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.

intitgrand Tue 12-Nov-13 16:31:35

It is where you are actually living on allocations day.Not what your intentions are, not whether you rent or own.It is where you actually live, where you on the electoral roll

tiggytape Tue 12-Nov-13 16:37:04

It is where you are actually living on allocations day.

No it isn't - certainly not in this case.

As OP says "The school admissions brochure states if we own a house elsewhere, then any other address will be considered as temporary."

Anyone can rent a flat opposite a great school, camp out in it for 6 months and then move back home again. That doesn't entitle them to use that address to snap up a fantastic school place. OP doesn't intend to do this. She doesn't intend to move back home but the council won't take her word for it.
So many people cheated in the recent past that the rules are now very clear. If you rent a house but still hang on to a family home that you've recently lived in, the council won't accept the rented house as your address even if you physically live in it and sleep in it every single day.

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Tue 12-Nov-13 16:37:11

How do you know that you will have good capital appreciation? Markets are very variable.

baffledmum Tue 12-Nov-13 21:21:12

If your own home is in an area with such excellent schools then slap a 15% uplift on the asking price now and see if you can sell it. At least that way you can genuinely say that it is on the market.

You wrote that you aren't moving into catchment for the school. In that case why not stay in your current place until the admissions window closes before renting? Which school are you actually applying for? If you aren't going to apply for the catchment school then leave it off the application surely and apply elsewhere? Then wherever you live becomes a non-issue as all schools will be out of catchment for you and the LA won't be interested.

Ladymuck Tue 12-Nov-13 21:29:50

I guess you really have to look at how the LA are to be expected to differentiate between your circumstances, and the circumstances of someone just renting to get the catchment school. As a minimum you need your house to be on the market or rented out.

LydiaLunches Tue 12-Nov-13 21:56:37

Sound reasonable to me, don't know why you have to tell the LEA though, surely if you are ensconced prior to the application deadline with council tax, electol role etc in place and your old house rented out they can't argue? People are allowed to move house. As a probably forever renter the level of suspicion really irritates me.

LydiaLunches Tue 12-Nov-13 21:57:47

45mins would be ridiculous here, and I assume where you are if you're encountering a truly tiny catchment area.

teacherwith2kids Tue 12-Nov-13 22:18:09

When we were buying, nobody would EVER consider accepting an offer from a buyer who was not proceedable - ie had a firm offer on their exisitng house that had been accepted and was in the hands of solicitors.

You will NEVER be able to buy in your new area if you approach it like this - because the rare house that does come up will be snapped up before you sell your old house and become proceedable.

So you either have to sell, sit on the cash, and wait - or accept that you will not buy where you want to.

Here, the fact that you own another house within a commutable distance would put you out of the running for admission.

tiggytape Tue 12-Nov-13 22:25:56

As a probably forever renter the level of suspicion really irritates me.

Renting isn't suspicious at all.
Renting whilst owning another house not too far away (but crucially outside the desirable catchment area) and doing so just as school admissions loom is the suspicious element here as far as the council are concerned.

As a forever renter you are free to move as often as you want.
As long as you dispose of the old house before using the new rented address for a school application, nobody will ever view you with suspicion and this would be perfectly acceptable. It isn't OP's renting that makes her suspicious. It is her decision to rent in catchment and not even put the other house up for sale.

NynaevesSister Wed 13-Nov-13 06:07:48

In the thread on the AIBU board Tiggy you constantly talk as if the OP is cheating. But she isn't, from what she has said. She has no reason to move for an outstanding school as her older children are at an outstanding school. She isn't renting a flat opposite the school. She is renting a family home for as long as it takes to find a house to buy in the area. She moved there a few months ago, not just as the deadline loomed. I presume she's surprised to find herself in this situation as she probably thought six months would be long enough to find a new house. Now she is stuck - she can't risk losing her place on the property ladder by selling now, so she has to rent, but that probably won't happen before the admissions deadline.

I think she should be honest, with the knoledge that admissions may insist on her property as the address. I think what she needs is proper advice about what is likely to happen.

So, if she puts in an application, presuming it is just one eg she is in London, with her rental address plus all the info and evidence she has about why this is her residence and not the home she owns, with the school she wants as first choice and the catchment school for owned property as second choice, what would happen?

If the council says no, we will only accept the address of the property you own, would she get bumped off entirely? Or would she get school B because of the sibling rule (her older children go there) or school B anyway because they will view her preferences against the old address even if she put new address on the form?

tiggytape Wed 13-Nov-13 08:53:22

I am not saying she is cheating. I am saying she doesn't have any good reason why the council should ignore their rule which says she can't use that rented address because she still owns a home elsewhere.

Why should they break that rule for her?

She has no hugely mitigating circumstances for doing what she has done.

My last post on AIBU:
The council will think the only possible motive here is cheating for a school place.

I think the OP is genuine when she says they do plan to move to the new area properly. However their timing doesn't match with the school application deadline and that's a problem.

Reading between the lines, OP would prefer more time to sell her house to get a better price and more time for a nice house to come up for sale in the new area.

Unfortunately time is the one thing families don't have when it comes to school places. If she applies for the desirable school in the new area from her real house, she won't stand a hope of getting a place, which she must know.
But if she waits until her house commands a good price and they find a decent home in the new area, she will have missed the boat and probably be allocated a less desirable school once they actually move. The desirable school by that time will be full.

School admissions system doesn't allow you to hedge your bets.
If you want to move to a new area, you either have to do it well in advance of school applications. Or, if you want to wait for house prices to change, you have to accept that when you move you will probably get allocated a school you wouldn't have chosen since all the good ones will be full. You can't have your cake and eat it.

admission Wed 13-Nov-13 20:37:51

Have to agree with tiggytape, the reality of the situation is that the permanent house address will almost for sure be the one the council accept, no matter how much info is given about the situation with the rented accommodation being genuine.
As such unless the school is not that popular the chances of getting a place rest on how much priority a sibling who lives out of area gets. If the council separates in-catchment siblings from out-of-catchment siblings then you probably will not get a place in a popular school.

TheDoctrineOfWho Wed 13-Nov-13 22:53:00

Oh,there's a new thread on this?

NynaevesSister Thu 14-Nov-13 06:09:56

But what I want to know, out of curiosity really, is what would happen if she puts in her application with her rental address and all her info about the owned property. If the council say no, there's not enough mitigating circs were are going to take her owned property address, what would be the best way to list preferences?

School A near rental property
School B near owned property

So that when the council changes the address she still has a school in catchment area?

Or does the council refusing to accept your address bump you off entirely and you end up in the pile waiting to see what places are left after all preferences have been allocated?

titchy Thu 14-Nov-13 08:02:57

The council should if they know about both addresses use the mortgaged one and she'd be allocated based on that address.

The problem is often that parents keep quiet about an owned home elsewhere, the council allocates in good faith, and by the time they realise the wrong address has been used schools have had places allocated and such an applicant ha to go on the waiting list.

prh47bridge Thu 14-Nov-13 09:09:26

would be the best way to list preferences

Regardless of which address ends up being used the preferences should always be listed in true preference order. Assuming the LA use the owned property address her chances of getting into school A will be reduced but she has the same chance of getting into school B regardless of whether she puts it first or last.

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