Council assessments and your property
A financial assessment from your local council will work out whether the council will help you to pay your care home fees – see Getting a financial assessment. This looks at how much money you have – this may or may not include the value of your property. Your property won’t be counted if certain people still live there, including:
- your spouse, partner or civil partner
- a relative over 60
- a relative who is disabled
The 12-week property disregard
If you have savings under £23,250 (meaning the council will contribute to your care home fees), the council can’t include the value of your property in your financial assessment for the first 12 weeks after you move into the care home. This is to give you time to think about whether to sell your property or to prepare it for sale. When the 12 weeks are up, the council will review your finances to see whether you’re still eligible for help from the council to pay your fees. See our factsheet Do I need to sell my property to pay for my care home fees? for more information.
Deferred payment agreements
If you don’t want to sell your home immediately, ask your council about a deferred payment agreement. Under this, the council loans you money towards your care home fees and then reclaims it when your property is sold, or after your death. You’ll need to have savings under £23,250 to qualify for this arrangement.
If you’re selling your property but can’t do this within 12 weeks, you might want to consider a bridging loan. These can be useful, but you may want to take financial advice as you’ll usually have to pay interest on the amount you’re borrowing and it can become expensive.
Rent out your home
You could rent out your home and use the income to pay your care home fees. However, this can be time consuming and there are costs involved, so look into it carefully.
If you’re selling your property and considering financial products like a care fees payment plan to cover the cost of your fees, it’s best to get independent financial advice. Contact the Society of Later Life Advisers, who can help you find an adviser in your area.