repay ME instead, over the years' (ie, you offer her a 'private' mortgage so to speak).

DO NOT DO THIS for the brute reason that she will NEVER repay you! (ie, you'll end up paying HER mortgage, and SHE will have gone off with her entire third of the house value!).

All that said, have you explored the 'OK, so we sell up' option? It could be the sensible thing to do now that your mum is not going to be able to 'come home'. Would your share be enough for you to buy a small place of your own, suitable to your health condition now, and close enough to your mum's care home? Her share, of course, has to go to pay for care home fees alas. (Unless YOU are over 60, in which case I think the home cannot be sold to pay for her fees, but if you sell for any OTHER reason - eg, your sister forces you to - then the share she gets from that WILL be used to pay her fees)

This is only my understanding of the situation, and you really do need legal 'chapter and verse' on this!

I can tell you that you being 'liked' to a 'feckless sister' via the joint membership of the house is not an ideal situation either....
PS - I agree with Rosemary. SIGN NOTHING, agree to NOTHING, without rock solid legal advice!
PPS - one other thought. What if you moved into rented accommodation (smallish and cheapish) and let out the family home? The income from letting it would be split three ways - your share would pay your new rental, your mum's her care fees (how is she paying for them currently?), and your sister's share would (hopefully!) pay her mortgage monthly (interest only or repayment mortgage?)

Check with estate agents what house prices are doing in your area, and how lettings income is doing. If the house is gaining in capital value, then letting it out now, not selling it, could be financially sensible.

How is the inheritance of your mum's share left? Do you and your sister get half her share each when she dies? (sorry to ask, but it can be a factor!)

Above all, with your mum now in care, your FIRST priority is to yourself, especially given your own health condition.
Jenny brought up several important points here. From my recall of what you've shared previously, your sister has been causing you tremendous worry. It would be sensible for you to determine what your living/housing options would be if you were to sell and receive your share of net proceeds. Would that relieve you of your financial ties with your sister and her cruel, persistent manipulations?

YOU NEED TO RESEARCH YOUR OPTIONS VERY CAREFULLY, SEEKING PROFESSIONAL LEGAL ADVICE.

I'VE READ HERE THAT SPECIAL RULES APPLY REGARDING THE AUTHORITIES CLAIMING CARE HOME COSTS IF YOU ARE LIVING WITH THE CAREE IN THEIR OWN HOME WHEN THEY WENT INTO THE CARE HOME AND YOU ARE 60+ YEARS OLD.
One of the better " Bibles " out there ... AGE UK ... in .pdf format :

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-a ... care-home/

Independent age ... a close second :

https://www.independentage.org/informat ... ntial-care

HELPLINE OFFERED .... towards the bottom of the page.
Tell your sister to take a long walk off a short bridge!
If you sell the house, the LA will immediately take mum's third to go towards her care fees.

Don't do it. It's a non starter. Sister got herself into her mess. It's up to her to get herself out of it.
I'm being nosey here but did your sister ever get the 20k gbp from your mother that you had spoken about here before?
Good point! Your mum has no business lending/giving her daughter a bean if she does not lend/give the same amount to YOU.

YOU are not responsible for your sister's financial woes - no reason you should lose out on your inheritance if your mum hands over £20k to her daughter.

Re care home fees, does it make any difference if the caree's house is 'co-owned' - can the LA force it to be sold, even if the co-owners are not 60 yet?