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Electric heating at home - Economy 7 etc


Mel B

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Howdy peeps, not been on much for a while as we've been sorting out the purchase of a flat for my 87 year young Mum as she's shortly going to inherit around £80k which was totally unexpected. She's never ever bought a home in her life as she's always been in rented, but as she's now quite isolated where she lives and the area hasn't much to offer her anymore, we've suggested that she buys a flat nearer us in a much more 'active' area and right next to all the amenities she would really enjoy and use and she was very taken with the idea but can't quite get her head round the idea of being a first-time buyer at 87!

 

She originally only intended to spend £70k and had just about settled on a nice 1 bed first floor leasehold flat which we'd managed to secure for £67k (priced at £74k), but where she currently lives she has open views at the front and rear and didn't want to lose that 'open' feeling, so wasn't sure and we certainly weren't going to push her to move to somewhere she wasn't 100% happy about. So, after much tooing and frooing we've finally found one which she absolutely loves - it is much larger being a 2 bed in a great location, of better quality and has a lovely view out over a large grass/park area with trees etc known as "Granddad's Garden". Of course it's quite a bit more expensive although we've managed to negotiated it to £98k (it was up for £119k, then £115k, then £110k, and finally reduced to £105k) so we're going to put in the extra money so she can get what she wants but I'm more than willing to do that as I really want her to enjoy herself - she's very spritely for 87 and certainly doesn't look or act her age! The greatest pleasure/benefit I'll get from this is just to see her have a good quality of life for a good few years hopefully and really enjoy herself, nothing more ... I don't care about the cost I just want to see her happy.

 

Anyway, I digress - the point of this post is:

 

The flat needs a little bit of work doing, the largest expense will be upgrading the electric heating system that currently consists of some old Economy 7 storage heaters - they must be about 30 years old we think.

 

So, I'm trying to find out what is the best option is for upgrading the system:

 

1) to replace them with more modern/efficient ones and have her stay on the Economy 7 tariff

 

2) replace them and see if we can change her to an Economy 10 tariff

 

3) look at other electric heating systems such as panel radiators

 

We've no experience of electric heating so this is totally new to us so any advice and experience would be very much appreciated!

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All I can say Mel is that the S-i-L had that system an she says it was the biggest mistake that her and the OH made when they got rid of it. Apparently E7 was on in the night (cheap off peak), It heats some tiles in the radiator's which they could regulate to keep on all day giving out steady heat . She's a starved bu**er at best of times but not with that system, she swore by it and fetch 5 kids up in the house.

 

Not sure now if it were the system that was hot, or her 8-) :$ :$ :D :D

 

Dave

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Guest 1footinthegrave

Is there no option for gas, I have to say having had two homes with storage radiators ( not by choice, mains gas is a bit thin on the ground in rural Wales ) the biggest single flaw is as the day progresses the heat output gets less and less, despite fiddling around with the input/output settings. Warmth is vital for elderly people, and if your stuck with electric I'd aim to have an additional "instant" heating in her main room,perhaps a panel heater for safety, because in the evening she is very likely to need it, especially if its an older property, or poorly insulated.

 

In short, unless modern storage heaters have moved on which I doubt they are crap,we were always sweating our cobs off in the mornings, but froze by 6 /8 pm sorry to be so blunt.

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Unfortunately there is no gas in the building as it was built originally with just coal fires so when the heating was fitted retrospectively, they only put in the electric ones as at the time I would imagine the cost of putting in gas would have been much more expensive, and as they are purpose built flats, originally intended for the more elderly population, safety would also have been a consideration. So basically there's only the option of electric heating. :D

 

Fortunately my Mum has never felt the cold - but I take the point about having some secondary heating source for boosting the system in an evening and at present, even though she has gas in her current flat, she actually has a nice halogen/ceramic type portable heater which she would rather use as she likes the nice cosy 'glow' it gives and will often just have that on whilst watching TV etc, rather than have another light and heat source on. So long as the cost of the electric heating isn't massively over what she pays currently for gas it's not a major issue - fortunately there's a garage with the flat which we didn't originally know about and the guy who's renting it wants to keep on doing so, sohe's going to be paying her £25 a month for it which should offset any additional heating cost.

