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Should older people be 'encouraged' to downsize?


Recent statistics would suggest that older couples and individuals are under-utilising their larger properties and it is estimated that there are 25 million unused bedrooms in England with 37% of homes are under occupied.

It would seem therefore that older people are holding on to properties that are greater than their physical needs. It has been suggested that older people be offered stamp duty free downward move coupled with penalty council taxes for under occupation to encourage larger properties to be put on the market. Whether such a scheme is adopted remains to be seen however.

Whether this suggestion is realistic or not, it does touch upon the issue that quite often older people find themselves in a home which they have raised a family in and are quite comfortable living in. Why should they want to move?

Quite often it is because they have to release equity from the property to fund their older age and cope with the every increasing cost of living. One way to do this is through an equity release scheme. This is a scheme whereby a lender loans money to an individual, which is secured against the property. They charge interest on this amount but it generally only becomes payable upon the death of the borrower. We are certainly seeing more of these schemes coming through the Fidler & Pepper doors.

If you are considering such a scheme or have been approached and want to speak to a solicitor regarding specific aspects of the scheme or are considering selling your property and want advice in relation to this then please drop me a line to discuss this further on either wjames@fidler.co.uk or 01623451111.  


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