Charges for Charges: Home Sales Under the Care Act 2014
In H Conway & R Hickey (eds), "Modern Studies in Property Law: Volume 9" (Hart Publishing, 2017)
28 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2017
Date Written: July 1, 2017
Unlike healthcare, broadly provided free at the point of delivery in England, social care is subject to a means test that can include the care recipient’s home. One principle embodied in the Care Act 2014 is nevertheless the frequent undesirability of a recipient being forced to sell her own home during her lifetime to fund her care. It therefore seeks to increase the availability of Deferred Payment Agreements (‘DPAs’), enabling a local authority to make a secured loan to the care recipient. Even if this system is beneficial to such recipients themselves, it can have profound implications for people who wish to remain in the home of a now-deceased recipient. This is particularly true given that the secured loan facilitated by a DPA is due for repayment just 90 days after a recipient’s death, and that former co-residents might be vulnerable former providers of informal care. This paper aims to evaluate the relationship between former co-residents and home sales forced by local authorities, comparing a former co-resident’s position with that of others whose homes are the subject of attempted forced sale by creditors in other contexts, by examining law, guidance and codes of practice. The fundamental question is whether the system of DPAs governed by the Care Act adequately balances the perceived societal interest in ensuring that those with means contribute towards their care costs and the individual interests of former co-residents in remaining in their own homes after the death of a social care recipient.
Keywords: Social Care, Deferred Payment Agreements, Succession, Local Authorities
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