Sons' shock over Wixams retirement village charges following mother's death

The delay in being able to get access clocked up well over £3k in rent
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A son has spoken of his frustration at not being given access to his late mother’s retirement flat at Wixams until THREE MONTHS after her death.

The delay clocked up well over £3,000 in rent at the retirement village – not to be confused with a care home – despite the fact she was obviously no longer living there.

Alice Mary Ford died in the September of 2022 but her sons weren’t allowed access to her flat until December. ExtraCare says this was down to it being ‘unclear’ who was authorised to deal with her estate.

Wixams Retirement VillageWixams Retirement Village
Wixams Retirement Village

Son David Ford said: “My brother and I tried constantly to gain access to her flat in the home so we could empty it. This was finally allowed on December 12. In the meantime they continued to charge her estate for rent, and use of facilities and amenities for that period of over three months. This ended up costing £3,125.36. To charge rent for someone who has died is dire enough but to continue to charge for services which they cannot possibly be using is an outrage.”

But ExtraCare – which runs Wixams Village – was at pains to point out it’s a retirement village not a care home where relatives can clear their deceased loved ones’ belongings relatively promptly following a bereavement. Mrs Ford lived in a self-contained apartment let under an assured (permanent) tenancy agreement.

However David said: “They could obviously continue to charge all the fees but have nobody there that required use of their care facilities. I believe this is a moral outrage.

"When she was alive she had daily care. Staff attended several times a day. They would check she had taken pills correctly etc as well as general care. All the residents enjoy this care, which they no longer provided after she died, but continued to charge for. For over three months.”

A spokesman for ExtraCare said: “In situations where a person has passed away and it is unclear who is authorised to deal with an estate, ExtraCare require clarification from either a solicitor, or Office of Public Guardian as to who is authorised to deal with the deceased’s affairs. Until we are informed of this, we are unable to allow access to next of kin.

"We advised the family member who has contacted you of this, of what he needed to do, at the time of his mother’s passing. Once he had actioned this and we received confirmation from solicitors in November that they were administering the estate and that they consented to allowing access we allowed access to the apartment to the resident’s next of kin.”

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