freehold tenure

What is a Freehold Tenure? | A Complete Guide

Welcome to our complete guide on freehold tenure and property ownership in the United Kingdom. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or an experienced investor, understanding the difference between freehold and leasehold is crucial in making informed decisions about property ownership. In this guide, we will explore the concept of freehold tenure, its advantages over leasehold, and what you need to know when considering freehold land.

What is a Freehold Tenure?

Freehold tenure refers to the ownership of both the property and the land it sits upon, granting the owner perpetual ownership rights. Unlike leasehold, where someone else owns the lease to the land, freehold ownership comes with fewer limitations and restrictions. Freehold properties offer complete control over the land and the freedom to make decisions regarding its use. It is the preferred form of ownership for houses and offers advantages such as no ground rents or service charges. In Scotland, the majority of properties are freehold, known as “feuhold.”

Freehold vs Leasehold: Understanding the Difference

When it comes to property ownership, two common terms you’ll come across are freehold and leasehold. Understanding the difference between these two forms of ownership is essential when making a property purchase decision. Let’s explore the key distinctions between freehold and leasehold so that you can make an informed choice.

Freehold Ownership

Freehold ownership grants you complete ownership of both the property and the land it stands on. With freehold, there is no lease expiration date, and you have no restrictions on how you use your property. You have the freedom to make decisions regarding alterations and improvements without seeking permission from a landlord. Freehold properties offer complete control and autonomy over your investment.

Leasehold Ownership

In contrast, leasehold ownership means you own the building but rent the land it occupies. Leasehold properties come with lease expiration dates, typically lasting for several decades. Along with lease expiration, you may face restrictions imposed by the landlord regarding property alterations and use. Additionally, leasehold ownership requires you to pay service charges and ground rent to the landlord, which can impact your finances in the long term.

While leasehold properties may seem more affordable initially, it’s important to consider the long-term financial obligations and limited control that come with this form of ownership.

Choosing the Right Option

The decision between freehold and leasehold ownership depends on your individual preferences, financial circumstances, and the specific property you’re interested in. Freehold ownership offers complete control and freedom over your property, but it may come at a higher cost. On the other hand, leasehold properties can provide affordability upfront, but they often involve ongoing expenses and restrictions.

Ultimately, the choice between freehold and leasehold ownership is a personal one. Consider your long-term goals, financial capabilities, and the terms and conditions associated with each option. Consulting with a property professional or solicitor can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your needs and preferences.

Now that you understand the difference between freehold and leasehold, you can confidently navigate the property market and choose the ownership type that suits you best.

The Benefits of Freehold Property Ownership

Freehold property ownership offers several advantages. With freehold, the owner has complete ownership of the property and the land, providing full control over its use and any decisions regarding building work or pet ownership. Unlike leasehold properties, there are no restrictions or permissions needed. Freehold ownership does not come with additional fees or service charges, allowing the owner to have complete control over their property without ongoing financial obligations. Freehold ownership provides perpetual ownership rights, allowing the owner to pass on the property to heirs or sell it at any time.

advantages of freehold

The Advantages of Freehold Property Ownership

1. Complete Ownership: Freehold ownership gives you complete ownership and control over both the property and the land it sits on. You have the freedom to make decisions about the use and development of your property without seeking permission from anyone else.

2. No Restrictions: Unlike leasehold properties, freehold properties have no restrictions or permissions needed. You have the flexibility to make changes to your property as you see fit, whether it’s renovating, extending, or keeping pets.

3. No Additional Fees: Freehold ownership eliminates the need for additional fees or financial obligations. There are no ground rents or service charges to pay, allowing you to have complete control over your property without any ongoing financial burdens.

4. Perpetual Ownership: With freehold ownership, you have perpetual ownership rights. This means that you can pass on the property to your heirs or sell it at any time, giving you long-term control and flexibility.

Freehold vs Leasehold

Aspect Freehold Leasehold
Ownership Complete ownership of property and land Ownership of property, but rent land
Restrictions No restrictions Restrictions on use and lease expiration
Fees No additional fees Ground rent and service charges
Ownership Rights Perpetual ownership rights Limited lease term

What is Share of Freehold?

In some cases, when purchasing a flat, there may be an option to buy a share of the freehold. This means that the freehold ownership is divided among the flats in the building, allowing all owners to have a stake in the property’s management and maintenance decisions.

Share of freehold ownership gives owners a greater say in how the property is run and offers more control over decisions. Instead of being solely dependent on a landlord or property management company, the joint ownership structure empowers owners to collaborate and make collective choices.

