Once you have completed the purchase of your Shared Ownership home you can buy further shares in your property. This is known as staircasing and enables you to own a greater proportion of your home.
In most cases you can purchase up to 100% to own your home outright, however some leases may only allow you to purchase up to a specified percentage.
You can buy further shares in blocks of 10% or greater.
The first stage is for you to inform us in writing (letter or email) of your intention to purchase further shares, including the size of share you wish to purchase. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are required to obtain a valuation from a Registered Institute Chartered Surveyor (RICS). The valuation is valid for three months and you must complete your staircasing transaction within this period otherwise the property will be re-valued. We are able to instruct a surveyor on your behalf if you prefer, in this case you will need to pay the fee of £150, please use the sales email above for payment details.
Once you have completed your staircasing your rent account, if applicable, will be adjusted accordingly. If you have taken out a mortgage for the share, you will pay an increased amount to your lender from the day of completion.
No. You don't have to staircase, it is entirely up to you. Most people who live in shared ownership properties staircase to reduce the rent they are paying. As the rent is paid on the share that is owned by Grand Union Living, by purchasing further shares the rent is reduced. When you come to sell your home, you will make more profit the greater percentage you own (assuming the value of your property has increased)
Each lease has different variations of the maximum you can staircase to. Please check with us to see if you can staircase before you start the process.
Please note that we do not allow a leaseholder to complete on the purchase of further shares if they are in either service charge or rent arrears.
A mortgage lender and solicitor.
If you are increasing your mortgage to staircase, you will need to contact your lender direct. If you want to move your mortgage to a new lender, because of a better interest rate, this is known as 're-mortgaging'.
An increase in the share of your property will involve changes to your existing lease. This means you will need to instruct a solicitor. You are advised to 'shop around' for a solicitor to get the best service for your needs.
The costs will include valuation fees, legal fees, mortgage arrangement fees and stamp duty (if applicable). There may also be further costs charged by your mortgage lender.
Once you have staircased to 100% you will no longer pay us any rent.
If you own a flat you will remain a leaseholder and you are still required to pay your service and management charges as well as ground rent.
If you own a house, the freehold of your home can be transferred to you when you have staircased to 100%.
In some cases you may still have to pay a service charge to us if you live on an estate and are responsible for some of the communal costs.
Whether you live in a flat or a house, once you have staircased to 100%, you are free to sell the property on the open market. Please note that your lease may restrict you from selling your property for three months following final staircasing.