To tell school admissions we are temporarily renting in catchment?

(41 Posts)
Broderieanglaise Mon 11-Nov-13 16:34:51

We are renting in catchment because we genuinely can't find a house to buy. We have the intention and funds to buy within catchment, there just isn't anything coming onto the market and there hasn't been since the beginning of the summer holidays. Literally not a single 3-4 bedroom house within the admittedly very tiny catchment area of the school.

The school admissions brochure states if we own a house elsewhere, then any other address will be considered as temporary. But if we sell our other house (which is 45 mins away and next to some excellent state schools already), then we'll lose out on capital appreciation. In other words if we're out of the property game for 12 months or more we're likely to find we can't get back on at the same level in our new area. House prices went up 15% in our area last year and the same is predicted this year.

So am I being unreasonable in asking the admissions dept to allow our application? Am I likely to get a clear answer from them before putting in my application?

soapboxqueen Mon 11-Nov-13 16:53:26

What would they say if you rented your other property out?

I think the problem might be that no matter how reasonable you have moved to secure a school place.

I'm honestly not sure what they will say unless you ask. Is there a minimum distance move before they no longer consist it temporary? If you bought a house in Birmingham but moved to Leeds due to work and hadn't managed to sell the other property, they couldn't expect you to not use local schools because according to them the Birmingham address was your permanent address iyswim

Theas18 Mon 11-Nov-13 16:56:49

Why not use he "excellent state schools" where your actual home is?

prh47bridge Mon 11-Nov-13 17:07:43

You can ask but I would expect them to say no. It sounds like you are renting in order to get a place at your preferred school. Their rules make it clear that this is unacceptable. Your long term intention to move into catchment doesn't help. Apart from anything else, the admissions team have no way of knowing you will stick to that. For all they know you may get the place then simply move back to your house.

If you really want them to use your rented address you will have to sell your house and take the risk on capital appreciation.

Broderieanglaise Mon 11-Nov-13 17:36:55

Theas18, because we genuinely want to move to this new area. We are not moving for the school.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 11-Nov-13 17:43:16

How far away is your old house from the area you want to rent in?

Wikkitikki Mon 11-Nov-13 17:47:32

If the house you own isn't already on the market then it does look dodgy in my opinion.

admission Mon 11-Nov-13 17:49:06

You are in catch 22 here. On the one hand I completely agree with the attitude of the LA that rented accommodation when you have a house elsewhere is an attempt to use the system. I can also see your problem but there is a big issue for you. If the LA are to take a look at the situation with a view to considering accepting your rental address as current, then the first question they are going to ask is whether your house is currently up for sale. The answer is of course no and when they consider the problem of how you can then afford to buy a house in the area when you own another house 45 minutes away, the answer is almost for sure going to be a no, we consider this is for admission purposes only.

If you honestly are going to move to the district then you have to as a minimum show willing and that is get your other house on the market and sell it. There is still no guarantee that the LA will accept your proposal but without the house on the market, there is no chance. The big problem is that you only have two months to sell your house and that is unlikely to happen in that time scale.

bundaberg Mon 11-Nov-13 17:52:39

is your other house rented out? if so that would surely help them see that this rented place is in fact your main residence?

or could you put it on the market temporarily??

Broderieanglaise Mon 11-Nov-13 18:06:13

We will put our house up for sale the minute we find somewhere to buy. We just don't want to sell it now as we are going to be looking for a house to buy for some time. Houses hardly ever come up for sale in the catchment of this school.

If we sold the house now and didn't find for another year we could lose 12 months capital appreciation on the value.

bundaberg Mon 11-Nov-13 18:08:33

on the other hand, if you haven't got a buyer for your other house you may find that potential vendors aren't willing to sell to you in case they then have to wait ages for you to find one...

Wikkitikki Mon 11-Nov-13 18:11:46

I appreciate your dilemma but if the houses rarely come on the market then presumably another buyer could snap it up before you if yours doesn't sell. I knew a family who were about to sell just in time for the closing date but their buyer pulled out. They did sell but not until after the closing date. They rented in catchment when their house sold then got a place by appeal.

