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Council Tax - Empty Property - Dementia but still only 6 months relief - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Council Tax - Empty Property - Dementia but still only 6 months relief

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Hmm, if the council won't budge (but yes, definitely get expert advice on this!), the two possible thoughts (neither brilliant alas)

(1) Work out how much council tax you'd have to pay, before that swingeing 200% kicks in (which I assume is to discourage empty properties???)(not a bad idea 'in principle' but as you demonstrate, not always in practice), and then reduce the asking price of the property by that amount as you will have 'nothing to lose' by so doing (or at least, won't get hit by that 200%). It might just budge it?? (I know the Scottish system is different, but adjust accordingly)

(2) Have a word with your mum's care home and see if they would 'hold' her place for her in some way (unless it's easy to get back in). Then take her out of her care home and move her back home again - pay for a live in carer maybe for a month? Then move her back into residential care. However, I don't know whether the council would buy that (though I don't see why not!). Plus, the cost of doing so (especially if you have to hire a carer to look after her!) may be MORE than paying the council tax till it's sold???

It does seem a highly invidious situation - I'd write in to something like You and Yours on the Radio to highlight the danger of moving a dementia patient out of their home and then letting anyone in in their place before selling it!

Final thought but rather drastic -

(a) Work out the value of the property
(b) Work out how long your mum is likely to live (min/max?)(horrid I know), and what her care home fees would be till she hits the LA funding level
(c) Subtract b from a and see what's left, if any.

Then hand the house over to the council to pay her fees with it. If they want to charge themselves council tax well good for them!!!!

(I'm not being completely frivolous - my MIL sold her Glasgow flat for around £100,000 and has burned through half of that already in under three years. She could easily spend the lot and I am assuming she will. Terrifying. She costs a hundred pounds a day in care.)
This sounds very complicated and as I am in England, I am sure different rules apply. In the case of my mum's house, yes, we got exemption from council tax for 6 months only.

I would send an email to the Carers UK Helpline for their advice (look under red tab at the top). Also, perhaps it would be worth contacting a local solicitor specialising in elderly care for their advice - your first consultation is generally free.

I personally would be very wary of moving your relative anywhere - you don't want the council to turn round and accuse you of "deprivation of assets". You need to be careful with this one and seek expert advice.

Good luck, Anne
Good reminder from Anne!

But I was simply thinking of a 'temporary' move back home, simply to recreate the category of your mum then leaving for a care home again, with dementia, which would (I hope!) render her house back 'immune' from council tax.

You could say you tried to see whether she could, after all, cope with home living, but then found sadly no, she had to be in residential care.

It seems to me the whole 'farce' of trying to get council tax for the house is entirely specious - the owner has dementia, it should be exempt. But hey, councils are desperate for money. So they will insist on the letter of the law if they can get away with it.
I think the problem here might be because Mum is seen as having 2 properties in 2 different council areas. . The original family home didn't sell when a sheltered flat was bought before the move into residential care.

I think Jonny is on the right track to have a discussion as to the situation they have unwittingly fallen into. Perhaps the 2 council areas could decide which property is to regarded as the second property. Jonny should also ask what the situation is when the sheltered flat sells and there is only one property

If on the other hand they are saying the charge applies because the property was let out before being put up for sale, that does seem unfair.

Jonny, please keep us up to date as I can others falling into this trap too

MrsA
MrsAverage wrote:I think the problem here might be because Mum is seen as having 2 properties in 2 different council areas. . The original family home didn't sell when a sheltered flat was bought before the move into residential care.

I think Jonny is on the right track to have a discussion as to the situation they have unwittingly fallen into. Perhaps the 2 council areas could decide which property is to regarded as the second property. Jonny should also ask what the situation is when the sheltered flat sells and there is only one property

If on the other hand they are saying the charge applies because the property was let out before being put up for sale, that does seem unfair.

Jonny, please keep us up to date as I can others falling into this trap too

MrsA
CLARIFICATION
I bought the Sheltered Housing property for My Mum to be close to me and yes she got 100% Council Tax relief in there before moving into care. The Sheltered Housing property is now sold.
Its my mums original house thats causing the problem.
Again thanks to all for their notes and will certainly keep you updated
J
Hi Jonny

Thanks for the clarification. Mum needs (via you) legal advice as a charge order us involved.
MrsA
Today I have emailed Carers UK (Scotland) giving more details asking for advice and will let you know the outcome.

Basically it comes down to - If you have dementia you qualify for 100% Council Tax exemption but then if you have to sell your house to pay for care the "dementia exemption" is disregarded !!! - and if costs continue to increase my mother will have NO cash AND won't be able to pay her Council Tax on her empty property.
J
As advised in above posts I emailed Carers UK (Scotland) giving more details asking for advice but didn't get a reply.
Im just wondering if I sent to the right place as I accessed the email porthole on this site and thus unable to re-trace it.
Anyone got ant suggestions ?
J
As an alternative , try Shelter , Scotland :

http://scotland.shelter.org.uk/get_advice

A pop up facility to chat direct also available.

Good luck !
Sorry No more Updates forthcoming - my mother passed away last month
Its all getting complicated and now in the hands of the solicitors although i don't see them putting up a fight