Shared Owners have the right to buy more shares (increase your equity) in their home. This is called staircasing. The amount that you can purchase is dependent on the terms within your lease. This is usually in multiples of 25% but with newer leases (from April 2006) you may be able to purchase as little as 10%. If you wish, you can buy the remaining shares in 'one go', becoming an outright owner (with the exception of properties in rural areas).
There is no obligation to staircase and you can stay forever as a Shared Owner if you like. An independent valuer sets the price you will pay for further shares based on the market value of your home at that time. As the percentage share you own increases, the rent you pay will decrease accordingly.
If you bought a home in a rural area, it is possible that you may only buy shares up to a maximum of 80%. Please refer to your lease.
Staircasing is carried out in exactly the same way that you purchased your initial share and you will need to arrange for an extension of your mortgage, cover the cost of valuing the property and any legal costs associated with the transaction.