If you are a shared owner, you have the option of buying more shares in your property. This process is known as ‘staircasing’ and allows you to buy shares in your home until you own it outright
You can buy extra shares, at least 10% at any one time, in your property until you own it fully. The process of buying extra shares is known as ‘staircasing’ and it reduces the rent you pay to Catalyst Housing. So the more shares you own, the less rent you pay.
If you wish to staircase, you will need to have your home valued. We can provide you with a list of approved valuers who are experienced at valuing properties. These valuers may reduce their fees for Catalyst customers but you may choose a fully qualified valuer of your preference. You will have to pay them a valuation fee, even if you do not go ahead with the staircasing.
The valuation is valid for up to three months. If you do not complete the staircasing process within this time, you will have to pay for an updated valuation and if the value has increased, you will have to pay more for the share you are buying. The valuation will consider the effect of improvements you have registered with us.
Staircasing is usually a straightforward process and may be completed within eight weeks. You can help by having your mortgage offer ready and staying in contact with your solicitor to make sure everything is progressing.
If you live in a house, and buy all the shares in your home, you stop being the leaseholder and become the freeholder. This means that we will no longer own any part of your home. In most cases you become the freeholder three months after you complete the final staircasing process. But you will still have to contribute for shared facilities on an estate such as gardens and management costs. Your solicitor is responsible for making sure this happens. You will still be liable to pay rent and our management fee until you do this. If you live in a flat, you will not stop being a leaseholder even after you buy all the shares in your home. You will still have to pay a service charge to us or your freeholder even after you own the flat outright.
Your lease contains information that explains how to increase your ownership. It is important to carefully consider all the costs related to the staircasing process before you proceed. When you apply to us to increase your ownership, your rent account must be up-to-date and must remain so throughout the staircasing process.
If you would like to buy more shares in your home, please contact us for more details.