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Buying and selling a property whilst claiming ESA, do deeds have to be in ESA claimants name?

My mother is of ill-health and struggling to pay her mortgage, she is currently claiming PIP and ESA (income related). I would like to support my mother with day-to-day living and her financial worries but I live 90 miles away from her so it is very difficult for me to help. Me and my mother have discussed this in detail and she feels that it would increase her quality of life if she moved in with us so we can support with day-to-day living and she does not have the worry of paying her mortgage anymore. However, me and my partner would also need to move out of our current property as we currently live in a rented accommodation which is too small to accommodate my mother. So we agreed our best option would be to buy a house together so that she still had a secure home but myself and my partner would take on the mortgage so she wouldn’t have the worry of a mortgage anymore. My mother would sell her house and clear her existing mortgage put her equity into a new home for us all to live in. Myself and my partner would take out a mortgage to cover the remaining balance on the new property. The new house would have to be designed specially to suit my mother’s needs.  

From what I understand, if myself and partner are taking out the mortgage then the house must be solely in our names for the security of the mortgage, which is no problem for any of us as it removes the debt from my mother and myself and my partner are happy to cover the mortgage, it secures a home for us too. However upon doing some research I am unsure whether doing this will affect my mother’s ESA claim. Unfortunately me and my partner would not be able to provide my mother with an income if her ESA benefit was stopped. I have read that she is able to sell her property and buy another which will not affect her ESA but what doesn’t appear to be clear is whether the deeds for the new house have to remain in her name as this would then mean that me and my partner cannot secure a mortgage.  

 Me and my mother have been researching this for a few weeks now but still can’t find the answer. My mother visited Citizen Advice Bureaux to get some advice but they were unable to help. We have tried seeking advice from solicitors but none appear to specialise in this area.  

 I would really like to be able to care for my mother for a long as possible. I worry that if we don’t move closer together then I will have to rely on carers to look after her and I really would like to look after her myself.     

Can anyone advise who or where we can go to find out more advice on this? We just want to know where we stand so we can consider all our options.  

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 8,455Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    Hi,

    You're right that the profits would be disregarded for means tested benefits for 6 months if your mother is planning on buying another house. However, putting the mortgage into your name only could cause problems and be classed as deprivation of capital in order to claim a means tested benefit because the house she would be contributing towards wouldn't be in her name. So in affect, it's like she's giving the money away, if you see what i mean.

    For these reasons, you really do need to get expert face to face advice and a solicitor is probably not the place to start. Try a local advice centre near you like welfare rights or a law centre. This may help.

  • Angie1985Angie1985 Posts: 6Member Listener
    Thank you for your advice, we def dont want to cause any additional problems. Our aim is to reduce the problems for my mother where possible but from what you are saying this really isn't the way forward. We want to ensure it is done properly but the hard bit is finding out what properly is. I will checkout the link you shared as CAB were unable to offer any advice. Thanks again
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 8,455Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    You're welcome. To me it's deprivation of capital because your mum will be spending her money on a deposit on a house that will never be hers.
  • Angie1985Angie1985 Posts: 6Member Listener
    It does make complete sense now you have put it like that. You advice is much appreciated 
  • debsidoodebsidoo Posts: 263Member Chatterbox
    Hi @Angie1985
    Have you tried speaking to an estate agent.They would probably be able to point you in the right direction to get answers.
          Debsidoo.x
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 8,455Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    An estate agent wouldn't know anything about deprivation of capital when claiming a means tested benefit. Most likely the only way to get a straight forward answer would be to ask a case manager/decision maker at DWP.
  • Angie1985Angie1985 Posts: 6Member Listener
    Your advice is much appreciated. Could I right to DWP to ask the question or would my mother need to do this. We really don't want to do anything illegal, we just want to find out the best way to do it to enable us to live together and for my mum not to have the responsibility of a mortgage anymore. Thank you 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 8,455Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    I wouldn't advise you write to them because there's no guarantee that they'll respond, it's always better to ring them. If you're not your mums appointee then she will need to ring them. However, you could ring and ask the question without giving a name but doing this you'll most likely be speaking to a DWP representative who will be reading from a screen. There's no guarantee you'll get the correct advice. It really should come from a case manager. For this your mum will need to ring and request a call back, which will be within 48 hours.

    I totally understand what you're trying to do but deprivation of capital is a huge possibility.
  • Angie1985Angie1985 Posts: 6Member Listener
    This is great, thank you. I will speak to my mum, I'm due to see her next week so I could support her with the call
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 8,455Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    No problem. She could ring and go through security and then tell them you will speak on her behalf.
  • debsidoodebsidoo Posts: 263Member Chatterbox
    An estate agent wouldn't know anything about deprivation of capital when claiming a means tested benefit. Most likely the only way to get a straight forward answer would be to ask a case manager/decision maker at DW
    Hi @Angie1985
    Didnt mean to infer that estate agent would know about the benefit issue.What I meant was that they would be able to sort out in whose name the deeds should be held and how it would affect a mortgage. Sorry my bad I should have been clearer.
        Debsidoo.x
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