Primary school applications - do I have to have moved into a house to use it as my primary address?(20 Posts)
We've been looking for a house to buy for longer than I care to remember <sobs>. We will buy one this year, even if I have to drug DH into it . But, there's a good chance we'll buy one that needs work, and the plan will be to stay where we are (renting) till it's finished. DC1 is due to start school next year.
So if we are
- in the process of buying the house (i.e. have not "completed" but are a way through the formal process)
- Are now the owners, but are not yet living there as it's being done up.
can I use it as my main address for school applications?
There's a perfectly decent school near our current house, but if we move to the other side of town I'd rather go for a local school there rather than schlepping across town each day.
For our application (Surrey) we needed the Council Tax account number, that was all.
Thanks. I'm probably sounding a bit thick now, but at what point do you start to pay council tax?
You have to use your address at deadline time. If you have bought a house but are not yet living in it then its not your main residence and you shouldn't use it.
I think it may depend on the authority. People I know are moving out of our area and were able to do school applications having just exchanged contracts prior a week or two before the admissions deadline.
If you don't own the house, no. Future plans cannot be used as an address. Some authorities seem to have a buffer period - so you might be able to use an address on which you had exchanged if you completed within a few weeks of the deadline.
If you aren't living in the house, well certainly no where I live. It has to be your genuine address as at the closing date. A friend had to use her rental address for this exact reason, even though they owned and were in the process of doing up their 'forever family home' (as Phil and Kirstie like to call it).
You have to pay council tax as soon as you've completed on the property. But you will be able to get a "vacant property" discount from your local authority. Just need to tell them you're paying council tax on rented property and you've not yet moved into your new (unfurnished) property - it's about 90% discount if I remember correctly.
When we were in the process of moving house at deadline time we had to use the address we were still at as had not yet completed. Then once we had completed we had to send proof from solicitor to pupil access for them to change our address on form prior to places being allocated
Oh fuckity fuck the pressure is really on now then!
milky so you didn't have to prove that you lived there, just that you'd completed on the purchase? I completely understand that they don't want people playing the system, but I just hope there are systems in plae for those who are in the middle of moving at application time....
Yep, what Amanda said. You definitely need to actually own the house and be paying council tax, utility bills etc there and ben keeping your stuff there.
You sound like you are being completely bona fide, but the rules are there to prevent people from engaging in shenanigans to pretend they have a particular address to get into a particular school with no actual residential qualification. They will apply the rules equally to you even though you are not attempting to do anything fraudulent.
You need to buy a house and get at least 2 rooms of it habitable before next winter, then actually properly move there, even if it still seems like a building site, and relinquish all ties to your current residence. The new house needs to be your only or main residence on the deadline day, and if you have another house where all your stuff is and where you sleep more than a couple of nights a week you could end up with no school place at all.
(realised a lack of clarity there - I mean if you apply as from the new address and they deem that this was not your main address and withdraw the place, you could end up in a situation where the only place they are willing to offer you is the worst school in the LA somewhere completely inaccessible - they do have to offer you a place eventually but if they decide you acted incorrectly they won't be kind)
We bought last Autumn, deadline for application was January. Basically the LA told us that we had to be in the property and paying council tax there for the address to be regarded as our permanent one. However, our LA gave you roughly a month after the normal deadline to move house and still be treated as an on-time application. This helped as we felt we had a bit of breathing space just in case things went slowly.
I found a telephone call to the admissions office very helpful to get it all straight.
Oh gawd no, it took us bloody months to find this rental property!
We have to find somewhere then. It could be academic, if we move relatively close to here, or if DH gets his way and DS goes to the local Catholic primary.
Pressure is ON!!!
Springforward that sounds good. I'll give them a call when our situation is a bit clearer.
You sound like us last year. I was tearing my hair out with the stress, I really feel for you! But, we viewed and offered in late August, completed in late October and were in in time to put the Christmas tree up in the refurbished lounge - it's still doable, it's only April.
I think it does depend somewhat on the local authority, and whether they have a problem with people trying to cheat.
Here, we could use our new house address as soon as we had exchanged contracts, before we had moved. There was a certain amount of faith in the fact that we would actually move and be living there within a few weeks. We didn't have to wait for completion. Our solicitors email confirming exchange was enough. But the assumption was that we were in the process of moving, this was the first piece of concrete evidence and as soon as we had completed we would be living in that house.
I think though that the bigger problem will be if you buy, and do not move in for some time. May not be a problem if the repairs take a few weeks, but would be a problem if they take a few months. Local authorities do check. You will find somewhere that it is written down as to the timings and what they will accept etc. If you apply, and are not actually living there and not in the process of moving in, then you may loose the place, or your application rejected as fraudulent, and then you have a problem.
Primary applications have to be in by January here (not sure if that is the same everywhere)
sorry, that wasn't very clear. The rules are laid down and they will stick to what is written, however the written guidelines seem to vary from place to place. eg, one will accept email exchange, another will insist on full documentation. Some zealously check, others not. And that may all boil down to how popular the school is, or how over subscribed the area is.
As Steppemum says, it is up to the LA when to accept a new address. Check the rules. Some will accept it if a solicitor writes a letter saying you have exchanged contracts, some won't accept it until you are actually living there and some have rules around proof of address that are difficult to negotiate if you've only just moved there. Take a look at the admissions section of your LA's website. If you can't find the information you need feel free to PM me the name of the LA involved and I'll see if I can find it for you.
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