 

Its just a matter of getting the 'right' system for her and whether or not to actually replace the current storage radiators and/or the tariffs. We've never had this system so it's all new to us!

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Mel..

Personally,I wouldn't chuck money at changing them just yet,not until your Mum has tried them for a while...

 

We're on economy 7 and have got big old storage heaters in our place..and although from the "flexibility" aspect,the heaters wouldn't be my heater of choice,as others have said,if used along with a secondary heat source they're not that bad..

 

My OH's Grandfather has got modern,slim storage heaters in this bungalow and they do seem more controllable than ours'...and I pressume that they would be more efficient.

(..having said that,at 87 I assume your Mum would be getting £200-300 towards heating anyway,so would "efficiency" be such an issue..?).

 

Cost-wise,over the year,I think ours' works out at about 40+quid a month..and our's is an OLD,draughty,inefficent,all electric, 2 bed bungalow.

(That's with 3 storage heaters on-over the cold months,immersion-used during off peak and a couple of additional panel/fan heaters and of cause cooking).

 

I suppose it all depends on what folk are used to....My grown-up daughters,think our place is an ice box,compared to their houses(...with their gas heating belting away at full chat! *-) )..they certainly don't "linger" when they use our bathroom,put it that way... (lol)

 

When my Mum was still about,I got her one of those halogen heaters,which she tended to keep close by her(..but am I right in thinking that they only heat a surface/object and don't heat the actual air/space?)

 

Having said all of that,it may be worth asking the likes of Age Concern(or what ever they're called now)or the local council,to see if there are any sort of "subsidised" schemes to assist OAPs in updating their heating systems...? (..it can't hurt to ask... ;-) )

 

 

 

 

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My only experience of storage heating was in my old mum's flat. One downside which has not been mentioned ( well, two actually ) is that on economy 7, daytime electricity will be more expensive than on a normal tariff. So cooking by electric will be more expensive for instance.

 

The second is that, you need to know what the weather is going to be in advance. OK, so it is always cold in the winter but in other seasons we can have hot / warm days followed by cold. You cannot just decide to turn the heat on if it is a bit chilly one day ( except for using your high cost daytime electric for a separate heater ) and if you have the storage on overnight expecting a cold day and then it isn't, you are not only wasting money but may also be too hot. I wouldn't ever consider night storage heating for a full time residential property: I'd walk away.

 

Harvey

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Guest 1footinthegrave

I'm surprised they don't linger, £10 a week is very little,we live in a modern well insulated 2 bed flat with gas central heating and use around £6 a week of electric,and considering they say the average bill is £1300, if your doing it for £500 all in, well...........

 

But back to the OP, I'd agree about keeping the existing ones and giving them a go, but there is a catch.

With these economy tariffs you pay considerably more for electric during the other times, which is the majority of the day and evening. Why they do this seems very unfair,but your stuck with it.

But do keep a watch on those bills, many people with these types of heaters have a dreadful shock when the first bill lands on the doorstep. Oh and one final thing, the heaters themselves have 1.2 or 3 heater elements inside, that do fail,in fact that's about the only thing that packs up, but are relatively easy to replace after removing the front casing and removing the very heavy bricks, so if some don't work, or seem cool it's a cheap DIY repair a continuity meter test will sort the good from the duff ( after isolating the power) to be on the safe side.

;-)

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Hi Mel,

 

I too would suggest trying the existing heaters to start with and when their deficiencies - if any - become apparent you can maybe look for a more up to date solution.

 

My understanding is that modern storage - or other - heaters are more efficient and give you heat for longer whereas the older ones tend to run out of go in the evenings? I understand that there are electric heating solutions other than storage heaters but I have not researched it online?

 

As we all get older maybe ease of use and constant warmth become more important factors in our lives than the things that used to take priority and modern electric heating is at least reliable and easy to operate.

 

Even if you had gas or oil heating you still need electricity to run the pump and fire up the boiler so when a power cut comes you are banjaxed whatever you have.

 

We keep a portable Flo Gas gas fire just in case as it only cost about £80 new (with bottle), although it hasn't seen use in three years.

