Mother In Law's Damp House

My Mother-In-Law turned 60 this year and she still works part time as a Carer.

What I am really worried about is she owns her own house at the moment and I would consider it to be a health hazard myself. It is very damp, and cold, and not at all nice to be in.

She needs a new boiler, her chimney is leaking, her toilet is cold and damp, her kitchen is in desperate need of modernising, it needs plastering, rendering, new double glazing. Pretty much the place needs to be gutted and started again.

The problem is she refuses to get a remortgage and I'm not sure she would even get one at her age, and she doesn't think she can afford a loan.

We would like her to stay with us but I think her pride and independence will prevent her from doing this. I know she would love to just sell her house and get a small 1 bedroom flat or something similar but for the price she can get for her house there is nothing available where she wouldn't need to do work. I think she could only get about £50,000 for hers at a rough guess.

I'm just wondering if anyone can throw some suggestions at me on how I can help her. She really seems down at the moment and I'm quite worried about her health living in those damp conditions.

Thanks in advance.


  • Does she receive working tax credit? She might qualify for a free boiler if she does

    Sorry, I don't know the ins and outs of these schemes but the might be worth a look.

    Does your council still keep a stock of housing for older people? Not sure about the age criteria but around here there are still a lot of one-bedroom 'pensioners' bungalows', my Grandmother was able to put her name down for one of these in her village and eventually got one - she owned her own home previously and sold it when she moved to her bungalow so eligibility wasn't means tested back then, although this was a while ago. It might be worth contacting your local council to see if there are any options like this that would be open to her.

    My parents-in-law have a very damp house that needs a fair bit of work too but in their case they could afford to do the work but prefer to ignore it, it's very worrying and frustrating :(
    "Don't sacrifice what you want most for what you want now"

    MFW: Mortgage Cleared!!! 14 1/2 years early :D
  • Thanks Jasmine. I don't think she receives tax credits but I will get in touch with our local council to see about Pensioners housing. That sounds promising hopefully. My partner feels a bit helpless, we really don't want her living there.
    Thanks for suggestion I will contact the council on Monday.
  • Good luck, I really hope there's some help available to her xx
    "Don't sacrifice what you want most for what you want now"

    MFW: Mortgage Cleared!!! 14 1/2 years early :D
  • She could also look at shared ownership schemes for a one bed flat. Depending on her income now/at retirement she may qualify for housing benefit to help with the rental part of the costs.

    As a last resort she could consider selling up and renting - using the capital to pay the rent. When her capital drops she could claim housing benefit. It sounds drastic but living in unsuitable housing sounds a worse type of hell.
  • jk0
    jk0 Posts: 3,479 Forumite
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    How about Equity Release?
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