Broderieanglaise Mon 11-Nov-13 18:18:53

That is true bundaberg but another option for us is to release equity in our property and use that to buy in new area. To be honest we haven't decided whether to definitely sell or to keep as a long term investment. Either way we are staying in the new area.

titchy Mon 11-Nov-13 18:30:09

I think this is a case of having your cake and eating it tbh. You have moved to get into catchment whichever way you look at it, unless you put your house on the market. You'll just have to take the hit. Cheaper than private school fees I'm sure....

purpleroses Mon 11-Nov-13 18:37:37

I can't understand why you wouldn't be trying to sell your house first before buying as it's much easier to be cash buyers. I think the LA would think similarly. Once you've sold it then your rented place is your only home so you get the school place. You can then buy anywhere you like within reasonable travelling distance which would be much easier.

tiggytape Mon 11-Nov-13 18:47:54

You will have an uphill battle convincing any council to use a rented address in these circumstances.

You own a house and yet are deliberately renting in what you admit is a tiny catchment area elsewhere to get into a particular school. That isn't allowed.
The only thing that makes this different from people who rent just for a place before moving back home again is your stated intention that you won't move back home. That you plan to move into the area at some date in the future. You have no proof of this though - your house isn't even on the market.

Plus the school you want isn't sufficiently far away from the house that you own for you to prove that there's no way, if offered a place, you wouldn't just ditch the rented house and move back to your real home again and commute to school from there everyday.
If you were renting in Surrey and your house was in Scotland - that would be different but as it is there is no reason for the council to believe that you are relocating. You have to look at it from their point of view - everyone renting just for a school place could claim they are holding out for their dream home, get a school place and then pretend not to have founf the dream home after all and go back to their 'real' house. That is why the rules are worded as they are.

Surely there is a difference between renting in catchment 5 min walk away from the house you own and renting in catchment 45 min drive from the house you own.

In the first case there is no obvious reason for renting the house and no reason to make it permanent. In the second case it seems unlikely that you would go back to living in your old house as you would cause a 90 min round trip each day for your child.

It makes perfect sense not to sell the first house and sit on the cash if you are in an area with rapidly rising house prices. If your current house is currently worth £500k and you intend to buy for a similar price in the new area and there is a 10% rise in house prices each year then in the 2 years it takes you to find your new house, the £500k cash you got for your old house won't pay for the £600k your new house costs.

titchy Mon 11-Nov-13 18:59:34

But a 45 minute commute to school isn't that far, even for primary aged kids. Certainly this is a normal journey for many secondary ages kids. And let's be honest most people who genuinely want to move into a new area sell and buy at the same time, or at least sell first. It's very rare to fork out mortgage and rent for an unspecified period of time.

tiggytape Mon 11-Nov-13 19:01:10

breatheslowly - not at all. 45 minutes is not excessive for a school journey.
In fact a 1 hour journey is considered reasonable by most councils so 45 minutes each way is easily inside what many parents and children travel

The reason this comes up is, in areas of school place shortages, the nearest school with a space might easily be 45 minutes a way and the councils in those areas judge that this is fine. Lots of people do such journeys.

45 mins is massive commute for a child - it would be very unusual round here, but obviously isn't unusual everywhere.

MoldieOldNaiceHam Mon 11-Nov-13 19:11:00

Is there that much difference between the potential capital depreciation and the cost of paying rent?

I would rent out the house you own and say nothing.

bundaberg Mon 11-Nov-13 19:57:03

in that case I think you need to rent your other house out... so that it is clear that you are not using it...

Broderieanglaise Mon 11-Nov-13 21:19:40

Yes quite a difference in loss of CA and rent. Especially when you factor in potential rental income of old house.

scaevola Mon 11-Nov-13 21:44:22

'Reasonable' distance in school admissions terms, is up to an hour's journey.

I think it will be difficult to persuade LA of the genuineness of your situation, especially as addresses rental properties in small, desirable catchment areas are often flagged and trigger investigation. As you haven't mentioned anything like an office transfer for you/DH or indeed any other reason than 'we fancy this area with a really good school', I think anything short of selling the old property is risky.

Which matters more in the long run - the school or a few months off the property ladder?

DeWe Tue 12-Nov-13 13:25:20

But another issue is that how many renters will be happy to rent a house knowing that the owners will slap it on the market for a quick sale at very little notice (which is what you're talking about).

Having been in the position of buying and selling not very long ago, round here, most people wouldn't look at an offer on their house until their was already an accepted offer on the house being sold. Unless you can get a morgage for the entire lot and don't need to sell the old house first, I suppose.

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