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how do schools check you've been living in catchment area?

(28 Posts)
missperelman Tue 29-Oct-13 20:52:58

hi there. i'm about to move to an area of london, but the owner of the house will be paying the council tax. i've always paid my own so this will be a new thing. will my DD still be able to go to the local primary school in 2 years time, does anyone know? i.e. how do schools gather proof that you have lived in their catchment area, as i thought it was via your council tax bill. very best wishes

scarevola Tue 29-Oct-13 20:57:32

Check the LA website. Tenancy agreement/utility bills/GP registration/CB address/electoral role can all also count.

Any particular reason why you're not taking on the Council Tax liability? For it is usually based on occupancy, not ownership. And if not paying it means the Council investigates your address and there is anything shonky about the tax arrangement, it coukd all go horribly wrong at the point.

exexpat Tue 29-Oct-13 20:58:19

Not everyone pays council tax (mature students, living with extended family, even living with partner/spouse if bill is in their name) so I presume they could ask for other proof of residence like other utility bills in your name at that address, bank statements, rent agreement, car registration/insurance, driving licence, TV licence, name on electoral roll etc.

poorbuthappy Tue 29-Oct-13 21:00:47

I don't think they check.
Honestly, the amount of people whom I know have rented in catchment but don't actually live there is in double figures. They never get found out.

hettienne Tue 29-Oct-13 21:02:00

Often it's the address that child benefit is registered to.

missperelman Tue 29-Oct-13 21:03:44

thankyou all. scarevola; is it usually based on occupancy? everywhere i look online says it is just the owner who is liable.

poorbuthappy, as in you know tons of folk who just apply for the primary school and jut show up with no evidence of living near the school?

sorry all - new to all this!

poorbuthappy Tue 29-Oct-13 21:09:53

Sorry secondary schools is my experience.
People in primary schools who were outside catchment, then decided to rent a house within catchment of preferred secondary but never set foot in rented house. In 1 particular case a well known local businessman who was never going to move from
his lovely 5 bed house in the country to a 3 bed ex council house in catchment for no reason.
Everyone knew he was only renting to get into school
Even a family member simply put down parents house in catchment rather than own address.
Maybe it was just an unsubscribed year. grin

poorbuthappy Tue 29-Oct-13 21:10:33

Undersubscribed. Sorry shock

poorbuthappy Tue 29-Oct-13 21:12:09

Also you are in London I am about as far away as you can get, so will be a completely different situation probably.

CointreauVersial Tue 29-Oct-13 21:20:29

When I did my secondary application I had to type in my council tax account number. You should definitely check with your LEA if there are any implications of not paying council tax, and I would do it well before application date.

Jenny70 Tue 29-Oct-13 21:21:42

Our (london) authority definitely checks council tax and organises visits if applications & taxes don't tally. Friend was living out of her "home" while they had rennovations done - about 12-18months worth, and they weren't planning to accept her rental address. She walked them to the "home" and showed them the state of its unliveability (and she had documentation from insurance about it not being liveable).

StainlessSteelBegonia Tue 29-Oct-13 21:24:01

Our London primary requires council tax bills to prove residence, or they withdraw their offer.

scarevola Tue 29-Oct-13 21:28:24

Who is responsible for Council Tax depends on the type of tenancy. If it's a house of multiple occupancy, it would remain landlord's responsibility. But if rented to one or joint tenants or a single family, then normally it would be the tenants who are responsible.

missperelman Tue 29-Oct-13 21:51:33

thankyou all. i think yes, it might be an idea to try to pay the council tax for schools purposes. scarevola, it is a private home with the landlord living there too and renting a floor to me and my DD. so, i am still unsure whether he just remains paying his council tax for the property, or if i take joint liability/responsibility. anyone know? i can find out from landlord soon but he's away for a few weeks. thanks!!

Floggingmolly Tue 29-Oct-13 21:56:49

I don't know where you are poorbuthappy, but that is most certainly not the case in London. We had to provide copies of council tax bills for both current year and previous year.
Op, why aren't you paying your own council tax bill? I'd imagine that will be a huge red flag when they require evidence that you actually occupy the house.

poorbuthappy Tue 29-Oct-13 21:57:15

Dear lord. Just realised this is in primary. So sorry!! Don't know how I managed to ignore that. blush

poorbuthappy Tue 29-Oct-13 21:58:11

Rural Wales. Completely kettle of fish. Combined with me not reading topic title. Feel like an idiot now.

Floggingmolly Tue 29-Oct-13 22:00:22

Consider yourself lucky it's not London, poor. Sounds much less stressful, believe me!

CointreauVersial Tue 29-Oct-13 22:01:36

Surely primary and secondary have the same rules?

Don't see why you need to actually be the bill-payer to prove you live there, though. What about people who live with parents/grandparents?

nancy75 Tue 29-Oct-13 22:01:59

oh in london they check! we moved weeks before the application deadline, i had to have a letter from my old landlord & letting agent to prove we had moved out of old house, along with last utility bills for the old address and all the bills for the new dress and the new tenancy stuff. I got a 3 phone calls confirming my address and threats of a visit to check if i really lived here.

MrsOakenshield Tue 29-Oct-13 22:02:12

if your LL is letting out space in his house then you should be registered to pay council tax, he shouldn't still get a single person discount. I thought CT was how they checked, if they were so minded.

tiggytape Tue 29-Oct-13 22:34:59

CT is how they do all initial checks (and in London they check everybody on this). I don't know the legalities of your new LL renting out a floor and keeping the CT just in his name for the whole property. There was a lady here a year or two ago in a similar position who had problems with school because her LL refused to confirm she lived there (he wanted to hang on to his discount for single occupancy).

Anything suspicious can also result in extra checks eg looking up address listed with last school or nursery, address with Child Benefit, address with DVLA, address with GP as well as doing early morning / early evening visits to the property. If you were legitimately not the bill payer for CT, you would need these other types of evidence instead but the council will be able to advise you on how many and what they will accept (tenancy agreement for new address with old property sold for example)

Snowballed Wed 30-Oct-13 13:02:05

I've just done a London application and you have to out your Council Tax ref on it.

You don't have to pay the council tax, surely you just need to be registered there (otherwise you can't vote either)

missperelman Wed 30-Oct-13 21:27:59

just registered there yes, surely that's it. 1000 thanks

CaterpillarCara Thu 31-Oct-13 08:58:00

I had a visit at home for both my children when they started primary. Have just applied for secondary and had to scan and attach council tax. There was a list of alternative documents, can't remember what was on it, but pretty sure tenancy agreement was one. Will you have some legal paperwork stating you live there?

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