Living with relatives can work well and it can be an easy option for you.
Nevertheless, it is important that you are realistic about this option and consider it carefully.
Adjustments will have to be made by everyone, particularly if there are children or teenagers in the home and it is best that everyone’s expectations are considered because "compromise" will be the order of the day.
Things to consider include:
- Privacy – Will everyone have space and time to pursue their own interests?
- Cooking – What will the cooking and eating arrangements be?
- Budget – Will there be a contribution towards the household budget?
- Furniture – What will be done with your own furniture?
- Suitability – Is the house actually suitable for your needs or can it be adapted to suit?
- Relationships – How are relations between you and your loved ones at the moment? Is everybody happy with the arrangements?
- Care – What level of support do you require from the family? What will happen if your care needs increase?
If you are considering buying a property with your family, legal advice must be sought to ensure that everyone is sure of their position should circumstances change and you have to go into a care home. Investing in relatives’ property or purchasing a property jointly can cause complications if you have to be means-tested for assistance with care home fees at some future point.
What effect will living with family have on my benefits?
Living with family does not mean that you cannot get Pension Credit. It is your income that is taken into account, not the family’s earnings.
Importantly too, if you are living in a property owned by a family member and are paying them rent, you may be entitled to housing benefit.
Housing Benefit is a tax-free, income related benefit awarded to you if you are responsible for paying rent and/or rates and satisfy the qualifying conditions.
From the point of view of the family, if a family member is spending a lot of time looking after you because you are frail, ill or have a disability, then that family member is your carer. As such, financial or practical help may be available to them for their own needs as a carer. Help could be in the form of welfare benefits and assistance from social services.