Help to buy staircasing (5 key Tips)

What is help to buy staircasing?

Help to buy staircasing is the process of buying more shares in your help to buy property.

You may need to seek legal advice when staircasing and you should consider the terms of your housing association, landlord or help to buy agency when staircasing.

How does help to buy staircasing work?

  • To staircase you simply need to contact your landlord or help to buy agent and inform them that you intend to staircase.
  • They may inform you of the restrictions involving staircasing such as how much you can staircase to, if there are any costs involving staircasing and the process.
  • In most cases, the next step would be to get a RICS valuation of your home so you know how much you will need to pay for the number of shares you intend to staircase by.
  • You will then need to submit this valuation to your landlord or help to buy agent. If you dispute the valuation carried out by the RICS surveyor you can have this reviewed by a district valuer if you are on a shared ownership scheme. A valuation from an estate agent or a mortgage lender will not be acceptable.
  • If you currently pay rent on the number of shares in the property you don’t currently own this will be reviewed and readjusted once you staircase and own more shares in the help to buy property. This means you will essentially pay less in rent once you have staircased.
  • You may have a minimum amount by which you can staircase or a maximum amount of times you can staircase. You should check this with your landlord or help to buy agency.
  • The process of staircasing may be complex and you may want to consider getting legal advice for your help to buy staircasing
  • You may also want to get independent financial advice when considering a help to buy staircase. This is because a staircase may not always be the best decision, especially when considering getting a remortgage as a means of your help to buy staircase.

How to staircase a help to buy equity loan

You can staircase your help to buy equity loan but you may need to meet these requirements:

  • You can only staircase for a minimum of 10% of the property value. If the Help to buy equity loan on the property is less than 20% you will have to pay the help to buy equity loan in full.
  • You can only staircase in increments of 10%
  • You cannot staircase if you have any arrears on your help to buy equity loan or your mortgage.

The process of staircasing your help to buy equity loan

  • Obtain a Royal Institute of chartered surveyors home valuation
  • Send your valuation to “Target” who is the management agent assigned by your help to buy agent. Target will require you pay the relevant admin fee.
  • Target will also ask you to confirm details of your solicitor who will assist you with the help to buy staircasing
  • Once Target have received your valuation report they will let you know if it is acceptable and let you know how much you will need to pay to staircase to the percentile you have indicated.
  • Your solicitor will handle the staircase, pay any stamp duty due, send the fee over to Target for you and complete the staircase process.

You can contact Target Help to Buy regarding staircasing your Help to Buy loan in the following ways:

Customer Service Team number: 0345 848 0235

Email: [email protected]

Address: TARGET HCA, PO Box 911, NEWPORT, NP20 9PA

If you need financial advice and you live in the UK then you could contact the Money Advice service over the phone or via chat for impartial advice.

You can also contact the debt charity “Step Change” if you are in debt and need help.