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1footinthegrave - 2013-01-23 10:35 AM

 

I'm surprised they don't linger, £10 a week is very little,we live in a modern well insulated 2 bed flat with gas central heating and use around £6 a week of electric,and considering they say the average bill is £1300, if your doing it for £500 all in, well...........

 

;-)

 

I've just rechecked our account online(ScottishPower)again and we actually pay £46 a month and even now,after having the storage heaters running the past few months(and occasionally using additional convectors etc)we're still just in credit... :-D

(Npower always took way over what was required @70quid a month..and we always had to pester to get it refunded!)

 

..but I should've added that we do also have a woodburner in the front room and over the course of a year,I suppose we can spend £150-200 on van loads of logs...

 

Still...I suppose £600-700 is still pretty good going. ;-)

 

(Oh!.and we don't "linger" when we use the bathroom because it is bl**dy cold in there at the moment!.... (lol) )

 

Yes,storage heaters can be somewhat "inflexible" but I certainly certainly wouldn't dismiss a flat just because of them... :-D

 

I agree that having a portable gas heater as a back up is a good idea....

 

 

 

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Guest 1footinthegrave
pepe63 - 2013-01-23 12:08 PM

 

1footinthegrave - 2013-01-23 10:35 AM

 

I'm surprised they don't linger, £10 a week is very little,we live in a modern well insulated 2 bed flat with gas central heating and use around £6 a week of electric,and considering they say the average bill is £1300, if your doing it for £500 all in, well...........

 

;-)

 

I've just rechecked our account online(ScottishPower)again and we actually pay £46 a month and even now,after having the storage heaters running the past few months(and occasionally using additional convectors etc)we're still just in credit... :-D

(Npower always took way over what was required @70quid a month..and we always had to pester to get it refunded!)

 

..but I should've added that we do also have a woodburner in the front room and over the course of a year,I suppose we can spend £150-200 on van loads of logs...

 

Still...I suppose £600-700 is still pretty good going. ;-)

 

(Oh!.and we don't "linger" when we use the bathroom because it is bl**dy cold in there at the moment!.... (lol) )

 

Yes,storage heaters can be somewhat "inflexible" but I certainly certainly wouldn't dismiss a flat just because of them... :-D

 

I agree that having a portable gas heater as a back up is a good idea....

 

 

 

Can't imagine an elderly lady is going to be able to maul a very heavy calor bottle about, she's 87, I can't manage one and I can give her 20 years.

Your consumption starts to make sense now, the last place where we had storage heaters, we also had a woodburner, the output of which was quoted at 6 Kw, even though the OP's mum apparently has a chimney even if that is an option, it's not going to be a solution how ever sprightly she is. The Tories have just scrapped the "Warm Front" scheme which she may have been able to take advantage of, but according to that snake oil salesman, Cameron on todays prime ministers questions, it is to be replaced by something else, perhaps Age concern could advise. I do hope she can be comfortable, and enjoy her new home though.

 

I would say though if Mel B has not bought it as yet I would walk away, I would not buy a home that only relies on electric as a heating source, under any circumstances, and especially not for an elderly lady unless you've got a bottomless pocket.

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As you have asked for advice, I will offer mine, it's an opinion so please accept it for what it is.

You have said you are showing concern about the cost of using this type of heating and that maybe this will put you off the purchase.

If this is going to be a factor, why hasn't you Mum looked at renting a modern flat instead of buying, she will then still have her inheritence to use as she sees fit instead of tying it all up in a property that by your own admission is going to need money spending on it.

I'm not saying 87 is too old to buy a flat/house or whatever, but why spend the rest of your days scrimping and worrying about heating and other costs when she could live in relative luxury?

A friend had the same dilema with his mother, in the end they had an annexe built on the side of their house for considerably less than the prices you have mentioned, everything was custom fitted and if and when they come to sell, it has added considerable value to their home, you'd be suprised how attractive a 'granny flat' is nowadays. Everything including access was self contained so the possibilities were endless, including renting it out as an apartment.

