Buying more shares in your Shared Ownership home
You may only be able to afford to buy a 25% share of your home when you first move in. Over time, your financial position may change so that you can buy 50%, 75% or even all of it. This process of buying larger shares in your home is known as staircasing.
You can staircase all the way up to owning 100% of your home. You can staircase three times, buying a minimum additional share (typically 10%) each time. We’ll help you buy a larger share of your home whenever you choose to do so.
Will staircasing cost me anything?
Each time you staircase, you have to get your property valued. You’ll need to pay the costs of this valuation. The typical cost of a property valuation is between £230–780 (March 2018). You will also be required to pay an administration fee. In April 2018, the cost of this fee was £235 including VAT. Costs are subject to change.
You will also be responsible for paying your legal costs and you may also have to pay fees to your mortgage lender. You may also be liable for additional Stamp Duty costs when you staircase.
Will my home need to be valued?
Yes, under the terms of your lease you are required to instruct a RICS qualified surveyor to value your home. This is because there are public funds invested in your home and market values can change. The new valuation of your home will determine the cost of buying an extra share in it.
The value of the property could increase or decrease based on housing market conditions, so you may find your home is valued at more or less than the original price you first paid for it.
Each time you get your home valued, the figure you’re given remains valid for three months. If you disagree with the valuation you’re given, you can query this with the surveyor who provided the valuation.
What if I have made home improvements which I feel may have increased the value of my home?
You are required to inform us of any home improvements you make to your home, as some require approval. It is best to advise the surveyor of these improvements and they will confirm, in the valuation report, whether these have in fact added to the value of your home. When submitting your valuation to the Staircasing team enclose a completed home improvement form, enclosed is in your staircasing pack, along with supporting evidence of these improvements.
Please remember that the cost of improving your home does not equal the amount it adds to the valuation (e.g. spending £5,000 on a new kitchen may not necessarily add £5,000 to the valuation). The surveyor will confirm the added value and explain this to you when valuing your home.
Please note that general decoration / maintenance would not be taken into consideration as a home improvement. Please remember that you must always seek L&Q’s consent before carrying out any home improvements to your property.
How will my monthly repayments change?
If you increase your share to 100%, you will no longer have to pay us rent and you’ll only pay a mortgage on your home. If you partly increase your share (known as interim staircasing), but still own less than 100%, then your rent will reduce.
For example if you staircase from 25% ownership to 50% ownership you’ll pay less rent but a higher mortgage payment each month. You may still have to pay service charges even if you own 100% of the property and the freehold. For more information, please check with our Home Owner Services on 0300 456 9998 ext 6234.