Moving to neighboring London borough, renting second home - WWYD?

(53 Posts)
f1ddlesticks Sat 02-Jul-16 16:55:17

We currently live in an area in London we love, but it's expensive and the flat we own is tiny (1.5 bed, second DC due in Nov). There's a mix of local state primaries, some good some less so - all around 90%+ ESL (not a mix of languages, the area is almost entirely Bengali). For various financial reasons we can't sell our flat for another couple of years, end of 2018.

So we're considering renting our flat out, and moving to a neighboring, cheaper borough to a rented house (what we get in rent would cover the cost of a bigger place there, and we would actually have space to breathe!) in time for DD to apply and start school in Sept 2018. We would then sell the flat as soon as we could and attempt to buy something within the catchment of the school she gets a place at, as we'd want 2nd DC to go there too. We're certainly not looking to cheat the system - it's just our current home is far from ideal.

Would this technically be allowed in terms of admissions? Would you do the same? The alternative is to stay in the tiny flat, get DD into a local school, then move and do an in-year admission for Year 1/2 dep on timings, once we've bought in the area. Would you then attempt to rent nearest the best school you could - if you were going to rent somewhere anyway? I do also worry about the upheaval of moving school for her a year in though.

Thanks - it's driving me a bit crazy trying to work out what to do!

AveEldon Sat 02-Jul-16 17:23:16

It depends on the boroughs involved
You need to read the primary admissions brochure carefully for your chosen borough

In Wandsworth they would assume you lived at your owned address and that your rental was temporary unless you could prove otherwise

f1ddlesticks Sat 02-Jul-16 17:30:50

That's a really good point, will investigate - have to confess I'm a total novice at this! The boroughs we could afford to move to would be Newham or Waltham Forest.

RiverTam Sat 02-Jul-16 17:31:44

I would have thought if all the bills, council tax, bank statements, driving licence, electoral register etc were all at the rented house, not your owned flat, that would be proof enough that it was your residence?

Floggingmolly Sat 02-Jul-16 17:34:26

Yes, you really are a novice at this... It's not allowed and they will use your primary home as your address.
You're not the first to come up with this brilliant wheeze; it's been tried a million times before.

f1ddlesticks Sat 02-Jul-16 17:38:56

Wasnt attempting a 'brilliant wheeze' - we genuinely need to move to a new area to be able to afford a house, and this will be the area we remain in for years to come. What I'm asking is, is it worth / possible to rent in that same area sooner than we can sell our flat so that DD goes to and stays at one school. Everything would be registered at rented house - this would be our actual home for a few years.

Dungandbother Sat 02-Jul-16 17:40:58

I think if you're moving more than 5 miles away then you can argue the rental is your permanent home. Who would commute in London 5 miles for state school? Utterly ridiculous.

There will be people shouting NO all over this thread but I'd be interested if any of them live in London.

Also you would be living in a larger property for over a year before applying. You would move doctors. You would change your addresses.

I don't see anything wrong in your plan. Email the relevant admission dept and outline whilst you do own a London property, it is one bed and since having children it is now purely an investment and not a home. Hopefully common sense will prevail and they will write back confirming you are perfectly within your right to do so.

If it's 1 mile away. Then I agree with everyone who shouts NO. But not because I agree with them. But because you are leaving yourself wide open to scrutiny.

f1ddlesticks Sat 02-Jul-16 17:42:07

Incidentally DD is only 2, so not sure how I should know the rules already - the whole thing seems bloody confusing, hence asking on here.

RiverTam Sat 02-Jul-16 17:42:52

I think you would be fine if you can prove it is your primary residence. If you move in very good time before applying to school then I don't see the problem. I know people who moved from an owned 2 bed flat to a rented 3 bed house and they were fine with school applications, there were tenants in their flat and the rented place was absolutely their primary residence (and in fact they have now bought the house they rented).

If you moved now, when your DD doesn't start school until 2018, I really can't see it being an issue.

f1ddlesticks Sat 02-Jul-16 17:47:26

Thanks Dung that's really helpful - based on what you say I think it probably would be a problem, the distance would be too close. Not 1 mile, but less than 5!