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Guest 1footinthegrave
donna miller - 2013-01-23 12:50 PM

 

As you have asked for advice, I will offer mine, it's an opinion so please accept it for what it is.

You have said you are showing concern about the cost of using this type of heating and that maybe this will put you off the purchase.

If this is going to be a factor, why hasn't you Mum looked at renting a modern flat instead of buying, she will then still have her inheritence to use as she sees fit instead of tying it all up in a property that by your own admission is going to need money spending on it.

I'm not saying 87 is too old to buy a flat/house or whatever, but why spend the rest of your days scrimping and worrying about heating and other costs when she could live in relative luxury?

A friend had the same dilema with his mother, in the end they had an annexe built on the side of their house for considerably less than the prices you have mentioned, everything was custom fitted and if and when they come to sell, it has added considerable value to their home, you'd be suprised how attractive a 'granny flat' is nowadays. Everything including access was self contained so the possibilities were endless, including renting it out as an apartment.

 

Donna, no I don't think it's a running cost matter,just the cost of upgrading the old storage heaters, with in my view equally crap new ones. I absolutely agree with your post,there are much better options as you say, especially for a lady of 87, but I think they have already bought the flat ;-)

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I agree with Donna's suggestion of renting. The flat may not be a good investment, it seems it was slow to sell with the price being reduced from £119K. Plus it sounds like a fair bit of additional expenditure is needed.

 

After considering options of a buying/renting a small flat my mother moved into a care home a few years ago. She paid a bond of £100K to the home which invests this amount to pay for the fees etc. When she leaves the bond is returned. She only has to pay a supplement for meals and nursing care which varies with the level required.

 

Care homes vary enormously in quality. Both my mother and I were really against the idea until we looked at a few. The particular one she is in also has self contained flats that allow you to transition from total independence to meals and nursing services provided.

I shall certainly be putting my name down for this place in a few years.

 

Just my view but I hope it helps you to consider the options.

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I also agree with renting a nice modern flat. Have a word with the local council, they may have sheltered rented places. My mums house needed a lot of work and she couldn't get much of a grant from the council. So I suggested that she sold it and went to the council for re-homing and it worked. Best move she ever made.She went from living in an old and cold/damp cottage in bury St edmunds to a nice warm modern flat and she was well happy.

I know that's not the question you asked Mel, so to get back on track I would try the old ones first after the seller has paid for a safety report on them first. If they are knackered, have a look at electronically controlled panel heaters as they are only on when you want them, on demand , unlike storage heaters that you can't switch on when you want them. Also have a word with a charity like age concern Etc as they might be able to point you in the right direction.

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Thank you all for your advice and comments - Donna, thank you for being so up front with your views too, I have taken them in the way they were intended - everything has been considered.

 

However, it has all gone t*ts up here BIG STYLE ... one of my brothers (I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters) is being a grasping *~'#~@"%*!!!!! and would rather my Mum stays in her draughty council flat in an area which is no longer suitable for her, than support her in any way as he wants the money. On Tuesday afternoon at my Mum's flat, we met to thrash a load of it out, just us two, Mum and him/his wife. He has said he would deprive her of everything so he could carry out the 'wishes' of my late Dad if he could - no will and lots of different scraps of paper with scribbled notes on, contradicting each other, however he would like to 'cherry pick' so that HE would get the vast majority of the inheritance by a very long way! This is despite my Mum being the ONLY legal beneficiary (through no 'fault' of her own) and he doesn't care of the situation it would leave her in (especially regarding 'deprivation of assets' etc if she needed care in the future).

 

Some of the things he said to my Mum were absolutely horrendous and it has upset her to such an extent that she just wants rid of the money however she can and doesn't care about the consequences for herself.

 

I hasten to add that my other siblings are in support of my Mum having the money without question and for her to use it in any way she wishes to ensure she can enjoy herself for however long ... they have all told my brother that if he gives them anything they'll just give it straight back to her. They are all in agreement that she should move to our village as it offers lots of interest/facilities etc for her which will give a much, much better quality of life ... one of my sisters has even made her a 'welcome to your new home' card! My ***** brother however thinks the ONLY reason I in particular want her to move here is because, if I do more for her I should then get the largest chunk of her estate when the times comes ... I told him I don't care about any of it, and wouldn't be bothered if I didn't see a penny, all I want to do is make my 87 years old Mum's life better than it is for as long as possible. Even if I didn't live here, I'd still suggest she considers moving to the village as it's absolutely spot-on for her, and my other siblings agree too. Anyway, I digress ....

