Local Authority financial assessment query re elderly parent

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I am due a call from the local authority regarding a financial assessment on my mothers finances for home carers/help. We are happy to pay what is due of course but the query I have is regarding rental charges.
My Mother lives rent free in a bungalow owned by my wife and I. We bought it years ago as a rental income/investment but as my mother was struggling with stairs, we moved my parents in and I said we would not charge any rent. I lost my Father a few years ago so Mother lives alone and is now in her mid 80's and requires home carers following a fall and hip replacement operation. Prior to this I had been caring for her for the last few years regarding meals, shopping, cleaning, gardening etc.
One element on the assessment is rental costs. As Mother does not pay rent I assume the LA will not assist with a contribution to the care costs as they will view that she has enough funds. However if Mother was paying rent to a landlord her outgoings would mean that she could receive a contribution. 
I know this makes me look a little mercenary but if I charge rent it would mean that finally after 14 years I would receive some income but also my mother would receive some financial help from the LA.
My question is I guess, I am allowed to start charging rent knowing that the LA are about to do the assessment? I have also paid her monthly care alarm and Sky Tv charges for the last few years, as these are Direct debits from my current account there is no record my Mothers bank statement so I dont thing they will take that in to account either unless I change the DD's to her acccount.

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  • poppy12345
    poppy12345 Posts: 18,093 Forumite
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    Colinw63 said:

    My question is I guess, I am allowed to start charging rent knowing that the LA are about to do the assessment? I have also paid her monthly care alarm and Sky Tv charges for the last few years, as these are Direct debits from my current account there is no record my Mothers bank statement so I dont thing they will take that in to account either unless I change the DD's to her acccount.
    That's very likely not going to work at all. You haven't charged your mother rent for 14 years and now suddenly you want to start charging her so that it looks like she's got more outgoings than she really has? What if they ask for bank statements, how are you going to get around that one? Same with the DD that you've been paying for the last few years, you can't just change the account now because you have no proof she's been paying them for all those years.

  • Colinw63
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    I left my job of 33 years, last October to look after my mother so I have had no income for 11 months so some rental would come in handy right now. I do intend to be upfront and show bank statements etc. My query was is it feasible to charge a nominal rent so my mother does not lose all of her income. The reason I have paid for her care alarm service and Sky tv for years is because she could not afford them. 

  • poppy12345
    poppy12345 Posts: 18,093 Forumite
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    Did you not look into claiming a benefit when you left work? Providing you didn't have savings/capital of more than £16,000 which would have excluded you. It would also depend on your other circumstances, such as living with a partner that works.
    My advice remains the same, you can't just start charging your mother rent after all these years because she's about to have a financial assessment. You must think it's wrong, otherwise you wouldn't be asking in the first place.
    Does your mother claim any disability benefits like Attendance Allowance? If she doesn't then you should look into claiming this for her. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/attendance-allowance/


  • [Deleted User]
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    OP if your mother claimed AA successfully then you could possibly claim £67 per week carers allowance
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,997 Forumite
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    If your mother pays rent, that makes you a landlord with all the obligations and checks which that entails. 
    If your mother’s income is so limited that she can’t afford to pay for her care alarm service, they may also enquire why she’s not claiming housing benefit to pay for said rent.
    If you’re going to start charging rent, then you need to do it properly. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • poppy12345
    poppy12345 Posts: 18,093 Forumite
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    elsien said:
     they may also enquire why she’s not claiming housing benefit to pay for said rent.
    Claiming for housing benefit while renting from family can be a problem. As the mother has been living there rent from for all these years then it's unlikely they will be successful in claiming it now. https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/benefits/housing_benefit_renting_from_family




  • Colinw63
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    Thanks for the responses, I have never claimed any benefits as I worked all my life until last year.  I guess I have been naive in that respect. My wife is still working so maybe that would not allow any of said benefits. I will certainly look in to the points raised though. Similarly my mother does not and never has claimed any benefits. (to my knowledge.)
  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783 Forumite
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    Can't you just be up front with them and tell them everything and ask them if you, your mother and your wife are entitled to any benefits, instead of trying to rearrange everything? 

    Your mother must be in receipt of a pension, surely? And if she's not paying any rent, she can't really cry poverty. If I didn't have to pay rent, I'd be quids in and then some on my pension.  

    You say your wife still works but some people who work are entitled to some benefits. You may be pleasantly surprised. If not, then you will have to pay care costs, like everybody else. 
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
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