I genuinely don't mind staying where we are, I love it but it's a bloody tight squeeze through for what will, but the time we move, be a 5yo and 2yo grin - and we cannot afford anything bigger in our area. But I'll follow your advise and ask the relevant LA's for their advise...

f1ddlesticks Sat 02-Jul-16 17:48:40

Thanks River

dollylucy Sat 02-Jul-16 17:48:47

You'll be fine
You'll be on electoral role, utilities etc

How would the borough know that you own a house elsewhere?

plimsolls Sat 02-Jul-16 17:50:08

If you live in the borough I think you do, many of the schools are decent and certainly no worse overall than those in WF or Newham. Therefore, the only reason to do as you are doing is for the honest ones you describe regarding quality of living space, not "some brilliant wheeze". So, I'd would have thought you'd be believed. Plus, you'll have about 2 years worth of records showing you live in your rented property by that point. (Definitely speak to the boroughs involved to check though!).

DetestableHerytike Sat 02-Jul-16 17:51:53

Ask the LAs and get the answer in writing if you can.

Look into tax around selling a property that you rent out - things have changed recently - you may be better moving wholesale now after all.

An in year application will not get you into the school closest to you if that school is full and one that's deemed near enough has a space.

LillianGish Sat 02-Jul-16 17:52:39

I genuinely don't see the problem with this if that is what you are actually doing. I've known a few people move into rented accommodation for more space or once even for less space while renting out their own place (nothing to do with school catchment areas). If it's true that your current flat is too small and you are looking to start school then it makes sense to do this now. What would be wrong is to rent a temporary address to get a place at school pretending it is your permanent address and then move back to your old place and I'm sure plenty of people try this too, but schools are probably more wise to that (a family of four renting a bedsit in the catchment area while their three bedroom house stands empty for instance).

DetestableHerytike Sat 02-Jul-16 17:54:33

"You'll be fine
You'll be on electoral role, utilities etc"

Please do NOT assume this.

AveEldon Sat 02-Jul-16 17:55:03

Bills/C tax in the new location is not enough proof nowadays.
I would assume that London boroughs may choose to share council tax data and if the distance is close you may need to provide additional information for them to accept your new location
Eg info on size of property, length of lease etc

DetestableHerytike Sat 02-Jul-16 17:55:46

"How would the borough know that you own a house elsewhere?"

Checks are carried out, more checks in busy areas.

RapidlyOscillating Sat 02-Jul-16 17:56:28

How many miles is it? Could you move soon enough to have converted the initial 6 month tenancy to a longer one? That would help.

TBH I think it should be fine because of the sizes of the houses - the 'wheeze' is to rent a smaller property unsuitable to be a family home in a smarter area, gain entry to the school and then move back. If you're renting somewhere much bigger in a cheaper area, it makes no sense to suggest you would be moving back.

f1ddlesticks Sat 02-Jul-16 17:57:29

Yes the tax issue is a whole other thread! That's something else I have little knowledge of and may rule moving out. The other uncertainty is what might happen as a result of Brexit - problems with the property market etc. Ultimately I know we've very fortunate to have a lovely (albeit small) home and to be considering these various options - first world problems I know.

f1ddlesticks Sat 02-Jul-16 18:00:12

Other problem - can't move immediately because I'll be on mat leave & won't be able to afford it! So that probably scuppers it... We'd be able to move around application time. That sounds dodgy doesn't it?!!

AndNowItsSeven Sat 02-Jul-16 18:00:49

You will be fine if admissions are suspicious they will do a home visit early morning or late evening. It just has to be your primary residence.

Cantgetmyoldnameback Sat 02-Jul-16 18:01:28

Have you allowed for the fact tha you will have to pay tax on the rental income, also that if you sell a property that is not your home, you have to pay capital gains tax on any profit you've made on the original purchase price of the property?

f1ddlesticks Sat 02-Jul-16 18:02:41

I think speaking to the LAs, explaining everything truthfully and getting a reply in writing is the best option. I've nothing to hide and nothing to lose, apart from a smidge of sanity in the small flat

f1ddlesticks Sat 02-Jul-16 18:05:11

Yes - have considered rental income tax in the calculations. Capital gains - I need to research this. As mentioned above, may rule us out if we were liable for this.

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