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Buying house in catchment, but will it be ready in time? Advice please!

(22 Posts)
Hulababy Sat 08-Jan-05 19:47:01

Has anyone else been in a simialr situation, and can you help?

We are buying a brand new house in a given primary school catchment area. The house should be ready by December.

DD is currently 2y 9m. She will start school in January 2007 (I think as two entries; birthday in April so will miss Sept 2006) so I think we have to register by the end of this year???

However, until the house is built we have to rent. There is only a certain number of rentals in the right catchment and we haven't found anything suitable yet. We have to move in about a month we think.

If we move into a house nearby, but not in the same catchment what happens?

Our new house will be in catchment school A

The rental house is close by but in Catchment school B.

If not in the new house when we have to register for the school, what happens?

How likely are we to get into School A (a popular, bery good school)?

Or are we better to go for a rental house not as suitable, to ensure the right catchment?

Any help or advice would be really appreciated please!


PS. Sorry for rambling - had too much wine!!!

LIZS Sat 08-Jan-05 19:56:29

When will you exchange on the new house ? This may well be proof enough of an address to gain you the same rights as if you were living there. eprhaps the LEA could advise you for sure. Are the schools both usually oversubscribed as if not you may not have a problem, catchment or not, anyway.

roisin Sat 08-Jan-05 20:00:28

Firstly - find out the date from the LEA. Here the closing date for applications is usually end of Jan - i.e. in your case end of Jan 2006.

If you won't be in the new house then, I would recommend renting a house in the catchment area for this school.

If the school is very over-subscribed, then they are likely to be very strict on application procedures. (When we were moving the LEA kindly allowed us to apply - and put the house address on the form - months before we actually moved. If they hadn't done so, we wouldn't have got the places in the school for our boys. But technically I think they broke the rules in doing so, as we/they were not living here at the time.)

Hulababy Sat 08-Jan-05 20:02:32

We exchange on the house in about a month's time. So it will be well before the registration deadline.

Was thinking of phoning the school on Monday to ask them. Good idea or bad???

Freckle Sat 08-Jan-05 20:02:42

Have you exchanged contracts yet? Most schools will accept evidence of exchange of contracts as proof of residency. So even if the house isn't ready to move into in time, you may still be in a position to register.

Hulababy Sat 08-Jan-05 20:03:03

I susopect this school is over subscribed too as a very good school.

roisin Sat 08-Jan-05 20:03:34

It is very complex your situation though, isn't it? I think I would contact the admissions officer at the LEA, and ask what the position is.

Hulababy Sat 08-Jan-05 20:04:10

roisin - we should be in by Jan 2006 but you can never be 100% sure can you. This apartment was 18 months late in being ready!

Hulababy Sat 08-Jan-05 20:05:25

Cheers. I will ask DH to phone LEA Officer on Monday I think then. Why is everything so complicated???

roisin Sat 08-Jan-05 20:06:08

I think it's a good idea to phone the school.

firestorm Sat 08-Jan-05 20:52:26

im pretty sure that as long as youve exchanged contracts & can provide proof of this (if required to do so) then the lea will accept the new address. give your lea a ring to confirm though.
i know when we planned to move that our solicitor said that if it came to the admissions deadline & we hadnt exchanged that we should tell the lea we had exchanged anyway & that she would back us up if asked. it all went pearshaped with the house before we got to that stage though unfortunately, so we are stuck where we are for the time being & didnt get the school we wanted

Hulababy Sat 08-Jan-05 23:20:51

Well we will defnitely have exchanged by then. Infact we mave have done so in the next 3 or 4 weeks - muct get that deposit together!

Just read on the LEA site for area that the cut off for admissions is 31st January for this year's intake, so assuming it is the same, that does give us more breathing room.

Actually maybe Dh should ask for the LEA's response in writing?

roisin Sun 09-Jan-05 08:35:53

If the LEA give a response which is helpful to you, I would definitely ask for it in writing.

These things to tend to be a bit flexible and open to interpretation at the woolly edges of applications. So - and I hesitate to suggest this - if you don't get the response you want from the LEA, don't give them your name or the school you're applying to! And then subsequently try the school and ask what their opinion is.

ladymuck Sun 09-Jan-05 08:55:02

If it helps: we have lived in a property here for 2 years. Howeveer we have discovered a structural problem with the house and are having work done, and are moving into rented accomodation locally. We will be in the rented accommodation at the point of needing to apply for schools. We have been told by the LEA that we will have a right to apply from either address, though if we wish to apply from our permanent address we need to write a letter of explanation, but that as we own the propoerty they would be happy. (So in effect we probably have the reverse of your position as the rented accom works in our favour - the only thing in our sorry circumstances to do so!).

stitch Sun 09-Jan-05 08:57:33

its all to do with wether you have exchanged contracts or not.
we were living in essex, when we missed the deadline, ocotber. did not put the offer in for the house till february. but as soon as contracts were exchanged, ds1 went to top of waiting list. we moved in end of may. got the letter of his place a week later, and he started reception in the september.
its all to do with exchange of contracts. you just need to explain why you are renting.
dont worry, schools have to deal with this sort of thing all the time

Hulababy Sun 09-Jan-05 09:49:09

Thanks again. Looking much more promising for us then
Opens us up to far more rental options.

roisin Sun 09-Jan-05 09:58:52

It does depend though on what criteria are applied, and how strictly they are applied. There have been (unbelievable) instances of people buying a house very temporarily in catchment area, applying from that address, and never living in it, just to get into a good school, then selling the property. Some LEAs require proof of residency, not just ownership, and proof of residency of the children, not just you - i.e. housing benefit.

Hulababy Sun 09-Jan-05 10:01:02

Oh I know and we will get DH to check tomorow with the LEA Admissions Officer. And get it in writing.

This may even all become academic anyway. The house is supposed to be ready by December 2005 at latest, and cut off point is 31 January 2006 - so we may be worrying needlessly, but you never know!

Hulababy Mon 10-Jan-05 12:26:20

Update. Dh has now spoken to the Education Admissions Officer at the LEA and straight away said that tit was no problem at all, so long as we have the necessary documents that we have exchanged contracts, witht he predicted completion dates on. They deal with similar situations a lot apparantly and it is never an issue.

Feel loads better now and can start hunting for houses again to rent!

firestorm Mon 10-Jan-05 16:52:30

glad you got it sorted hulababy, it must be a weight off your mind.

Hulababy Mon 10-Jan-05 16:54:01

Yes, it is thanks. Opens up far more properties to consider

roisin Mon 10-Jan-05 18:32:06

Excellent News!

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