Buying more of your shared ownership home
Staircasing is the process of buying more shares in your home, until you own 100% of your property. If you’ve purchased a house with a standard lease, you’ll usually get the freehold once you buy 100% of the shares. The main benefit of staircasing is that you’ll own more of your property and pay less rent. The more you own, the more you’ll benefit from any increase in the value of your home.
Be aware that flats and houses purchased under a protected area lease will remain leasehold even when 100% of the shares are purchased. Additionally, in some rural areas the maximum you can staircase to is 80%.
Buying a further share
The price you pay for each share depends on the market value of your home at the time. We’ll instruct an independent surveyor to carry out a valuation and make you an offer based on the value reported to us. This price is normally held for three months from the date your home is valued.
Shares can usually be bought in 10% portions, but you’re able to buy a larger share if you can afford to do so. We recommend that you purchase as much as you can, as for each transaction you will incur legal charges for the transfer of your ownership. We’re currently offering £300 cash-back to anyone who staircases to 100%.
If you currently own a multiple of 5% one of your purchases will also need to be a multiple of 5% in order to get to 100%. The Sales team will give you further details about this when you start the process.
Costs and fees
Usually you’ll have to pay the valuer, but we’re currently offering free valuations for anyone interested in staircasing. If you do not proceed with a staircasing transaction within 12 months of the initial valuation, you’ll be responsible for the cost of a new valuation.
You’ll need to ask a solicitor to act for you and you’ll be responsible for your own legal costs. There will be legal fees to pay to us, including the transfer of ownership and registration with the Land Registry, when you buy the final share. You may also be required to pay stamp duty, which will be confirmed by your solicitor.
If there’s a management company on your development, it’s very likely that we have already paid the charges for your property upfront. Therefore, you’ll need to make these payments to us on completion of your final purchase.
Rent and service charges
Once you own 100% of your home, you'll no longer need to pay rent to us. You may still need to pay a service charge and/or management charge. This information will be provided to you in your offer letter before you commit to purchasing more shares.
The whole process usually takes from one to three months. We’d expect the transaction to complete before the valuation expires. The valuation is valid for three months so you should complete the transaction within this time.
Extending your lease
Leases with 80 years or less can be difficult to sell, because most lenders will not offer mortgages on shorter leases. You can apply to us to extend your lease at any time. The best time to extend your lease is around 85 years. After 80 years it becomes significantly more costly to extend your lease.
If you'd like to buy more of your shared ownership home. contact us. Email our Sales team or call us on 0345 650 1204 for more information on staircasing. To start the process, we'll need you to put your request in writing - you can email us to tell us that you wish to purchase more shares, including the percentage you wish to staircase to.