 

As regards her renting unfortunately property of the type she wants/where she wants isn't readily available (and is very expensive when it is) so we are now back to a scenario which was suggested to Mum previously and she will benefit from (lifestyle) and also will leave her able to give a portion of the money to my siblings now with the remainder kept by her in case she needs it in the future - if this has implication for care costs then we'll deal with it as and when. What we are therefore doing is this:

 

As she still likes the first flat she was going to buy for £67k and will still be very happy living there, WE are going to buy it OURSELVES in our names with our own money (fortunately we can release enough funds from various accounts/savings etc to be able to do this), we will then do the work needed to bring it up to date such as refit the kitchen and tidy it up generally as it needs decorating (total cost including purchasing it will be £69k). She will then, if she still wishes to, move into it and rent it from us at a beneficial rate to her (we know it is a good long term investment anyway regardless of who rents it from us). She still wants to buy her council flat herself anyway (as an investment for us kids in the future) so once she's then moved to 'our' flat we can then sort out her council flat whilst she's not 'in residence' as it really needs quite a bit doing and couldn't be sorted whilst she's living there as it would be too disruptive for her as every room needs decorating etc. Then, if for some reason she decides she doesn't like it in 'our' flat/village (which I very much doubt ... but just in case!) she can move back to her original council flat and we'll simply rent out ours and then see what Mum wants to do at that point.

 

Does this make sense or have I totally lost the plot with all of it!!!!

 

 

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Sounds like a good plan to me, Mel. You just have to do what's right for your mum and make her happy. Good luck with whatever you decide. :D
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Mel

You really do need to take proper advise - CAB, Age Concern as a start & probably professional legal advise after those discussions.

If your Mum were to need residential care at a later date, depending on which course of action you take, you could be deemed to have disposed of assets by the Authorities. (especially if your mother divides them up to "give" to you & your siblings)

 

Don't want to scare you, but I had to resort to a Solicitor's letter being sent to one of my brothers, in a very similar situation with my mother.

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Guest 1footinthegrave

God almighty, why am I not surprised. My brother died a couple of years ago, and although the amount of money he left was small it has caused an all out war with his children ( well all in their 30's / 40s ). A similar thing happened to a pal of mine. Strange what money does to families, just happy I've not got a pot to p**s in for them to argue about when I snuff it.

 

I must say though I do not agree that you should consider social housing as an investment for your future, let some poor bugger on the housing list have it, just as your mother came to have it. She's had a tax payer funded home ( as I have incidentally) for I presume many years, sorry but isn't that enough. Or is adding to your nest egg too big a temptation, as far as I'm concerned perhaps she could share her good fortune at the age of 87 in giving something back to someone less fortunate on the housing list. She still got her 80 grand, and that will allow you to charge your mum a fair bit in rent, and she's sitting on your investment as it grows as well, sounds pretty good to me.

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Hi flicka, thanks for the advice, I've already looked into 'deprivation of assets' and spoken with Age UK and citizens advice so am fully aware of the implications, however, whilst I'm alive there's no way my Mum will actually end up in a care home as I'll look after her if needs be. I'm aware of the implications of this for me/us and am prepared to accept them and have actually had discussions with the local council previously about building a 'granny flat' extension here if needs be.

 

 

 

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1footinthegrave - 2013-01-24 10:22 PM

 

God almighty, why am I not surprised. My brother died a couple of years ago, and although the amount of money he left was small it has caused an all out war with his children ( well all in their 30's / 40s ). A similar thing happened to a pal of mine. Strange what money does to families, just happy I've not got a pot to p**s in for them to argue about when I snuff it.

