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AIBU to expect to get tenancy of Council flat

(13 Posts)
Regbooboo Sun 23-Sep-12 17:32:12

Just wanted to canvas MNs on their opinions regarding succession of my Mum's Council flat to gauge the Council's opinions of my reasonings when they have to make a decision. My Mum and brother had a shared tenancy of a 2 bedroom Council flat and he was Mum's carer. When he died unexpectedly 4 years ago I moved in with Mum to become her 24 hour sole carer. Mum is 88 and suffers with Alzheimers and vascular dementia. I had to sell my one bedroom flat as I could no longer work to pay the mortgage and I just about broke even once I had the fees. The Council would not put me on Mum's tenancy as succession had already taken place ( from Mum and my brother to Mum). They have added me as a member of the household for which I pay a small amount towards the rent and council tax (I only receive carers allowance). Mum has become increasingly bad over the last 4 years and full time care in a residential home should be sorted very soon. I would like to stay in Mum's flat when she goes into the care home but the Council say I would need to be granted discretionary succession and they may be able to offer me somewhere but not this property as its 2 bedrooms. I don't want to be selfish as I know there are many families who need social housing but I have made quite a few friends in the block (I have no outside friends as I haven't socialised or worked for 4 years). Also I would like a spare room so I can have Mum to come at weekends/Christmas. I am 55 years old and have given up, albeit willingly, for the last 4 years which has been v. stressful. I have probably saved the Council over £100,000 in care home fees. AIBU to want to stay in the place I've called home for so long. I am upset about letting Mum down and not being able to cope with her anymore and the worry of all this is just about driving me crazy. Sorry this long but would like your thoughts ... nice to have people to "talk" to smile

Choufleur Sun 23-Sep-12 17:39:28

They don't have to grant it to you - it's larger than you are entitled to as a single person, but can see why you want to stay. All you can do is ask to be considered.

sixlostmonkeys Sun 23-Sep-12 17:40:05

I know of someone who was in a similar situation.
He too was told he would probably have to move to a one bedroom flat. He had proof that he had been paying the rent (cheque payments) and this went in his favour.
He was allowed to continue the tenancy, but is very much aware of how lucky he was.
Try to keep the council on your side, but to be honest, I would prepare to be moved.

It won't be the end of the world if you move. I do know how you feel though, so fingers crossed you get to stay in your home.

aldiwhore Sun 23-Sep-12 17:40:09

Firstly, I respect what you have done for your mum over the years, my FIL has Alzheimer's Disease and it is very frustrating, heartbreaking hard work.

I don't know what's right or wrong in the case, but if your mum does go into residential care I would certainly advise against sleepovers at yours, it will confuse her greatly... more than usual I would think.

I can see your argument, but I THINK I agree with the council that they're willing to offer you somewhere similar. I'm afraid I think I am more on their side than yours (apart from emotionally, emotionally I am very much on your side).

I guess, coldly, that I share caring for my father in law with my brother inlaw (and extra carers each day too) but none of us has an automatic right to his house when he goes into care.

I apologise hugely for sounding cold. You have not let your Mum down at all. You have given up a lot for her and there is no reward but the knowledge you did your best for her.

happyinherts Sun 23-Sep-12 17:41:11

I think if the council do offer you discretionary succession you'll have to count your blessings. Accommodation is like gold dust these days and as the tenancy has been handed down once already, I'm afraid rules are rules. You may well have saved the council money in care home fees, but again, that's why the discretionary succession is an option. You may well be lucky and gain housing, but I don't think you can realistically ask for a 2 bedroom as your needs dont warrant it. Your mum has full time care. The council do not have larger accommodation to dish out because someone wants a relative to come for Christmas when there are families crying out for larger accommodation.

You haven't let mum down at all. You were there when you were needed and that time is now over. You have done your best and I know how difficult that is. I do hope you are housed under a goodwill arrangement but you can not really dictate where or how many bedrooms but just accept whatever you're given.

ILoveTIFFANY Sun 23-Sep-12 17:45:21

Housing benefit wouldn't pay for one person in a 2 person property anyway. So not sure how you could make up any shortfall if out of work?

ophelia275 Sun 23-Sep-12 17:48:23

You have saved the council £1,000s in care home fees and in turn the council has saved you £1,000s in rent/mortgage by letting you live in this council flat.

YABU. Council flats are very desired and you do not need 2 bedrooms.

TheCalmingManatee Sun 23-Sep-12 17:48:42

I really hope you are granted residency, you have worked hard looking after your mum, like you say, saving them thousands in care home fees - its immeasurable actually, what you have done - you have my utmost respect. My father had alzheimers and i could never have coped.

Saying that, whether you WILL be granted it, is in the lap of the gods, but you are articulate, i would prepare a written appeal etc. Maybe seek some advice from Shelter, see how it goes.

TheCalmingManatee Sun 23-Sep-12 17:50:38

ophelia - the op gave up her job to look after her mum, so now her mum is going into full time care, i imagine she will be looking for work again. They haven't "let" her live in the flat, she lived there, looking after her mother.

Isabeller Sun 23-Sep-12 17:59:37

I do not know if YABU to hope or wish to stay in your home but you might need a lot of luck and hard work to have any chance of doing it.

DPs Mum has vascular dementia and is a council tenant so I've helped his family investigate succession but I don't think it's likely to be possible for them. I'm sorry you lost your brother, what a shock for you.

I do not know the fine detail of law but I wonder who the council consider the tenant to be? If your mum was the original tenant how did your brother 'succeed' to the tenancy in that she is still alive? After his death did they regard her as 'succeeding' to the tenancy?

I wonder if you could enlist the help of your MP to ask the council's lawyers to review the situation arguing that your mother was and is the tenant therefore no succession has in fact taken place.

DPs Mum's flat has been partially adapted for her and she has a direct payment for care (after much fighting with the system) which means that although her dementia is now very advanced she is still at home. Would you be able to keep your Mum at home with more help or adaptations or would it be too much?

Have you been on the Alzheimer Society forum?

Best of luck.

Inneedofbrandy Sun 23-Sep-12 18:19:28

Can't stress enough to get in to your MP. I'm really really sure if you ask MP for help they will grant it to you. You deserve to keep your home as your home.

Socknickingpixie Sun 23-Sep-12 18:24:28

severing a joint tenancy is not succession if you mum was not on it befor but then was that would be succession but severing a joint tenancy is just severing.

if it genuinely was a joint tenancy there should be nothing stopping you from succeeding it as you are able to do so once with each tenancy.

i strongly advise you to talk to shelterline asap and sort this befor you fill out the form they will ask you to for a discretionary succession as lots of la's use that form for you to relinquish a legit claim thus moving the goal posts.

fwiw once you succeed the tenancy you can swop it for a 1 bed place using homeswopper or via la.

Socknickingpixie Sun 23-Sep-12 18:43:39

i apoligise profusely as i didnt read correctly and notice that your brother had sadly died. some la's will concider this to be a succession but often on challenge it wont stand up. shelterline will help with talking to the la about it the other option that you have if the la are unhelpfull is your mother can legally assign the tenancy to you using a assignment deed this is quite commen and shelterline can also help with that as can age concern or any org like that

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