My elderly aunt wants to sell her house at a £200,000 discount to a family who will care for her while she lives there rent-free, but I’m worried


My aunt (89 years young) is currently in a care home but desperate to get back to her own home as she´s not happy in a residential home environment.She cannot look after herself and her home will need much work to refurbish it to allow her to live there (all the plumbing, kitchens and bathrooms need replacing).She cannot afford to do this but has a friend who is willing to buy below market value (£200,000 lower), move in with his young family, allow my aunt to live on the ground floor, rent free. He and his wife, who´d live on first floor, would provide the care for her. After her demise they would keep full possession.

The house needs complete refurbishment as it has no heating, kitchen or bathroom that work and hasn’t been decorated or modernised in over 40 years.I have power of attorney for her and it worries me that this could fall foul on many grounds. My primary concern is her long-term wellbeing and I want her to be happy.She believes this is a good option for her. She also has her mental faculties so can make her own decisions.What should be the legal steps taken to protect her long-term interests and ensure that she can continue living there as long as she wants, rent free (assuming health permits) and that her financial wellbeing is not compromised?

That does not stop you from offering kind, sensible advice to your aunt. If she wishes to sell her house, she will have to get a solicitor to handle it for her. She needs to seek independent legal advice, meaning she must not use the same solicitor as the friend who wants to buy the property.It would be best for her (perhaps with your help) to find a lawyer who would not simply deal with the property transaction but has experience dealing with elderly clients, and can handle all the issues in a supportive way so she is happy and secure. 


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