Leaving AST early ...we want to move into the catchment area of a school

(20 Posts)
Dystrophin345 Thu 27-Aug-20 09:54:43

Hi there,

We finish our current tenancy in March 2021 so a while to go. We want to move into the catchment area of a school we like. We don't have a break clause. The school informed us that we need to register a change of address by February 2021 the latest so not sure what to do. I know it's not fair on the landlord but at the same time we want the best for our child.

We were supposed to move before we signed the contract but couldn't for various reasons including covid.

OP’s posts: |
FAQs Thu 27-Aug-20 09:57:48

Are you with an agent, you can potentially do this, usually you’d need to agree to pay any costs if the landlord ends up out of pocket but if it’s a buoyant area they might agree, obviously legally they don’t have to.

Dystrophin345 Thu 27-Aug-20 10:05:59

Yes we are with an agent. I read our tenancy agreement and it said that we need to pay until end of term or until it is re let whichever is earlier

OP’s posts: |
FAQs Thu 27-Aug-20 10:24:53

That’s good, just let them know and you should be fine to move once a tenant is found.

Dystrophin345 Thu 27-Aug-20 13:25:02

The only other issue is there is no guarantee he will get into that school. The flat we are looking at 0.1 miles from the school which is fine as furthest distance offered this year was 0.4 miles but still. This is closest to the school so not sure. Plus there's no guarantee that the flats we are eyeing is not going to be rented out by the time we can leave!

OP’s posts: |
minnieok Thu 27-Aug-20 13:26:33

You can inform your agent that you wish to leave but you have to continue to pay rent until they find another tenant.

ThanksItHasPockets Thu 27-Aug-20 13:40:17

In most LEAs distance to the school goes from your front door, so a flat on a higher storey is considered further than a lower one. I imagine you aren’t moving to a high-rise flat 0.3 miles up but it is worth checking how much the elevation adds to your straight-line distance; if another family apply from a lower floor then they will get in ahead of you.

All academic if you are moving to a ground-floor flat, of course.


Dystrophin345 Thu 27-Aug-20 14:31:19

Oh really. Thanks for replying. I didn't know that. These are flats with a couple of floors. I'll have to check!

OP’s posts: |
ThanksItHasPockets Thu 27-Aug-20 14:42:56

If it does apply to your LEA then it's worth knowing - it sounds like every metre counts! Good luck.

Dystrophin345 Thu 27-Aug-20 14:49:09

I've just called up the council they said the elevation doesn't make a difference

OP’s posts: |
Dystrophin345 Fri 28-Aug-20 14:48:35

Landlord said we cannot leave as he can't afford to release us. Fair enough but we are not sure what to do now!

OP’s posts: |
EmilySpinach Fri 28-Aug-20 15:10:35

That doesn't sound like a true catchment area so it would be a big risk. What are the schools like where you are now?

WombatChocolate Fri 28-Aug-20 15:51:28

You can physically leave and take up a new tenancy anytime....it’s just you will be paying for 2 properties at the same time.

Some people will do this....if they can afford it.

If you’ve got some savings or can afford to pay a couple of months for both, you can say you are mobbing our whenever that works out to be and leave the property empty and the LL and agent with instructions they can re-let - you might find they get someone before the end of the tenancy and you don’t end up paying absolutely the whole period.

You need to consider how much you want this other place and if you can afford double rent and if so, for how long. And yes, of course the other property is unlikely to be available the longer you wait ...but there could well be others. The more certainty you want, the more it’s going to cost you in double rent.

Dystrophin345 Fri 28-Aug-20 16:33:45

I've thought about that- paying double rent and really want my little one to go this school. We don't have any outstanding schools in our area! I just went to check out the road from the school that we are eyeing and it's literally a minute away by walking! We've got some savings but if we spend it on this we won't have anything left! Big gamble but might be worth it for our little one

OP’s posts: |
Africa2go Fri 28-Aug-20 22:44:04

Check what the admission policy says. In our area, you have to have a 12 month tenancy for it to be considered as a permanent address.

As pps have said, there is nothing to stop you moving out of your old address, you'd just have to pay rent to the end of the tenancy. If that's no do-able then you need to re-consider.

