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Mums house is being taken over - Carers UK Forum

Mums house is being taken over

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Can anyone help

My mother has dementia and is terminally I’ll, she has now moved in with myself. As full time care 24/7 is required
Her property is unoccupied but her grandson has gain access to the property via my sisters door key, therefore not broken in. My mother is sole owner but because neither myself nor my sister have lasting power of attorney and mum has dementia no one is helping with this situation. I’ve spoken to police, solicitor and social services. But basically anyone can move in without permission as no one is in the place of authority to give or not give permission
I am the person who deals with all of mums affairs and have done so for years. So my mother no longer has access cannot collect post her personal possessions are in the house she pays all the bills. But nothing can be done cannot even go down the civil route as no one has authority
All this going on to my poor mothers property and not a thing can be done.
Surely this cannot be right please can anyone give guidance
Why don't you just have the locks changed.
You've got just as much authority as he has. Is there no one you trust who could move in temporarily?

Have you contacted Social Services. Years ago I knew of a case when an old man with dementia went into full time care, and Social Services had to do a full inventory of the whole house, complete with Japanese urns etc.!!!!
For the moment i can't think what the rules were for doing this, but it was 50 years ago!!!

One of our members, Charles will be along presently, he used to work in a Carers Centre and knows far more than me. If he can't tell you, ring our CUK helpline, or perhaps the Alzheimer's Society, who I feel sure must have a helpline too. You are not the first person this will have happened to, I feel sure.
Hi Sharon,

Welcome to the forum.

This is all you need on top of caring for your Mum too.

How old is he? What does your sister think about this?

I don't have any legal training so my ideas are purely my thoughts.

Firstly he will have to leave the house at some point - could a neighbour let you know when so that the locks can be changed?

If this isn't possible, you could notify the utility companies that the property is now empty and ask them to turn off the gas, electric and water - I'm sure living in a house without utilities would persuade him to leave.

Melly1
What is going to happen to the house once someone has authority?
Will it be sold, or rented out?
In our area, the New Forest, the council will rent an empty property ror a fixed term, redecorate if needed, and then rent it to a homeless family for a fixed term.
Maybe talk to the Housing Officer at the local council, explain what your problem is and ask if they have any ideas. I suspect some council property has been broken into under similar circumstances, and they will know what to do.
Is mum's insurance company aware that the house is empty?
I think I have the definitive answer for you!!

Unusually I have the house to myself for almost a week and so I'm having a huge shuffle round of various things. Just as I was doing my bedtime tray, I came across a Book called "Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults and the Law", by Michael Mandestam.
Page 175, section 7.2 PROTECTION OF PROPERTY: NATIONAL ASSISTANCE ACT 1948. S.48

A DUTY TO PROTECT A PERSON'S PROERTY ARISES FOR ALOCAL AUTHORITY IF
it appears to the local social services authority that there is danger of loss of, or damage to, any of the person's moveable property by reason of his or her temporary or permanent inability to protect or deal with the property.
The local authority must take reasonable steps to prevent or mitigate loss or damage. It has the power at all reasonable times, to enter the person's place of residence and to deal with any movable property Examples of reasonable steps might include securing the premises, informing hte police about an empty property, turning off utilities, disposing of perishable food.

Hope that helps. I could happily read this entire book (I did law as part of a degree and love books like this, sad, I know) but I've been up since well before 6am and the eyelids are closing!!!
Guys thank you so much for all your replies.

This guy is 30 his girlfriend 24 and between them have an income of around 1300 a week clearly they think it is their god given right to take over and live for free. Not skint members at all could maybe understand why they feel the need to do this if they were.

The utilities are a joke, they allowed him to fill in application on line and literally removed my mothers name as the bill payer and put the account in his name. I’ve sorted that out and got it changed back to mums, this was so I could get services disconnect or so I thought. It takes 6 weeks to do this and if engineer arrives to disconnect and finds someone living in the property they won’t disconnect. What the hell.

My sister has allowed this to happen, we haven’t spoken for 2 months so cannot communicate with her but clearly because 50% of the house is in trust for her, she most likely thought she owns half the house so she can allow this, but this only applies on the passing of my mother. Up until that point my mother is sole owner.

If I change the locks the very next my sister can do the same, so that would not work.
Social services if it’s not in the day to day mechanics of their system, they struggle with anything too in-depth like this. Already spoken with them.

Trust me guys I’ve been working on this for 4 days spoke to just about every person going, police, solicitors etc. thank goodness for my husband, he took the reins with mum.

As you can imagine it was a long hard battle to get mum home with us and had to jump through hoops for it to happen and there appears to be only one way to stop it which is for mum to move back into her home and be cared for from there. Therefore, I will need to go and live with her as she requires 24/7 care. I have to totally change my life just to protect mums belongings and property if I don’t do this the house could be ruined by the end of it all.

