There comes a time when many of us have to address whether our parents can continue to live independently. This can be a stressful stage for both parent and child, and involve some difficult conversations in order to reach a solution regarding what’s best.
Sometimes, the best option is for parents to move into a care home, assisted living, or in with children or other relatives. This can leave problems of how to fund the care if required, as well as decisions about looking after the property left behind.
Particularly if you’re the deputy (COP) or lasting power of attorney (LPA) for your parents, it can mean you are in charge of some major decisions. Some of the advice as follows could be things to consider if you’re left with a property, and are not sure exactly what to do with it.
Letting the home
Letting out your parents’ house can generate income, which can help offset the costs of their care. However, the responsibilities of being a landlord can be demanding, and the regulations and loopholes that come with that added role can seem daunting. Some things to consider are:
- Knowing your responsibilities – as a landlord, there are many regulations to follow in order to protect tenants, as well as your rights as a property owner
- Find a trusted letting agent – if you’re choosing a management service, such as a letting agent, finding a reputable and trustworthy one will help keep the process as hassle-free as possible
- What to do with the furniture – letting a property furnished can mean it achieves slightly higher rent values per month, yet they need to meet a certain standard as well as health and safety requirements
Selling the home
It is important to consider your exact legal authority when it comes to selling the home for or on behalf of your parents – do you know your legal rights? It can be complicated when you find yourself responsible for the well-being of your parents, and seeking appropriate legal and financial advice, before selling the home, is a must.
- Selecting the right estate agent – especially if you’ve not previously sold a house, or don’t know the local property market well, this is a key step. Look at the size of their portfolio, and the number of properties they currently have under offer. Check too that it provides good quality advertising for its properties, as well as not being seduced by an agent that gives the highest value – a property that’s overpriced for the initial marketing period can be harder to sell for its final value
- Removals – ensure you go with a reputable removal and, if necessary, storage company. The process could be a mixture of taking certain items to your parents’ new living environment, other family members’ homes or a storage facility
- Looking after the home – if the property is likely to be vacant for a while, it’s a good idea to look at what you need to do in order to keep it in a saleable condition, to avoid further costs down the line, as well as obtaining appropriate insurance where necessary
Unoccupied Direct provides specialist cover for properties that are unoccupied due to the occupant moving into care or due to probate. Head to unoccupieddirect.co.uk for more information, or contact our friendly, expert team.