 

I must say though I do not agree that you should consider social housing as an investment for your future, let some poor bugger on the housing list have it, just as your mother came to have it. She's had a tax payer funded home ( as I have incidentally) for I presume many years, sorry but isn't that enough. Or is adding to your nest egg too big a temptation, as far as I'm concerned perhaps she could share her good fortune at the age of 87 in giving something back to someone less fortunate on the housing list. She still got her 80 grand, and that will allow you to charge your mum a fair bit in rent, and she's sitting on your investment as it grows as well, sounds pretty good to me.

 

Please do NOT judge me, or my Mum, by your own biased beliefs. :-|

 

The only 'rent' we will be getting is a very much reduced one which won't even make up for the interest we'll lose on the money well use to buy the flat, indeed if my Mum decided NOT to live in the flat we buy, we would actually be better off as we would be renting it out at the full rate!

 

As for your comment "is adding to your nest egg too big a temptation" regarding her buying her council flat - I don't care about this, it is what SHE wants to do, not me, I could do without the aggro to be perfectly honest. It can all be shared out between my siblings and not me if needs be in the future. The ONLY point in buying it as far as I'm concerned is, as I've already stated, that if she doesn't want to live in our flat, for whatever reason, she then can go back to her own flat instead, however in the meantime we will have revamped it for her so it is much more comfortable - it still won't be as good in terms of amenities etc as our flat, but ultimatey it will be her choice, not ours. If this is what makes HER happy then so be it.

 

As for living off the tax payer - she worked hard until the age of 67 and always paid her own way, including rent for a long, long time and she now lives on her state pension and some benefits (pension credit and council tax benefit) which obviously she will lose completely and have to fund herself from the money when she gets it. She doesn't make the rules about what benefit she is/isn't entitled to (it's all adjusted automatically in a 'continual assessment period') just as she didn't make the rules about being eligible to buy her council flat - no one is making her do it, SHE WANTS TO not for herself but for her kids ... whether I think this is right or wrong is irrelevant as it's not my decision at the end of the day. If she wants to 'look after' her family in this way, who am I to judge her? Are you seriously telling me that if you were in the same position you wouldn't do the same? You'd put strangers above your own family? Even if some members of your family would certainly then have a bit better life in time (2 of my siblings don't have much at all). IMV there's something wrong with your 'views' and I'm not convinced it's any better than what my brother has been trying to do to to deprive my Mum in the first place ... 8-)

 

I, and my Mum, wish there hadn't been ANY inheritance - it would have made things much simpler - we would still have bought a flat near us for her to live in and she could still have bought her council flat from her small amount of savings as the overall value of the flat isn't massive even at full price. The inheritance has just caused a load of bl**dy hassle which she could well have done without and also, unfortunately, let her see a side of my brother which none of us knew existed - if she could go back to how it all was before the inheritance she'd do so in a flash. No amount of money can take away the hurt and upset all of this has caused.

 

:-(

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Unfortunately Mel...although this money has undoutbedly brought it to the fore,as your brother is being an ar*ehole now,there's a very good chance thet he would be an ar*ehole at some point anyway...!

 

(..be it argueing over the clock on the mantel piece,grannie's old ornaments,your Mum's jewelery that he's always had his eye on or the chair/sideboard/dinning table etc,that Dad/Mum had "promised" him etc etc... *-) )

 

I know you say you've asked questions of CAB/Age Concern (off loading assets wise)but personally with your brother acting as he is,I'd still be checking that he wouldn't be able put a spanner in the works further down the line.. :-S

 

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Guest 1footinthegrave

The problem the OP will face is the one entitled "deprivation of income " her mother is in receipt of benefits and no doubt has the bulk if not all her council tax and rent paid. She will also lose a lot of fringe benefits as well in coming in to this money. Any attempt to hide it, or spend it without declaring it could result in some very unpleasant consequences, you need to take advice before you do anything.

 

I have no reason to believe she is anything other than the type of person I've been through my life, worked until retirement, but as I was employed and occupied a "tied" cottage, on retirement we found ourselves needing the provision of social housing, the provision of such we are extremely grateful for.One of the reasons I've always been opposed to the sale of social housing.

 

So I'm sorry but I think you'd be well advised to get some expert advice, perhaps some spending that could be justified to the DWP for example on improving her present home on new furnishing etc. I believe the maximum amount she can hold is £6000 in savings, so 80k will take her way over.

