Staircasing FAQs

Answers to the most common questions asked about staircasing.

The time people take to buy more shares varies from around four weeks up to three months.

You need to consider the following:

  • How soon can the valuer value your property? (If they are busy, it could take two to three weeks for them to value and write the report on your home)
  • How busy your solicitor is and if they are experienced with ‘staircasing’ purchases
  • Your valuation will only be valid for a short time as set out in your lease. This is normally three months from the date of the report. If you have not completed buying the share by this time, you will have to get an updated valuation. We cannot extend your original valuation under any
  • Delays in completing the purchase are normally due to problems arranging the finance or gathering legal documents – three months is plenty of time but make sure you send us the valuation and staircasing instruction form straight away
  • If you need to amend the share that you have initially told us you want to buy, and we have already instructed our solicitors, this will cause a delay that may result in you having to update your valuation. It will take us up to 5 working days to process this request to change the share that you will be buying and provide the updated memorandum and the new instruction to our solicitor


  • Your valuer’s fee
  • Mortgage arrangement fees to your lender, if this applies
  • Your lender’s valuation fee, if this applies
  • Your legal fees
  • The cost of the extra share
  • If you did not pay stamp duty on the full value of your home, you may need to pay extra stamp duty. We cannot help with questions about stamp duty. Your solicitor will answer these for you.

NHG pays our own solicitors' fees, unless extra fees are incurred during the staircasing process.

In the case that you cancel your application, or do not complete for any reason, you'll be required to pay our solicitors' fees and/or cancellation fees.

You can choose a local valuer, which is more sensible as they will know more about the values of local property.

If you want to use a local valuer, you will need to give us the name, address and phone number of the firm you want to use before you get the valuation.

The valuer must be registered with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and must not be an estate agent. You cannot use your mortgage valuation because it needs to be done by an independent valuer.

We will then send the valuer details on how to value a shared ownership home. Always ask what they charge, as some are cheaper than others.

Please remember that we have no influence on the valuation you are given. If you do not agree with it, you can appeal to the valuer directly.

You should contact the valuer and give them proof of recent sales of similar homes in the same area. Make sure you appeal to the valuer in writing, showing how your evidence supports your case.

Please don’t send in your valuation report to us until you agree with it.

Please refer to your lease to see if you're eligible to purchase further shares or see the information above.

Your solicitor would have given you a copy of your lease when you purchased your share. If you do not have this, you can obtain a copy for the Land Registry website for a small fee. Notting Hill Genesis do not have a copy of your lease.

The cost of your shares will be calculated on the current market value.

The amount you can buy will be determined by the finances available to you. You can buy shares in lots of 5% with a minimum share of 10%. E.g. 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, etc. You cannot buy a share that is not a multiple of 5%.

Your staircasing will usually take 1-3 months; however, this is just an estimate.

Three months is usually plenty of time to complete but be sure to send us the instruction documents as soon as your valuation is received. This will maximise your chances of completing within the 3 months Delays in completing the purchase are normally due to problems arranging the finance. Any amendments to the initial staircasing instruction that you send will also increase the chance of needing an updated valuation.

Once you have bought extra shares your rent will go down in proportion to the share you have bought. For example, if you increase your share from 50% to 75%, your rent will halve (you will pay rent on 25% of the property rather than 50%).

If you increase your share to 100%, you will stop paying rent. However, you will still have to pay the service charge and ground rent may become payable. Please ask your solicitor about this.

We are unable to provide advice relating to stamp duty. Please ask your solicitor about this.

Your guide to staircasing

An advantage of shared ownership is that you can buy more shares and, in most cases, eventually own your home outright. Buying more shares is known as staircasing.

Panel of property surveyors

Your valuation should be done by one of the valuers on our panel. If a panel valuer does not cover your area, you can use a local valuer, as long as they are part of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Advisors and solicitors

We’ve put together a list of independent financial advisors (IFAs) who are used to dealing with us. They can help you to find a mortgage based on your financial circumstances. Please note that we are not responsible for any actions taken or advice given by these third parties.

Staircasing instruction form