You’ve already taken the first step towards buying your own home with Shared Ownership. When you’re ready to take another, we’re here to help.
What is staircasing?
If you’d like to own more of your home – or even buy it outright – we can guide you through the process of buying more shares in your property, and help you decide if it’s right for you.
Owning a bigger part of your shared ownership home – or even owning all of it – comes with many benefits:
- You’ll reduce the amount of rent you pay to us as you only pay rent on the share you don't own
- If you decide to sell your home the more shares you own will lead to more profit if the value of your home has increased
- If you own 100% of your home, in most cases you can sell it on the open market using an estate agent of your choice, and you’ll benefit from any profit made
- Becoming the outright owner means you can maximise the profit from any major home improvements you carry out if you choose to sell
How does it work?
The process of buying extra shares, and increasing how much you own of your home, is called ‘staircasing’. There are two options available when staircasing:
01. Interim – Buy a little bit more at a time
You can buy additional shares in your home in stages, in minimum 10% increments (unless specified differently in your lease). The amount you pay us in rent will go down as the amount of the property you own goes up.
02 . Final – Buy all the remaining shares in your home
You can buy the remaining shares in your home to reach 100% ownership, either in one payment or after several interim transactions. When you have bought all the shares in your home, you’ll own your home outright and will no longer be a shared owner, and will no longer need to pay rent to Sovereign (service charges and ground rent may still apply). You’ll now be classified as a leaseholder or a freeholder, depending on your lease.
Still have questions?
We've put together an overview below of our Frequently Asked Questions. If you'd like to discuss your application or would still like further details, you can contact the team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0300 330 0718
We are dedicated to making this process as easy as possible for you – and in most cases, there are no restrictions on buying more shares in your home. However, a small number of leases have staircasing restrictions in place which means you’ll only be able to staircase up to 80% in your home. We’ll check this for you when you submit your application, or you can check your lease before you apply.
As a guide, we suggest that the transaction to buy more shares in your home should complete within 3 months.
You and your solicitor should work towards this time frame, and by providing all the relevant information required you can help the process run smoothly.
We are committed to creating affordable homes for our customers – and so it’s important that you carefully consider all the costs involved in buying more shares in your home before you decide to apply.
Each time you purchase additional shares, you’ll have expenses to pay such as legal fees, mortgage fees, and our administration charge for handling your application. We recommend that you seek advice from your mortgage lender or an independent financial adviser. More information on staircasing fees can be found here.
Yes, it’s important that all property transactions are handled professionally by a solicitor. If you need help finding a solicitor to act on your behalf, please let us know. Once you’ve instructed a solicitor to work with you, you’ll need to give us their details.
We’ll also instruct solicitors to act on our behalf, who will pass on all relevant information to your solicitors as soon as we receive your completed Authority to Proceed form.
Your solicitor and ours will then work together to agree a completion date – usually within three months of your application. You should keep in close contact with your solicitor for regular updates – it’s best that you work with them, rather than contacting us directly.