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Mental Capacity Assessment to Sell, Buy or Transfer Property

When it comes to buying, selling, or transferring property, it's crucial to ensure that all parties involved have the ability to fully understand and participate in the process. However, there may be situations where doubts arise about someone's capacity to make decisions for themselves. This can be particularly challenging when it comes to jointly-owned property or land, as all owners must be able to sign legally binding documents in order to facilitate a sale or transfer. If one owner has lost mental capacity, it's important to take the necessary steps to appoint someone to take their place in the decision-making process.

older poeple selling house

Why is a mental capacity assessment needed to sell property?

When you're looking to buy or sell a property, it's important to consider all aspects of the process. Social Workers can help with assessing a person's capacity to make these decisions and provide necessary reports for the courts. They take into account factors such as the person's insight into their future accommodation needs, ability to retain information, and whether the decision is their own or influenced by others. They also consider affordability and the person's ability to seek specialist advice on matters such as property valuation, estate agents, and solicitors. With their expertise, you can make informed decisions and confidently navigate the buying or selling process.

Your Questions Answered

  • What happens if someone lacks the capacity to sell or transfer a house?

If someone who lacks capacity owns a house, it may be necessary to consider selling it if it is in their best interests. However, it is important that their rights are respected throughout the process. Only someone who has the legal right to make decisions on their behalf, such as an attorney or deputy, can make the decision to sell the house. It is crucial to ensure that the person who lacks capacity is not taken advantage of and that their wishes are taken into account.

  • What to expect in a mental capacity assessment to buy, sell or transfer a property?

Our assessments usually take around an hour, and our friendly, experienced social workers do their best to make sure it's a comfortable and relaxed experience. We're accredited expert mental capacity assessors, so you're in good hands.


  • What happens if the outcome is that you do have mental capacity?

If our mental capacity assessment determines that you have the capacity to buy, sell, or transfer your property, we can provide a report in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act (2005) to assist your conveyancing solicitor in completing the process.

  • Who can complete a mental capacity assessment?

When it comes to a mental capacity assessment for the Court of Protection, a registered health or social care professional must complete the mental capacity assessment and corresponding COP3 report; that's why all of our mental capacity assessors are registered, qualified Social Workers.


  • Can we complete video-link or face-to-face mental capacity assessments?

We can visit you in your own home or any other suitable space you feel most comfortable and at a time of your choosing. In those instances where face-to-face mental capacity assessments aren't viable, we offer a fully secure video-link mental capacity assessment service. With the implementation of the Mental Capacity Amendment Bill (2019), we continue to provide video-link assessments, albeit as a last option and with a valid reason, duly recorded as evidence within our court-compliant reports



Social Work England is a specialist body taking a new approach to regulating social workers in their vital roles. All of our Social Workers are registered with Social Work England for your peace of mind. 


Our assessors are accredited Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) assessors with specific experience in completing capacity assessments and specialist reports.

All of our assessors have undergone extra training to become accredited financial vulnerability experts according to Lichtenberg standards, so they can provide even more detailed reports on mental capacity.


Jean is a beloved member of her community who has been living with dementia for the past few years. Recently, she decided to sell her property and move into a more manageable home. However, to progress with the sale, she required a mental capacity assessment from a Social Worker.


After a thorough mental capacity assessment, it was determined that Jean did have the mental capacity to sell her property. This was a relief to Jean and her family, who were worried about the outcome of the assessment. With the assessment complete, a report was provided to Jean's conveyancing solicitor evidnecing her capacity to sell her property and to assist with completing the sale.


Jean's conveyancing solicitor was grateful for the report, which helped them navigate the legal process of selling Jean's property. The report was in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act (2005), and provided valuable information about Jean's capacity to make decisions about her property.


Thanks to the report, the sale of Jean's property was able to progress smoothly. Jean was able to move into her new home, and her family was relieved to know that the process had been handled with care and attention to detail. The report provided by the Social Worker was an essential step in ensuring that Jean's sale was completed fairly and safely.

Need to make an appointment
regarding mental capacity assessment report?
Contact our team.

Selling a property as a deputy or attorney?

As a deputy or attorney, you may find yourself in the position of having to sell a property on behalf of the individual you represent. It's important to understand the legal requirements involved, particularly if the person has been deprived of their liberty in a care home or hospital.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can you sell property as a power of attroney?

If you are acting as a deputy or attorney, you can typically sell a property at market value, buy a property, and maintain and repair the individual's home, provided there are no restrictions within the lasting power of attorney (LPA) or enduring power of attorney (EPA). However, if the LPA only comes into effect when the individual loses capacity, a formal mental capacity assessment may be necessary. It's important to review the legal requirements and any restrictions within the LPA or EPA before making any decisions regarding a property sale

How long does a capacity assessment take?

When determining the amount of time required to assess an individual's capacity to make decisions, the complexity of the decisions being assessed and the subject's cognitive impairment are both critical factors. Typically, one assessment session can be expected to last between 60-90 minutes for a single decision.

What is the mental capacity assessment for deputyship?

In cases where a person cannot show they have the mental capacity to lay out a Lasting Power of Attorney and—consequently, manage their health and wellbeing or handle their property and finances—an application can be made to the Court of Protection to suggest that a third party take on those roles if suitable.

When assessing for deputyhsip our assessors always consider whjether the individaul does have sufficient capacity to grant lasitng power of attorney as where somoen can make a decision they shoudl be supported to do so.

What are the 4 questions for mental capacity?

The MCA says that a person is unable to make their own decision if they cannot do one or more of the following four things:

  • Understand information given to them

  • Retain that information long enough to be able to make the decision

  • Weigh up the information available to make the decision

  • Communicate their decision – this could be by talking, using sign language or even simple muscle movements such as blinking an eye or squeezing a hand.

Can a solicitor complete a mental capacity assessment?

When it comes to assessing an individual's mental capacity, there are a variety of people who can act as assessors. This could include family members, care workers, nurses, doctors, or social workers. In more complex or legal cases, your solicitor may recommend bringing in an expert assessor, such as a social worker. It's important to ensure that whoever is conducting the assessment is qualified and capable of accurately assessing the individual's capacity.

Who can assess mental capacity?

In accordance with government guidance appropriate assessors may include:

  Medical practitioners
  Social care professionals

It is imperative for these assessors to possess relevant professional qualifications, undergo training, and demonstrate practical experience that reflects their ability to assess capacity in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

At Nellie Supports, all our Registered Social Workers are fully equipped as experienced assessors. In addition to meeting the standard requirements, they have received specialised training in Montreal Cognitive Assessments, ACE2, and handling cases involving financial vulnerability. This ensures that our Social Workers surpass the necessary qualifications for conducting assessments


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