The insurance does know the property is unoccupied, so you see there goes any problem, because it would not be covered if someone is in it as information I’ve previously given them is now false, they will not insure the property with squatters.

Regarding social services and protection of the vulnerable maybe if that person has no family around them to protect them they will step in, but to try and get duptyship through the courts is taking twelve months.

Now hear this, my vehicle which I no longer use is parked on mums drive for security, this scumbag said he was going to move it of the drive for his vehicles to go on. So I contact the police to ask if he was allowed to touch my vehicle, guess what, they said no that would be against the law and too call them out if this happened, but he can take possession of the house and it’s a civil matter. What on earth is going on with our justice system.

I have told him I will be accessing the property to get it ready for mums return home and if any of his belongings are there they will be removed, so told him not make himself too comfortable I must admit this information seems to of stopped him in his tracks.

I think to sum up, it is a worry time we all live in and to think that this kind of thing is going on around us. I’m sure my mother is not the first to be abused like this in her frail and vulnerable condition, thank god she does not know what is going on.

You know you see all these advertisements warning you to get lasting power of attorney before it too late I beg everyone out there that does not have one in place to go and get one ASAP these can be done by yourselves for a fraction of the price solicitors charge and not too complicated unfortunately for me it was too late as mum did not want it to happen for one reason or another but I think now it was the onset of her Alzheimer’s and she just didn’t get the reason why I needed it.

Bit long winded I know, but hopefully my story will make people think about their own situations and act upon them.

Thank you all once again
What an awful situation for you Sharon and it is deplorable of them to think they can freeload.
The law, as is said, is an ass. It's unbelievable that this can be done.

So they aren't keen to stay there and do full 24/7 care for grandmother! funny that!

Bear in mind that if your mother gets to a point that she needs to go into a home, the social services will demand the sale of the house to pay towards her care and then you will get what's left.
If or when it comes to the point of your mother needing to go into a home, have a meeting with soc svs by yourself and explain that your sister will oppose to protect inheritance but you cannot cope with the care. It could come to a point where the authorities will act in the best interests of your mother and put her in a home for safe care and you cannot refuse it nor can your sister.
I know of two separate instances where a crisis call was made to soc svs for a violent dementia mother to be taken into residential care, another one was due to going walkabouts at night.
Unfortunately, without POA, the decisions are out of your hands and the authorities will act as your mothers agents and in her best interests. Thus not having a POA in this instance could actually be in your favour.

Don't be putting yourself into hospital trying to care for you mother to protect the house on your own, don't let your sibling refuse your mother going into a home and expecting you to half kill yourself caring for her by yourself. If she wants to protect that inheritance she can do full care or 50/50 care.

No matter how hard it will be seeing your mum go into a home, if it comes to that, be kind to yourself, you did your best by her and this move is in her best interests and that you still love her and care about her.

The two most important things are the best and right care for your mother and your own health.
Anything else, eg inheritance, is secondary.

If you have only spoken with one solicitor firm it could be worth trying a few others.
But an empty house is an invitation to squatters and burglars. Short term renting is not ideal in case they default on rent or trash the place.

It is a travesty the state of the law, if your mother needed to go into a home, the authorities would legalise the sale of her house - they would demand it to pay for her care, but, you cannot sell the house and put the money aside for her needs.
Ridiculous.

After my mothers first TIA stroke a colleague gave me the best advice ever - get POA.
We did it ourselves online. I pass it on to others. It's future proofing.
Sharon_22021234 wrote:
Fri Aug 26, 2022 1:35 am
Guys thank you so much for all your replies.

Trust me guys I’ve been working on this for 4 days spoke to just about every person going, police, solicitors etc. thank goodness for my husband, he took the reins with mum.

Thank you all once again
You have raised some very valid points and I hope that when things are settled and you have the time to formulate them you will be writing to your MP about them and contacting CarersUK about them/copying them in.

Please keep checking back for any other answers over the next few days or week.
Sorry I've been "off grid" for the last few days due to my own caring situation, and I've only just seen this.

This is a situation I've never seen before but what others have said covers most of the bases. The big issue is a lack of Power of Attorney. The problem then is that your Mum is highly unlikely to regain mental capacity to grant POA.

That leaves only one route: Deputyship with the Court of Protection. And that can take 4-6 months, if there are no queries or problems. The link here leads to information about deputyships and what they involve: https://www.gov.uk/become-deputy
Sharon_22021234 wrote:
Thu Aug 25, 2022 6:53 pm
Can anyone help
I hope all the answers have been helpful for you.