When a protected person moves into alternative accommodation, a decision will need to be made about what happens to their house.
You cannot put a protected person's house on the market without permission from SACAT.
Consulting with others
Deciding what to do with the protected person's house is likely to be a very sensitive decision and their wishes must be considered.
The protected person's doctor, family, psychologists or social workers can provide useful advice on the non-financial aspects of deciding whether or not to sell the protected person's home.
It is also important to consult with close family members about potentially selling the house - especially with those who could be entitled to the house under the protected person's Will.
You do not have authority to force the protected person to move out of their own home.
If you feel the protected person needs to be in a nursing home - but they refuse to go - you can make an application to SACAT for a guardianship order.
Selling the house
Selling the house might be the best option if the protected person needs additional funds to move into a retirement village or care facility.
Sometimes the home will be run down. You will need to consider carefully whether it is in the best interests of the protected person to repair the property first or to sell it as is.
You must consider the views of the protected person and their close family. You should also get advice from real estate agents and builders about the best way forward.
Approval from SACAT
If you decide selling the home is in their best interests, you must seek approval from SACAT in writing.
This must happen before the property is placed on the market.
You will need to include a range of details in your application. See the Private Administrator's Guide (PDF, 1.7 MB) for more details.
Once you receive SACAT's order consenting to the sale, you can instruct a real estate agent to market the property.
You will need to advise the Public Trustee of the sale in the next annual statement of accounts and include:
- a copy of SACAT's consent to the sale
- a copy of the valuation
- the conveyancer's settlement statement
- details of the investment or use of the proceeds of the sale.
Other options to consider
If it is possible the protected person may return to live at their house, the best option is to leave the house unoccupied.
In this case, you must arrange special insurance cover which states no one will be living in the house.
It might be beneficial for the protected person to regularly visit their home to enjoy familiar surroundings.
As administrator, you have the authority to lease the protected person's home or other real estate when they can no longer live there.
However, if the lease is for more than two years, you must get approval from SACAT.
Renting out the house can mean the protected person receives both rental income and capital appreciation.
You can employ a real estate agent to find tenants and manage the property appropriately.