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To be declare to School Admissions Dept that we are renting temporarily in catchment?

(136 Posts)
Broderieanglaise Mon 11-Nov-13 16:32:40

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?

Broderieanglaise Mon 11-Nov-13 17:34:13

It's for primary, and we have all the documentation we would need as far as council tax and all utilities. We have genuinely moved. The children will remain at their current school until a place comes up at the new one. It's a complete pain commuting but the alternative is to unsettle them with a temporary school move.

Our other house is solely in my DP's name as it happens, but I don't want to do anything fraudulent. I am hoping our genuine circumstances will be accepted.

flowery Mon 11-Nov-13 17:36:08

It can't possibly be just about house ownership, that's completely illogical. There might be any number of reasons why someone owns a house in one place and lives in rented property elsewhere. Of course it can only be about where you genuinely live. As the OP has genuinely moved this shouldn't be too difficult to prove if anyone challenge the application.

breatheslowly Mon 11-Nov-13 17:45:16

There must be some difference between renting within catchment but owning a house 5 min walk away and renting within catchment but owning a house 45 min car drive away. The first is really suspicious - why would you rent so close to the house you own? The second sounds reasonable - you're hardly going to move back to your old house and give your DC a 45 min commute twice a day.

Broderieanglaise Mon 11-Nov-13 17:48:14

The house we own will be rented shortly - we need to paint a couple of rooms and clear the loft then it will be ready.

flowery Mon 11-Nov-13 17:50:03

Having looked again at your OP it seems the schools own criterion is not owning a house elsewhere. Regardless of how completely illogical this is, that will probably be your problem.

Broderieanglaise Mon 11-Nov-13 17:52:18

It really isa genuine move of area. We would drive though 2 other towns to get to the new area from our current home. The new area has lovely parks and other amenities we want to be close to. It also has good secondary schools where as our current area has none. So we are planning to settle for good in the new area and for our DC to grow up there.

However if the admissions policy clearly states they will class any home we own as our permanent address, surely they could just pull that out of their sleeve whenever they want to? My fear is we get offered a place and then it's retracted and our DC settle in the new school, then get pulled out sad

Broderieanglaise Mon 11-Nov-13 17:53:00

Frankly I can't see how else we could move to the new area!

Broderieanglaise Mon 11-Nov-13 17:57:00

Perhaps I do need to ask what the cut off distance is for ownership of another property.

Does anyone know how they check whether you won another property? Do they check council tax records or do they simply ask you to disclose this on a form meaning you risk your school place if you give false information?

flowery Mon 11-Nov-13 17:58:00

That does seem ridiculous.

We relocated when I was at school, 200 miles. My dad started a new job at the beginning of the school year and we hadn't been able to sell our house. So we all moved into rented accommodation in the new area and started new schools.

Completely ridiculous for house ownership to be the sole criterion for determining whether someone genuinely lives in the area.

I realise that doesn't help you OP!

Broderieanglaise Mon 11-Nov-13 18:01:45

It's not the sole criteria - they do request proof of residence etc. We meet all the other criteria so no concerns there. It's just this one phrase about ownership of property that worries me.

CreamyCooler Mon 11-Nov-13 18:02:48

I'd get your owned house rented out asap and fill in the forms honestly.

flowery Mon 11-Nov-13 18:10:30

Oh sorry, it sounded like if you own a house somewhere else they wouldn't consider any other evidence about where you live and it would automatically be game over.

CrispyFB Mon 11-Nov-13 18:16:28

Last year we moved into rented 50 miles away, around 75 minutes drive in good traffic (2 hours on public transport!) and it took six months to sell our house. It was empty for that time and only on the market for the latter three months.

I had an application for reception and an in-year transfer for Y1 go through with no issues whatsoever for a massively oversubscribed school. All they wanted to see was the 12 month tenancy agreement for our rental property.

If that was because it would have been insane to commute then maybe that's why they didn't check further, but I guess what I'm saying is that in fairly similar circumstances we didn't have any issues at all.

Like you we intend to buy in catchment but unlike you we don't have the capital to buy right away! So we'll be renting for a bit longer - but as far as the LA is concerned they wouldn't know the difference between our situation and yours. The only difference is our commute time was longer, but still just about doable (if you were suicidal..!)

I guess local authorities vary but just wanted to give you a success story smile

Broderieanglaise Mon 11-Nov-13 18:26:37

Thank you Crispy but when I spoke to LA they said it wouldn't be accepted due to the house ownership point.

They suggested I write in.

Broderieanglaise Mon 11-Nov-13 18:49:01

Crispy - out of interest did they LA ask you about your other house and did you explain that you owned and would be selling?

Eastwickwitch Mon 11-Nov-13 19:32:38

This seems madness. What if you owned a property in Scotland & moved to Cornwall but as you couldn't find a suitable house, rented until you did? Maybe your Scottish house was rented until you needed the capital to buy?
This is utter madness. You live in the catchment, pay council tax, presumably are on electoral role. I would get in touch with my MP if it were me.

hettienne Mon 11-Nov-13 20:17:16

Owning a property in Scotland is unlikely to be a problem. Owning a property a mile away but then renting one 500m from an oversubscribed school would look dodgy though.

Broderieanglaise Mon 11-Nov-13 20:30:53

Agree with hetienne but that's definitely not what we are doing.

Broderieanglaise Mon 11-Nov-13 20:37:48

I've just worked out the distance from old house to new school and it's only 7 miles. The journey would take 45mins to an hour though because of traffic which is constant most of the time. On Sunday morning it took us 45 minutes.

7 miles does not look good on paper though.

badbride Mon 11-Nov-13 20:37:54

What would happen if you simply put your property on the market? This would indicate that you are serious about selling it. Doesn't mean you HAVE to sell until you find a house you want to buy--just don't accept any offers until you do. And given that it can take months to sell a property, wouldn't the school be being unreasonable if they refused to accept your application without a sale?

CrispyFB Mon 11-Nov-13 20:52:02

Broderieanglaise - to be fair I don't think they ever asked us about our other house. I just filled in the standard form and there was no specific question about it as far as I recall. This was Hertfordshire CC. I think they MAY have wanted us to be on the council tax as our main residence but that was it.

We actually had far more grief from the council at our old place who refused to believe we weren't living in our old house any more and seemed to be sending them endless evidence of various things!

breatheslowly Mon 11-Nov-13 21:06:06

I think badbride's idea is a good one.

Broderieanglaise Mon 11-Nov-13 21:12:23

They would look unreasonable - but given the terms on their admissions policy about owning another property they would be within their rights to refuse our application.

I need to get a proper definition of this statement on their policy. It says if you own another property and are living somewhere else they will assume owned property is main residence. But it also says if you own more than one property they would simply like you to state which is your main property.

LynetteScavo Mon 11-Nov-13 21:24:35

We'll technically you own more than one property, and your main residence is the one you rent...... if it came to that....

Floggingmolly Mon 11-Nov-13 21:28:12

Owning more than one property is not a problem; why would it be?
Owning one property and renting another one to live in is an odd thing to do; so it's immediately assumed you're doing it for the sole purpose of getting your child into a school in a catchment you have no intention of living in past the date of your acceptance.
There is nothing in your situation (7 miles, really?) that would suggest otherwise.

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