Steps in staircasing

This step-by-step guide shows the different stages involved in buying further shares (staircasing) in a shared ownership lease.

Step 1 to 11

Step 1

Work out what you think the market value of your home is. Decide what share you would like to buy, and make sure you have enough money to pay for the new share, and immediately to pay your Solicitor or Conveyancer, Surveyor and Housing Association costs.

Step 2

Contact your Housing Association, they will be able to provide further guidance. You will need to complete their application form.

Step 3

Receive confirmation from your Housing Association that you are eligible to buy the further shares you want. You will usually now have to pay their administration fee and the Surveyor’s fees.

Step 4

Your Housing Association will arrange for the valuation to be carried. Time is now ticking you must complete the Staircasing within 3 months of the date of the valuation, otherwise a new valuation or an update may be required and you will have to pay the cost of this.

If the new valuation is different, the price you pay will be calculated on the new valuation whether or not this is higher or lower than the original.

Step 5

Your Housing Association will write to you setting out the price you need to pay for the further shares

Step 6

You need to appoint a Solicitor or Conveyancer to act for you. We have a range of experienced conveyancing partners who can offer expert help and advice to you, along with a fixed conveyancing fee.

Step 7

All the home owners must accept the offer to buy in writing. Failure to do this may mean that your application will not progress.

Step 8

Your Housing Association will appoint a Solicitor or Conveyancer to act for them.

Step 9

The paperwork in connection with the Staircasing is prepared by the Landlord’s Conveyancer and approved by your Solicitor or Conveyancer

Step 10

Complete the Staircasing. The fact you have bought more shares is recoded in a formal document called a Memorandum of Staircasing. This is signed by you and the Housing Association.

If you own a flat and you Staircase to 100% your lease may be amended (varied) to record the fact it is no longer a Shared Ownership Lease or you may take a transfer of the lease owned by the Housing Association and your shared ownership lease comes to an end.

If you own a house and you Staircase to 100%, the Freehold of your home may be transferred to you, usually on the terms set out in your Shared Ownership Lease.

Step 11

Your Conveyancer will register the legal documents relating to your purchase of additional shares as evidence of your entitlement to the additional shares.

Co-op Legal Services has a panel of specialist solicitors and conveyancers who are experts in shared ownership leases. They can guide you through the process and give you clear and simple explanations of what is involved.

Conveyancing partner

Co-op Legal Services works closely with our conveyancing partners, to ensure they provide you with a high quality, fast and competitively priced service. Once you agree, you will become their client and they will undertake your conveyancing work. Our Approved Partner will confirm the contact information, experience and qualifications of anyone carrying out the work for you and will give you their terms of business.

We monitor the service our conveyancing partners provide to ensure it provides you with the service you would expect to receive. Our partners are fully regulated and authorised by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers and/or the Solicitors Regulation Authority. For introducing you, our conveyancing partners will pay Co-op Legal Services a referral fee. The amount of the referral fee may vary depending on the conveyancing partner. This is not added to your charges and you will not have to pay anything extra. It is paid directly by them to cover our marketing and administration costs.

About Co-op Legal Services

Co-op Legal Services has over 600 staff working in different businesses with offices in Manchester, Bristol, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sheffield and London.

As part of the Co-op Group, our values of openness, honesty, social responsibility and caring for others are core to the service we provide.