Buying more shares in your shared ownership home
As a leaseholder of a shared ownership property you can buy further shares in your home. This process, known as ‘staircasing’, enables you to own a higher proportion of your home. The larger the share you buy of your home, the less rent you pay to us. If you staircase to 100% you become an outright owner and pay no rent.
The price you pay for any extra shares is based on the market value of your home at the time you wish to buy, which could go up or down.
The value will be set by an independent RICS-qualified valuer. There are some costs involved in staircasing – the valuation fee and solicitor’s fees – but the cost shouldn’t be as much as when you bought your first share.
Buying an additional share of your home is known as ‘interim staircasing’. If you staircase to 100% ownership that is known as ‘final staircasing’.
Things to consider before starting the process
How much is your home worth?
The value of the property is likely to have changed from when you first purchased. One of the stages of staircasing is obtaining a valuation to establish how much your home is worth now. This will determine how much any new shares in your home will cost.
To get an idea of your home’s value, before the formal valuation, you may wish to look at the local market. You can do this by searching prices of recently sold homes in your area, or by asking an estate agent to visit and value your home.
Can you afford to staircase?
As well as the cost of the extra shares, there are legal costs to consider, valuation costs, and an administration fee payable to us.
Are you allowed to staircase?
Some leases do not allow you to own 100% of your home, or your lease may state that you have to have owned your home for a set time before you can staircase. Check your lease to confirm.
Home improvements and the value of your home
Some home improvements can affect the value of your home. As a rule, only structural improvements will affect the market value of your home. This would be changes such as extensions (i.e. an extension to your living area) or conversions, but not when you have replaced the bathroom, kitchen or flooring, unless structural work has also been carried out as part of this.
Any home improvements you have carried out should be included on the valuation form, with evidence of the approval you obtained from us. The valuer will consider the value added, not the cost of the works.
Your lease states that you must ask our permission before you conduct any works. If you did not obtain approval, then the valuer will have to disregard these from the final valuation figure.
The cost of staircasing
We have negotiated a fee and currently this is £250 with a RICS-qualified surveyor.
We charge £241.20 (including VAT). This covers our costs in helping you through the process.
Staircasing involves changes to your lease. This means you will need the services of a solicitor. Costs can vary from £350, so you may wish to obtain at least three quotes from local solicitors.
There may be charges from your mortgage company if you decide to re-mortgage.
Your solicitor will be able to advise you if this will apply.
Six steps to staircasing
- Check property prices in your area
- Obtain a valuation (RICS)
- Receive an offer notice from us
- Arrange a mortgage (you’ll need ID, your latest P60, three months' payslips and bank statements, and evidence of any savings)
- Appoint a solicitor
- Complete within three months of the valuation