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Local authority and a charge on jointly owned property

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  • Local authority and a charge on jointly owned property

    My mum and I are joint tenants of a property which has been rented out for approximately 16 years. Since my mum's severe stroke 12 years ago, all rental income has gone towards paying her care costs. For the last few years the local council has been making up the rest, as all her savings and the proceeds of the other house (that she had lived in) have gone to her care, so she now has considerable debt in deferred charges. The rental now goes to the council as part payment.

    When the council took over they mentioned putting a charge on the house to recoup their money. However this had not been done. Are they able to do this without my permission? I've registered with the land agency so that I am informed of any action taken with regard to the property (which isn't mortgaged).

    Obviously as I've had no income from the property, my mum and I understood that instead, I would benefit on her death from automatically becoming the full owner of the property with the financial gain being my mum's half. Can the council take that half on her death by putting a charge on it without my permission?

    In the interests of clarity, the rental house was purchased in both our names (and that of my late husband) when my mum was very fit and well, as a joint venture.
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