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Renting in catchment area and owning outside it

(113 Posts)
CauliflowerBalti Fri 20-Jul-18 22:59:03

We are moving to the catchment area of my son’s current primary school in order for him to continue his education with his peers at the secondary school within that area.

We were hoping to move there in 5 years’ time when I will have a lump of money to put into a mortgage, but the secondary school is getting more and more oversubscribed. The time apparently is now.

His application needs to be in by the end of October, so it’s all happening rather fast. I have no intention of committing fraud. We are moving to live there for beyond his education years. But renting for at least a year, if not more.

I do not want to sell the home we live in now. My husband and I had a big disagreement about moving at the start of the year. He wanted to, I didn’t. We stayed, and did some lovely renovations. This is a lovely house. I don’t want to leave it yet - but I will.

I want to rent it out for a decade or so, then gift it to my son. That’s my plan.

Does anyone have any idea how I can prove to the LA that I’m not cheating my way in? It’s so important to my son that he stays with his peers. He’s a very anxious soul. We need to move. But we’ve left it late. I may not have found a tenant for here by 31 October. I may still be paying council tax in two places. It worries me. I rang the LA to ask, and was totally honest, and she was very lovely and said I just needed to prove that my rented house is my permanent and only home. I will easily be able to do that - it will be. But what if I end up under the nose of someone less tolerant?

Has anyone experienced this?

OP’s posts: |
AveEldon Fri 20-Jul-18 23:19:15

You need to read your LA Admissions brochure/info carefully

In some areas - proof of your new rental address and proof that you have rented out your old house might be enough

Where I live it is not sufficient and unless you sell your old house they will use your old address for admissions purposes

CauliflowerBalti Fri 20-Jul-18 23:30:23

derbyshire.gov.uk/education/schools/school-places/secondary-admissions/parents-guide/how-to-apply/rules/admissions-criteria/admissions-criteria-for-secondary-schools.aspx

It’s not very specific. On the face of it I shouldn’t worry - they can turn up and inspect, I mostly work from home so I’ll be in, I can take them to the owned house even if not rented so they can see it’s empty. It should all be ok. Yes?!

OP’s posts: |
TeenTimesTwo Sat 21-Jul-18 08:22:47

To be honest. If you wanted to move you should have moved.
You own a house, presumably quite nearby.
You are planning to keep the house and then rent in catchment for admissions purposes.
If they allow it, what is to stop you 'changing your mind', 'not being able to find renters', 'any other random reason' after you get the place?
Nothing.

Even if it is within the letter of the rules, it is not within the spirit.

ourkidmolly Sat 21-Jul-18 08:42:24

Unless the school admissions code specifically forbids this, you are absolutely fine and acting within the law. I know so many people who've gone this. Such is life now.

egdehsdrawkcab Sat 21-Jul-18 08:45:01

They will use the address you own. I did this (with House we own for sale/under offer), and they still used that address. I don't think it'll work, sorry OP.

CauliflowerBalti Sat 21-Jul-18 09:26:47

The school admissions code is woolly. I rang and asked the LA and the woman I spoke to didn’t see any problems.

I’m still angsty. I know I should have moved sooner. For the first 6 years of his education I was a single mother and couldn’t afford to move anywhere. The reason he’s educated in the catchment he is has little to do with the schools - they’re good, but so are my locals - and everything to do with the mental health problems my son has caused by his dad and I separating. I didn’t want him to lose his childminder AND his Dad. She only does wraparound at her local schools, so that’s where he went. I’ve had to apply each school change (infants and juniors) and always got in, so just naively assumed that would be the case at secondary school. Didn’t think there was a rush to move. Was waiting to build a bigger deposit.

Now that’s all changed. I feel stupid but at least I realised now, pre application. I have to try.

OP’s posts: |
CauliflowerBalti Sat 21-Jul-18 09:31:28

TeenTimesTwo - there’s nothing stopping me doing all those things. That’s the point. How do I prove I won’t? Because I won’t. I already have three people interested in renting my house and I haven’t moved out/marketed it yet.

You say ‘moving into catchment for schools’ like it’s a bad thing. Isn’t that what lots of parents do? Just because I’m sliding in at the last minute doesn’t mean I’m any more oppprtunistic (if you put a negative slant on it) or concerned about my child’s education. His whole social life is in that catchment. The clubs he does, his friends, my mum friends. We’re not callously shopping around for exam results. I’m trying to give him the stability he needs to do well. Yes, I should have done it sooner. But I couldn’t afford to sooner. It’s bad enough that we have to pay for our kids’
Education via house prices as it is. You can’t make me feel worse than I do.

OP’s posts: |
ourkidmolly Sat 21-Jul-18 09:32:39

Sorry @egdehsdrawkcab but that is incorrect. They will use whatever address you provide along with the supporting documentation unless they specifically prohibit owning a house elsewhere and using an alternative address. Very few schools do but it does happen.

Imchlibob Sat 21-Jul-18 09:39:34

If you've already had 3 people interested in renting the old house then get on and get that sorted now so that everything is settled long before October. If any of the potential tenants are interested in a longer rental term, choose them and get the contract made out for a five year term (you can write in a "break" clause that can be triggered at a specified point in case they turn out to be nightmare tenants. Some authorities won't accept your new address if you have tenants on ordinary 6-month contracts but will accept it if the contracts are extended over multiple years

Iamagreyhoundhearmeroar Sat 21-Jul-18 09:40:34

Our borough require council tax statements for the previous two years. The address on these is your address for admission purposes.

