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How many times can I staircase?

You can staircase as many times as you want. Please refer to your lease for minimum staircasing increments. 

Do I have to staircase?

You are under no obligation to buy more shares in your property. However, the more equity you own, the lower your rent payments. 

Is there a minimum time I have to wait before staircasing?

You can staircase at any time of your choosing.

Will staircasing affect my mortgage?

Yes, if your staircasing share is being funded by additional mortgage lending, your monthly mortgage payments will increase.

What will happen to my rent when I staircase?

When you staircase, your rent will fall in line with your new share ownership, as you only pay rent on the share of the property you don’t own. If you staircase to 100%, you will no longer need to pay rent. If you pay ground rent or a service charge on your lease, this will still be due after you staircase to 100%.

Do I need to instruct a solicitor?

Yes, in order to staircase, you must appoint a solicitor. Read more about the process of staircasing to learn more.

Will the land registry be updated when I own more?

A memorandum of staircasing will be submitted to the land registry when you buy more shares in your property. Your solicitor will be responsible for updating the land registry after you have bought more shares in your property.

What information does my mortgage lender need?

You will need to confirm the price of the share you would like to purchase.

Can my valuation expire?

Valuations are valid for three months from the date of your property inspection. Indeed, a valuation can expire, in which case you would need to seek an extension for a further three months which will need to be obtained from the surveyor who completed the original valuation. Please note, heylo are unable to issue a valuation extension.

Do I need to sign a new lease?

No, your original lease will remain unchanged. You will be sent a memorandum of staircasing to certify the fact that you have bought more shares in your property. A memorandum of staircasing acts as a receipt alongside your lease, to demonstrate you are the legal owner of your shares.

What are the costs of staircasing?

You should budget for: 
  • Your solicitor’s fees
  • RICS valuation
  • heylo staircasing administration fee - £150 + VAT (Correct as of April 2021)
  • Mortgage fees (if applicable)
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

Do I need a new EPC?

No, an EPC is not needed for staircasing. 

How do home improvements impact share prices?

If you have made significant improvements to the property, two valuations will be given for your home as part of your RICS valuation, one which is reflective of the improvements you have made, and one which reflects the property’s value when you moved in. 

Significant improvements are considered to be new windows, new kitchens or bathrooms, loft conversions, conservatories and extensions. General maintenance, repairs to appliances, and redecorations aren’t considered improvements. 

In essence, the cost of buying new shares will based on the value of your home before you made improvements. This means you’ll avoid the drawback of paying twice for making home improvements.

Are there restrictions on staircasing?

Yes, there can be restrictions on staircasing. Check your lease, which will mention whether you are entitled to purchase 100%, or if the property has a restricted maximum share.

When you own 100% what happens?

You will no longer pay heylo any rent. However, there are still some ongoing costs you need to be aware of, depending on what type of home you own. 

If your home is an apartment: you will continue to pay service and management charges, including ground rent. You will remain covered under the block’s buildings insurance policy.

If your home is a house: it may be possible for the freehold to be transferred to you when you have staircase to 100%. This will depend on the title which heylo holds for your property and the staircasing provisions in your shared ownership lease.

In some cases, you may still have to pay an estate management charge if you live on an estate and are responsible for some of the communal upkeep costs.