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Protection of Property Policy


Last Updated

1. Policy

1.1   As a Local Authority, we have a duty under section 47 of the Care Act 2014 to protect property of adults with care and support needs being cared for away from home when the individual is unable to do it themselves or make the necessary arrangements. This responsibility extends to all property including pets. This duty is the responsibility of Adult Social Care.

1.2   We will take reasonable steps and act where we believe that if we do not act there is a risk of moveable property being lost, stolen or damaged.

1.3   How we protect an individual’s property will depend on that individual’s circumstances. The following are examples of the actions we might take in certain situations:

• Ensuring that the doors and windows of a property are locked and secured;
• Arranging secure storage for items in a shared property which may be at risk of being damaged or stolen;
• Making a list of any items removed and arranging storage at a secure location, e.g. within a Devon County Council safe.
• Making arrangements to change locks where another individual has access to the property and there is a risk of unauthorised access resulting in damage or theft;
• Arranging forced entry with or without consent from the individual or a deputy, and protecting moveable property by changing locks;
• Finding suitable arrangements for the care of any pets. If no local alternative can be found this may include approaching animal welfare charities or placement in licenced boarding accommodation, at the expense of the owner.

1.4   If an individual lacks the capacity to give consent, the duty to safeguard property falls to any deputy, attorney or close family member provided that they are willing and able to do this. If they are not willing or able, their consent should be sought for a local authority worker to take reasonable steps to protect the person’s property.

1.5   Where a person lacks capacity to make decisions about protection of their property and no other person has been authorised to act on the individual’s behalf and we believe we must act, we will do so in the best interests of the adult, in accordance with section 4 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

1.6   The protection of property duty lasts until the individual in question returns home, or makes their own arrangements for the protection of their property, or dies, or until there is no other danger of loss or damage to property – whichever happens first.

1.7   We have the power to recover from an individual any reasonable costs that are incurred, either as a one-off activity or ongoing costs, in protecting property under this duty. We will, where appropriate and when the individual can afford to pay the cost associated with protecting property, look to initiate the process to recover cost. This could be through the individual or through an appointed representative or deputy (including Devon County Council if applicable).

1.8   For more information on the duty of protecting property see Section 47 of the Care Act 2014 and chapter 10 of the Care and Support Statutory Guidance issued under the Care Act 2014.



Policy Details

Version 2.0
Strategic Owner Keri Storey, Head of Integrated Adult Social Care Operations
Business Owner Damian Furniss, Senior Manager for Policy, Performance and Involvement
Author Becki Billing, Senior Policy Officer

Nicky Beaton, Safeguarding Adults Practice Lead

Date of Approval and Commencement December 2022
Last review date December 2022
Last reviewer Becki Billing, Senior Policy Officer

Nicky Beaton, Safeguarding Adults Practice Lead

Next review date Quarter 4,  2023/24