HaaaHaaaa Sat 21-Jul-18 09:49:56

Ohhhh, my BIL did a similar sort of thing and it was in Derbyshire.

He ‘moved in’ with his mother and they used her address to get a place. Once they got a place they went back. Other people knew they had done it and somebody (probably someone who didn’t get a place because of his twattishness) told admissions and they sent them a letter asking for various pieces of evidence that they had moved. Utilities bills, council tax etc. They couldn’t so,the place was withdrawn and admissions helped them to find a space at another school.

egdehsdrawkcab Sat 21-Jul-18 10:40:03

Must be my borough then. I fought them hard but they used the sold address over the rental I'd been in for months!

CauliflowerBalti Sat 21-Jul-18 10:41:08

HaaaHaaaa that is good to know. There were no additional barriers beyond the address on the form. If anyone got upset and reported us as suspected frauds we’d have all the documents they’d need. I still might call again and check on Monday.

Of the people wanting to rent, one does want the idea of a ‘forever home’ so he’s probably our best bet. He’s lived on this street all his life and his landlord needs his house back.

OP’s posts: |
meditrina Sat 21-Jul-18 10:45:47

Most LEAs will take the owned house as the official address (unless you've moved from Lands End to John O'Groats as cannot possibly commute form the owned address to the school).

And flipping addresses has been clamped down in by many, if not most, LEAs and consequently there is far less of it going on than there was.

However, it seems you live in one of the few remaining areas which does not go abiut it the normal way. But you still need the information you were given in the telephone in writing before you rely on it.

titchy Sat 21-Jul-18 10:50:10

Of course lots of people move into catchment areas - hence house prices! However the vast majority dispose of the previous home. What you are doing, by renting out your old home, is not allowed, except when it is very clear the move is not for school places (eg old home in Scotland rented out, new one in Cornwall). Which is not the case here.

In reality some LAs are far more thorough than others. I wouldn't take the word of someone at the call centre though - they almost certainly won't have anything like the expert knowledge of the Code and how your LA interprets it. You need to get in writing exactly how they would deal with your situation, what evidence they would need. Then if there is a suggestion that your old address is used, or your place withdrawn, you have some documentation to appeal with.

titchy Sat 21-Jul-18 10:50:53

Cross posts with Medi!

CauliflowerBalti Sat 21-Jul-18 11:22:21

Yes, I’ll definitely talk to them and get some clarity. If it comes to it, I can sell the house outside of catchment. I don’t want to. I’d love to keep it as an investment for my son if I can. But if I have to, I will. It will all sort.

OP’s posts: |
CauliflowerBalti Sat 21-Jul-18 11:23:56

I don’t mind scrutiny, btw. You shouldn’t be able to cheat your way into a school. It’s bad enough we have to buy our way in. I’d be as angry as anyone else about CHEATERS. I’m just... last minute.

OP’s posts: |
Dontblameitontheboogie Sat 21-Jul-18 11:30:59

It's risky. We moved out for a year while we were renovating our house, and had to apply for a secondary school place in that time. We used the address where we were currently living (rented), as instructed on the council website. A few months later we got a phone call from the LA, who had seen that we also owned a house, and had changed the address on our application to our permanent home. We were fine with this as we hadn't moved in order to be in a specific catchment area but for other reasons altogether - but you may find that you go through all that expense and upheaval for nothing.

Iamagreyhoundhearmeroar Sat 21-Jul-18 11:42:40

But you are cheating confused
It wouldn’t matter how lovely your home was and how much it would break your heart to sell if you never intended to live in it again, would it?
That makes zero sense.
And unless you live in the last little bubble in the country where the LA hasn’t experienced people attempting to buck the system in exactly the same way you think you can; the house will be classed as your permanent address for admission purposes and your cunning little wheeze will come to naught.

titchy Sat 21-Jul-18 12:21:51

Of course you're cheating! Don't kid yourself - it's not the emotional attachment to your current house - it's the moving elsewhere to secure a school place.

Don't just ask your LA btw - get it in writing.

SavoyCabbage Sat 21-Jul-18 12:57:24

I don't see how you can prove that you don't intend to move back there. Keeping a house to give to your son in a decade whilst living in a rented house sounds like a classic admission fraud. You've left it too late for it to sound plausible.

I did an in year admission for a Derbyshire school and I had to provide loads of evidence.

I work in Derbyshire schools as a supply teacher and was surprised how often this sort of thing goes on. And how many people think they aren't doing it when they are.

Witchend Sat 21-Jul-18 17:12:13

Does anyone have any idea how I can prove to the LA that I’m not cheating my way in?
You are cheating your way in. Just because you think you have good reason to cheat doesn't mean you aren't, and also doesn't mean that the child you are cheating out of a place doesn't need the school more than you.

NotAnotherJaffaCake Sat 21-Jul-18 17:21:58

If it was so important for your son to stay with his peers, why didn’t you move earlier when your H suggested it? You would be cheating your way in.

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