A Guide to Staircasing
Staircasing is the term used for when you buy more shares in your home.
The procedure for buying is set out in your lease and we recommend that you discuss this with us or your solicitor.
Briefly the process is:
- Your home is valued by an independent expert.
- We send you a copy of the valuation and ask you to confirm your wish to proceed.
- You apply to a lender for an increased or new mortgage.
- You appoint and notify us of your solicitor.
- We instruct the solicitors to prepare the legal documents and the sale goes ahead.
When you can staircase?
You can buy further shares in your home at any time.
We won't allow you to staircase if you have rent and service charge arrears.
What shares can I buy?
Most leases allow you to buy in multiples of 5% with a minimum purchase of 10%. Or you can buy the outstanding shares to own 100% of your home. The lease only allows you to staircase a maximum of 3 times.
How does it affect my rent?
Your rent will be reduced according to the amount you now own of your home. The service charge will not change.
If you staircase to 100% on a flat, you will pay no further rent, but will continue to pay the service charge. If you have a house, the freehold will be transferred to you.
How much will the share cost?
Your home will be valued by an independent expert, for example the District Valuer or a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
The valuer will ignore any improvements you have made that would increase the value of the property.
The valuation is valid for 3 months, so you need to proceed quickly. If the staircasing is not completed within 3 months, the property will need to be re-valued.
You will have to pay for the valuation report. Fees can range from £75–£275 + VAT. This is payable when you confirm that you want to proceed.
You are responsible for your own solicitor’s costs and the mortgage re-valuation fee (if required).
Before you decide to go ahead with buying more shares of your home, you need to make sure you have the money available. You can usually do this by asking your lender to increase your existing loan or re-mortgage with a new lender.
It is important that you instruct solicitors that are experienced in dealing with shared ownership. Ask us for a list of solicitors.
When you have had the mortgage confirmed, we will instruct our solicitors to prepare the memorandum of sale which will be sent to your solicitor.
How long will it take?
The whole process should not take more than 3 months. Please have your mortgage ready and keep in contact with your solicitor to make sure that everything is proceeding.
Your next step
Get in touch with us. We can provide you with more information about the staircasing process and answer any questions you may have.
Email Gateway sales or call on 020 8709 4300.
Use the Share to Buy staircasing calculator to see how much it will cost you to staircase.