Paying for nursing and care homes if you own a property?
What happens if I own a property?
Any property you own will normally be included as one of your capital assets and there are situations where it may be necessary to sell your home to pay for your residential care or nursing home.
There are a number of schemes in place that can help you plan for the future. However they can seem very complicated and everyone's circumstances are different. That's why we strongly recommend that you contact us for advice about how you might be affected.
Sometimes there are circumstances in which we will 'disregard' the value of your property. For example:
- Your husband, wife or partner continues to live there
- A relative aged 60 or over continues to live there
- A relative under 60 who receives certain disability allowances continues to live there
- A child under 16 who you're financially responsible for continues to live there.
If you believe there are any other reasons why we shouldn't take account of the value of your property, please tell us.
The 12-week Property Disregard Scheme
The decision to sell your home is a big one. This scheme has been created to give you time to think about your future care before making any final decisions about your property. It means that, for the first 12 weeks of long-term care, we only ask you to pay a contribution towards your care fees and we'll pay the rest, depending on how much income and savings you have.
If these total over £23,250, you won't be eligible for the scheme and you'll be expected to meet the full cost of your care home. This also applies if you sell your property during the 12 week period.
Deferred Payment Scheme
The aim of this scheme is to allow home owners to avoid selling their homes to pay for the cost of their ongoing care. With a deferred payment agreement, you pay only the contribution towards your care fees that you would have made if your home wasn't counted as capital. We pay the balance and, at the same time, keep a record of what you actually owe, which is repaid in full to the council at the end of your life or whenever the property is finally sold.
We recommend that you get independent financial advice before entering into such a scheme and also look into other ways of paying for your care.
Find out more about Deferred Payments
Paying for more expensive accommodation
If you choose to go into a care home that's more expensive than we're prepared to pay for, you'll need to pay the extra costs with a 'top-up' fee. This extra amount can be paid by a friend or relative.
If you decide to do this, you must enter into a tri-partite agreement between the council, the home and yourself. We'll need to do a financial assessment to ascertain that the person paying the ‘top-up' is willing and able to do so.