 

Or you could fund a flat yourself, after all that would be an investment for you in any event, your mother would retain her pension, she would lose any pension credit of course, but she would be able to enjoy her inheritance without any consequences, and you could agree a "token" rent that she could fund from her 80k.

 

And release the flat back to the council to house someone in similar circumstances that found your Mom in need of her council flat in the first place. That would seem a reasonable solution all round to me , and may just wrong foot any family feud. ;-)

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Guest 1footinthegrave
Since my last post and re-reading yours it sounds as if your Mum has already bought the flat, and I don't care personally,it does not affect me, BUT if she has not informed the authorities of her 80k windfall and is still claiming benefits, or has already spent it, or even given it away, she could find herself accused of benefit fraud, not good at any age, never mind at 87. This not "my biased view" just a statement of fact.
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1footinthegrave - 2013-01-25 11:09 AM

 

The problem the OP will face is the one entitled "deprivation of income " her mother is in receipt of benefits and no doubt has the bulk if not all her council tax and rent paid. She will also lose a lot of fringe benefits as well in coming in to this money. Any attempt to hide it, or spend it without declaring it could result in some very unpleasant consequences, you need to take advice before you do anything.

I'm fully aware of the effect that her inheriting the money will have on her entitlement to benefits etc and there will be no attempt to hide anything - she has not yet got the money as it is still with the Probate office - it has all been put on their form so is 'above board'. There is no point in doing anything about informing the benefits people yet as, until she actually gets the money, she is fully entitled to what she is currently getting - she can't live on something she hasn't received yet can she ... We know that she willl lose every benefit and have to live on just her state pension (which she has earned in her own right) and some of the capital and regardless of whether she stays in her rented flat, buys it and lives in it, or lives in the one we buy this would still be the same.

 

So I'm sorry but I think you'd be well advised to get some expert advice, perhaps some spending that could be justified to the DWP for example on improving her present home on new furnishing etc. I believe the maximum amount she can hold is £6000 in savings, so 80k will take her way over.

Having her stay in the council flat is not a good idea as where it is isn't really suitable for her now as it in a group of other flats which are 'out on their own', with not much near to them, only a couple of shops to speak of, a church that doesn't have a service for most of the year (and she loves being involved with church stuff), and she has to get a bus to get to places to get her normal shopping - she's very independent and I certainly wouldn't want to take that away from her but like now, with the weather being so bad, just going out to get a paper if she wants one is hazardous as the paths are never gritted. The council flats used to only have people over 50 in them, but now they allow anyone to have one, so the community atmosphere it used to have has gone and no-one really bothers with anyone else. A few years ago she fell down a few steps at the bottom of the shared stairs leading to her flat and badly cut her knee on the door threashold (I was on holiday in France at the time) and she ended up having to make her way back up to her flat and call an ambulance herself ... imagine if instead she'd been knocked out or seriously injured, she could easily have been there for hours before anyone realised.

 

Actually the maximum she can hold is more than £6000 and what benefits she would be entitled to, and how much, are varied depending on her capital up to a certain level (each benefit has a different limit) after which she gets nothing.

 

Or you could fund a flat yourself, after all that would be an investment for you in any event, your mother would retain her pension, she would lose any pension credit of course, but she would be able to enjoy her inheritance without any consequences, and you could agree a "token" rent that she could fund from her 80k.

I thought that was what I'd already said we were going to do ... :-S

 

And release the flat back to the council to house someone in similar circumstances that found your Mom in need of her council flat in the first place. That would seem a reasonable solution all round to me , and may just wrong foot any family feud. ;-)

What she does with the council flat is her decision, not mine, personally it would make it much simple if she didn't want to buy it as we could do without the aggro of having to get it all sorted for her as I know full well that it will be me and hubby who'll end up doing most, if not all, of the work on it and looking after renting it out etc. However, if for some reason she doesn't like it in her 'new' flat, she can move back to her original flat until she decides what she wants to do ... if she feels she 'needs' this safety net and that's what it takes to get her to move to the 'new' flat, then so be it.

 

 

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