SunnyUpNorth Sat 29-Aug-20 07:51:05

The landlord might not be able to let you go early in the sense that the property would be empty. But if you have notice to move out on a certain date but were willing to pay the rent if you needed to til the end date, the agent could start marketing the property and potentially have someone lined up for when you move out. In that case the landlord would most likely release you and you wouldn’t have to pay double. You would need to be accommodating for viewings though. As you would be giving plenty of notice, they have a better chance of finding someone. Lots of people think about moving in January so the timing might work.....although there might then be competition for places you’re looking at!

Dystrophin345 Sat 29-Aug-20 10:01:08

I got told by the school that I can register a change of address until February. DH said I was crazy to spend our savings on this and we could easily spend that money on something we desperately need - a new car.

Is there no way we could find out if there are any properties that will be vacant around January and if we could secure that place by paying a deposit and a months rent?

OP’s posts: |
WombatChocolate Sat 29-Aug-20 10:56:45

Many rentals show as 'available now' but others in the next month or two. I have seen some lately which a re available in November but no further on.

People don't tend to out their properties onto Rightmove etc too far ahead as they drop down the listings and don't get noticed.

If you contact local letting agents direct, they might be able to tell you about properties which will become available later, but which aren't advertised yet. You could ask if it will be possible to secure them now by paying a deposit. This is more likely to be possible if a property is vacant and having work done to it than if it is currently tenanted.....even if tenants are due to move out at a certain point, because they do t always go when they are meant to, agents usually won't allow a new tenancy to be signed until it is vacant, to ensure they don't have a situation where they have a contract with a new tenant and no house to let them move into.

If you can't afford several months of double rent, you are probably going to have to face some uncertainty. You can limit this a little by contacting local letting agents now and setting yourself up well for the point where you will be ready to rent a new property. Tell them exactly when you want to start renting and that you would be ready to sign immediately and give a very clear instruction of where the property needs to be and ask them to let you know if things become available and ask how far in advance you would be able to sign up and pay a deposit. Then email then and ring on a monthly basis to remind them that you are around and once you get within a month of needing to sign a contract, make contact weekly. This way, you will make the agent aware of your presence and real desire to rent and hopefully be at the front of the queue.

I think you will need to reveal that you are currently in rented and that there might be an overlap. Bear in mind that when credit checks are carried out, this will impact your affordability.....is it likely to mean you fail? It seems quite likely if on an ongoing basis you can't afford 2 lots of rent, as the credit check systems might not be sophisticated enough to factor in that you'll only pay 2 lots of rent for 2 or 3 months.

If there are lots of people approaching letting agents to rent in these popular areas, using the approach I mention above, you won't be top of the priority order.....people who aren't committed to a rental agreement beyond when they want to rent somewhere else are in a stronger position. People who perhaps own a house and have pots of savings are likely to be in a stronger position. You might well be competing against them.

You sound like you'd really be pushing yourself to do double rental.....if your savings are limited and will quickly be reduced to nothing by a couple of months of double rent, then as your DH says, it's probably not a good use of the savings for your family, plus credit checked will be looking at affordability and it will become clear it's not really affordable.

Your timescales and financial position mean you probably won't be able to do this unless your LL and letting agent are willing to release you early....and given they are unlikely to consider doing this until significantly after any point you have vacated the premises and told them in writing you have done this and won't return, and presumably then you won't have anywhere to go because you won't be able to get/afford somewhere else, doing this is not really possible. Unless you have a family memeber willing to sub you several thousand pounds to allow you to pay off your existing contract and vacate, it doesn't sound like this will be possible. In any scenario, costs of several thousand are likely to make it happen becaue of your contracts. And bear in mind that things move slowly, so even if you move out (not sure where to) in order to show LL and agent the property really can be re-let early, the length of time before this appears in paperwork and would show up in any new credit check/affordability check, could be weeks or months...stymying your attempts to rent elsewhere, when time is of the essence.

This renting somewhere else for school admissions works for those with very deep pockets or those who plan ahead with their rentals well well in advance. Unfortunately, you do t have either of these things in your favour.

Sunnyshores Sat 29-Aug-20 15:43:12

Legally, the ll doesnt have to release you early. But it is very unusual as you would be paying his rent and the letting fee, so he isnt out of pocket at all. Can you speak to the agent again, surely there is no harm in them advertising it at least?

EmilySpinach Sat 29-Aug-20 16:21:33

Is there any way that you could find the parents’ group for your preferred school (maybe on Facebook?) and discreetly put out some feelers for any rentals which might be coming up, perhaps from families who have done the same? Do you know any families whose children already attend?

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