Buying more shares - staircasing

If you want to buy more of your home, you can do so through a process called staircasing. You do not have to do this; you can keep and maintain your initial share purchase throughout your entire lease.

When you can staircase

You can staircase anytime you can afford it, and you can start the process after 12 months from the date that you purchased your initial share.

The number of shares you can buy

There is a share ceiling of 70%. This means the council will always own at least 30% of the shares in the property; you cannot own 100% of the property and will always therefore be a leaseholder rather than a full owner-occupier.

When you staircase under this scheme the minimum amount you can purchase each time is 10%.

The cost of staircasing

The amount you pay is based on the percentage share you wish to buy minus your right to buy discount entitlement. The cost is calculated on the market value of your home at the time you wish to staircase, minus any improvements you have made to the property. Any previous valuations do not count.

The discount you will receive

If you did not receive the maximum discount when you purchased your initial share you will be entitled to another discount when you staircase. This will be a proportion of the full amount you would have been entitled to if you had bought outright under the right to buy scheme.

You can continue to do this, until you reach the maximum discount allowed. This table shows how discount is calculated when an additional share is purchased.

Initial share purchase   Second share purchase
Market value of house at date of initial share purchase £200,000 Market value of house at date of staircasing

(property values can go down as well as up)

Initial share purchase 25% share Additional share purchase 25% share
Value of share purchase £50,000   Value of share purchase  £60,000
Discount payable 35% 

(after five years tenancy - up to maximum of £103,900 - this figure is set by central government and can change)
£17,500 Usable discount payable 40%

(increased by 1% per year up to maximum of £103,900 - this figure is set by central government and can change)
Purchase price for initial share     £32,500   Purchase price for second share £36,000
Total amount paid for 50% share (initial purchase and second share) £68,500

Your rent

Your rent will go down each time you increase the share of the property that you own. The full rent amount will decrease by the additional percentage share that you buy.

For example, if your full rent was £440 a month, and you buy an initial share of 25% your reduced rent would be £330; if you then buy an additional 25% (making a total of 50%) your new rent would be £220.

How to staircase

Before you do anything formally, you can contact the Sales and Leasing team. The team will be able to give you some basic calculations including a rough valuation of your home, the value of additional shares and the discount you will receive. These calculations will help you to understand the provisional costs involved and this will help you decide if you can afford to staircase.

If you decide to proceed, you will need to pay for your home to be accurately valued. You’ll need to speak with your mortgage provider about lending you the funds and you’ll have to appoint a solicitor. There are also some administration costs that you will need to pay us. We will then work with your solicitor to complete all the paperwork and complete the transaction.