Staircasing is when you buy more shares in your home ownership property, increasing your equity and reducing your ground rent charges.

You must be aware that there will be solicitor and other administrative costs involved in staircasing. Our step-by-step guide below will walk you through this process.

How do I proceed?

  1. Fill in the form below to let us know the details.
  2. Call 01442 292300 to pay your valuation fee. Please ask for the Homeownership team and use the address as your reference.

After your home has been valued, we will discuss how much you want to staircase (i.e. how many shares you want to buy).

  • 1. Check if you are eligible

    There must not be any arrears on your account, so your rent and service charge payments must be up to date.

    There are some limitations on buying more shares.

    1. Not all Home Ownership properties allow you to staircase.
    2. Your lease may only allow you to staircase by a certain amount or by a certain percentage at a time.

    It is vital that you check your lease before you begin to staircase.

  • 2. Preparing to buy

    Before you buy more shares you need to give us an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your home.
    If you bought your home in the last 5 - 10 years your EPC may still be valid, otherwise go to www.epcregister.com for details of inspectors able to produce EPCs.

    Find your EPC

     

  • 3. Valuing your home

    You must have your home valued before you can buy more shares.

    You can choose the valuers you want from our list of RICS qualified valuers. We will then formally instruct the valuers. See our list of approved valuers

    The fee for a valuation is £354.00. This pays for 2 valuations of your home.

    The valuer will value 100% of your home, and the value of your share will be based on the proportion which you own.

    Valuations are valid for three months, after this time a “desktop” valuation will be assessed - i.e. a valuer will assess the value of the property using market data and will not need to revisit your home. The cost of this is typically lower than a full valuation.

    If you have carried out any improvements you need to let us know what you've done so the valuer can take these into account.

    If you wish to sell and simultaneously staircase (buy all the shares in your home) the value without improvements will be used to calculate the price paid to Hightown for your share.

  • 4. Instructing Hightown

    Once you have chosen your 2 valuers, you need to inform Hightown that you want to buy more shares and send in your valuation fee. We will formally instruct the valuers.

    To instruct Hightown:

    1. Fill in the form below to tell us about your intention to staircase and which valuers you want to use.
    2. Call 01442 292300 and ask for your Homeownership Officer to pay your valuation fee. Please use your property address as your reference.
  • 5. Getting legal

    You need to appoint a solicitor to help you to buy more shares (staircase). We recommend that you choose someone familiar with shared ownership - we can give you details of solicitors who act for shared owners.

    Many solicitors will offer a fixed fee so you may wish to agree a price with your solicitor beforehand.

    We will instruct solicitors to act on our behalf, they liaise with your solicitor to agree a completion date.

     

  • 6. Confirmation

    On receiving the valuation, you need to let us know if you wish to proceed.

    If you are staircasing to less than 100%, we need to see a copy of your mortgage offer.

    The Hightown CEO must approve all staircasing before they go ahead. Once approval is received, you can then appoint solicitors to act on your behalf and provide us with their details.

    Please note: You may need to pay the cost of any searches, Land Registry fees or stamp duty (please ask your solicitor to advise you).

  • 7. After you have staircased
    Buying less than 100% of your home  

    Your rent will be reduced in relation to the share that you buy.

    Any service charges that you paid previously will still apply.

    Buying your home outright (100%) 

    Houses

    • You will own the freehold.
    • You will no longer pay rent.

     

    • You will only have to pay additional charges if there is a Management Company.
    • You will also need to arrange Building Insurance, which was previously covered in your monthly service charges.  
    • You may also have to contribute towards the upkeep of any communal areas.

    Flats

    • You will no longer pay rent.
    • You will be a leaseholder.

     

    • You will still pay ground rent 
    • We will continue to insure and manage the building.
    • You will continue to pay a service charge.
    • You will pay any leasehold charges in relation to communal areas.

Register your intention to staircase

Please give details of your valuers

Please note: we will not be able to process this application until we have received payment for the valuer. Please call 0142 292300 and use your address as your reference.

 

Any questions?                     Call 01442 292343        Email