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Help! We might need to move out of catchment during reception as our landlord is out of order!

(8 Posts)
samarcanda Wed 04-Nov-15 14:21:49

Hi All, we've moved back from USA to UK last year and rented a place in London. Our son started reception this year in September 15, went to the local state school, which as you might expect in London, is oversubscribed and has a small catchment.

Our almost 3 year old daughter is currently in the application process to get a space in the nursery of the same school (she should start Sept 16).
Our plan was to stay in this flat for quite a while. We love it and love the location, the neighbours etc
Plus we have moved basically every other year in the last 10 years.... always for work, so I became allergic to estate agents, moving agents etc

The problem is that after 1 year of rental contract our landlord wants to increase the rent by 50% (!!!!!!!!!!!!!yes, you read that right! )

We think this is completely out of order even for London. It was not at all under rented, infact we took the flat after many months that it was on the market.
We tried to get him to reason but he wouldn't have it. He gave us a month to decide and sign another 12 month contract with the new rent price

We have looked around but in such short time there does not seem to be anything else in the catchment and the only few properties available are just on the border of the catchment (still under a mile and very walkable).

We spoke to the estate agent that helped us found this flat and he said that apparently there are many people interested of renting property close to this school and they think the landlord can easily make what he wants (i.e. the 50% increase !!!)

I am very worried that my son might loose his place, he has already had a tough time to settle in, he's very emotional, so i don't want to move school so quickly!
Also i'm worried that my daughter won't be admitted to nursery if we move out (although the only admission requirement for siblings is to live at the same address as the brother or sister who is still in school).

On the other hand we really cannot afford such a high price and I don't want to passively accept what I believe is a very unfair increase after only 1 year !

Does anyone know what happens if one moves out of catchment during reception and the flat gets rented to another family that immediately applies to a school place from the same address? It seems mad to me that people might consider this but according to the agent, it happens all the time (!)

Any advice on what to do is welcome!

thanks xx

sw15mum Wed 04-Nov-15 15:14:29

Not an expert but it shouldn't make any difference to your child in reception. He will not lose his place even if you move out of catchment. The only problem will be for your daughter getting a place in reception if non-siblings living in catchment come above siblings out of catchment. Not a problem at most schools around here as siblings get top priority (after looked after children and medical needs). Nursery tends to have it's own rules and generally getting resort place is no guarantee of a reception place in the same school.

sw15mum Wed 04-Nov-15 15:14:47

sorry- resort should say nursery!

VimFuego101 Wed 04-Nov-15 15:23:45

Once you get the place, it doesn't matter if you move in the UK. It's not like the US school districts where if you move out you have to change schools.

Paperm0ver Wed 04-Nov-15 21:52:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

admission Wed 04-Nov-15 22:54:13

The answer to the question is that you son has a place at the school and this cannot be taken of you, even if you move 50 miles away. It is simply your responsibility to get him to school on time every day.
Your daughter is however a different situation. She might or might not get a place at the nursery and it really depends on how they admit. If they give preference to children who have a sibling in the school then you probably have a reasonable chance of success at getting a nursery place. When it come to the daughter getting a place in reception it will depend on what exactly the admission criteria for the school says. Does it have a sibling criteria in it and is that above or below children who live in a catchment zone. Obviously the further you move away then the less likely you are to get a place, unless the school gives siblings priority before those in catchment.
When it comes to the school and LA they may well have certain known premises red-flagged. It is definitely the case local to me that certain sets of flats and small houses near a very popular school are red-flagged and any application from them will be given very careful consideration before it is accepted by the La as a viable application.

samarcanda Thu 05-Nov-15 12:23:50

Thanks a lot ladies.
Yes the school has a siblings policy and they come before other children in catchment both in nursery admission and in reception.

We would not be moving far at all, probably around 0.4 miles from the school as opposed to 0.1 (i know, the catchments are crazy)... it is only recently that the school has become so popular, we used to live next door to where we are now for years before moving to the US and it was just a normal overpriced London street...

I really don't want to move again, ugh... but we might have no choice after all, can't afford the higher price.

I might ring admission and see what they say...
the never ending nightmare of school admissions...
thanks again !

HeadDreamer Thu 05-Nov-15 12:33:57

I will definitely ring admission and hopefully they'll red flag the property. What your landlord doing is definitely not right. (In the sense of morally right, even though it's totally legal).

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