If you’re going to become a Shared Owner, ‘staircasing’ is a term that you’ll hear quite a lot. It’s an option you can choose which involves buying some or all of the remaining shares in your property. Buying all of the remaining shares is known as ‘staircasing out’ and buying just some of the shares is known as ‘partial staircasing’. You can learn more about the steps you'll need to take below.
What steps do I need to take if I want to staircase?
- The first thing you will need to do is get a valuation carried out. The valuation has to be carried out by a Surveyor from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and both ourselves and you need to agree the valuer as part of the lease agreement. We have a list of approved valuers you can choose from so don’t worry if you are unsure about how to find the right company.
- Once you confirm that you want to proceed (you can do this by writing to, phoning or emailing your Leasehold Officer) we will send you the details of three valuers to choose from. You can choose your own RICS valuer but you will need our approval to do this. To obtain our approval you would need to give us the name and address of the valuer so we can confirm that they are RICS qualified and there is no conflict of interest. You will need to pay for the cost of this valuation but we can instruct them to carry out the survey for you.
- The valuer will then be given your contact details and they will arrange a date and time for the valuation directly with you.
- The valuation will be sent straight to us. Once we receive the valuation we will then send this to you. The valuation is binding for both parties (this is part of the lease agreement) and we are unable to agree a sale price below this RICS valuation.
- If you feel that the valuation is either too high or too low we can instruct an independent valuer, known as a District Valuer, to revalue the property if your lease allows for this.
- If you then want to go ahead with the staircasing you will need to instruct your solicitor to act for you. It is important that you do this as soon as possible after receiving the valuation as it is only valid for 3 months before it expires and you would need to pay for a further valuation to be carried out if you miss this window.
- You will also need to make sure that you have the funds to complete the staircasing transaction, and if needed, your mortgage is all agreed in principle before starting the process.
- Once you know who your solicitor is going to be then you need to inform your Leasehold Officer so that we can instruct our own solicitors to begin the process. Please note that we are unable to continue with an application unless we have your solicitor’s details. Both of our solicitors can then work together to complete the transaction.