Benefits of Share of Freehold:

  • Greater say in property management and maintenance decisions
  • Ability to shape the rules and regulations that govern the building
  • Control over service charges and maintenance costs
  • Opportunity to safeguard the value of the property through proactive decision-making
  • Collective responsibility among freeholders

However, with the benefits come additional responsibilities. Share of freehold owners must communicate and collaborate with other freeholders, participating in regular meetings and discussions regarding the property’s upkeep, repairs, and any necessary improvements. This joint effort ensures that the building and its communal areas are well-maintained and meet the needs of all residents.

share of freehold

Responsibilities Share of Freehold Advantages
Maintenance and repairs Greater say in property management
Decision-making on shared expenses Control over service charges
Collaboration with other freeholders Opportunity to shape building rules and regulations
Participation in regular meetings Collective responsibility for property upkeep

By opting for a share of the freehold, flat owners can enjoy a greater level of control and involvement in the management of their property, ensuring that decisions are made collectively and in the best interest of all owners.

Understanding Flying Freehold

Flying freehold is a unique concept in property ownership that occurs when an owner possesses a portion of a property that is located above land they do not own. This can include areas like balconies or sections of a building that extend over someone else’s land. While flying freehold may seem complex, it is crucial to consult with a conveyancing solicitor to comprehend any limitations or access issues associated with the shared spaces.

Flying freehold is generally accepted by most mortgage lenders as long as it constitutes only a part of the overall purchase. It is crucial to note that partial ownership of a flying freehold can come with certain limitations and nuances that need to be understood before proceeding with a purchase.

Partial Ownership and Shared Spaces

In a flying freehold scenario, the property owner is responsible for their specific portion of the property. This means that they have a partial ownership stake in the shared spaces, such as staircases, hallways, or communal areas. With shared spaces, it is vital for all property owners involved to collaborate and establish clear guidelines regarding maintenance responsibilities and decision-making processes.

Shared spaces create a sense of community, but they also require careful consideration and open communication among all owners to ensure a harmonious living environment. By liaising with a conveyancing solicitor, all parties involved can gain insight into their rights, responsibilities, and the necessary steps to maintain a well-functioning shared space.

common shared spaces include:

  • Lobby or entrance area
  • Staircases or elevators
  • Hallways or corridors
  • Garden or outdoor spaces


While flying freehold offers unique opportunities for property ownership, it is essential to understand its limitations. The presence of shared spaces and the need for collaboration means that decisions regarding maintenance and modifications may require unanimous agreement among the owners. This can sometimes lead to challenges and delays in carrying out repairs or renovations.

Additionally, the rights and restrictions regarding the shared spaces need to be clearly defined to avoid potential disputes or difficulties in accessing them. Seeking legal advice from a conveyancing solicitor can help ensure that all parties involved have a comprehensive understanding of the limitations and implications of flying freehold ownership.

Advantages of Flying Freehold Considerations for Flying Freehold Ownership
  • Unique property ownership
  • Potential for added space or amenities
  • The possibility of lower purchase prices
  • Collaboration with other property owners
  • Shared responsibility for maintenance
  • Potential challenges in decision-making processes
  • Access and restrictions related to shared spaces

Engaging a Conveyancing Solicitor

When dealing with flying freehold properties, it is imperative to engage a professional conveyancing solicitor with experience in this type of ownership structure. A conveyancing solicitor will navigate the legal complexities of flying freehold, ensuring that all parties involved have a clear understanding of their rights, responsibilities, and limitations.

Conveyancing solicitors will review the property deeds, assess any issues or potential complications, and provide expert guidance on the necessary steps to take during the purchase process. They will also assist in drafting the necessary legal documents to protect the interests of all parties involved.

flying freehold

Buying Freehold Land: What You Need to Know

When it comes to property ownership, buying freehold land offers several advantages. One of the key benefits is outright ownership. In this arrangement, the buyer acquires both the land and any buildings on it, ensuring complete control over the property. This means that decisions about the land and its use can be made without seeking approval from a separate landlord or property manager.

Once the purchase of freehold land is complete, the buyer receives a title deed as proof of ownership. It is essential to register this transaction with HM Land Registry to establish legal ownership and protect the buyer’s rights.

It’s important to note that buying freehold land can come with its own set of considerations. First and foremost, there is the matter of cost. Purchasing freehold land can be more expensive compared to leasehold properties. Buyers need to account for legal and valuation fees, as well as the cost of stamp duty, a tax levied on land transactions.

Prior to purchasing freehold land, conducting due diligence is crucial. This includes checking for any building challenges, such as structural issues, risks of flooding, or subsidence. Buyers should also investigate if there are any restrictions imposed by local planning authorities that could affect their plans for the land or any future development.

Overall, buying freehold land provides the opportunity for outright ownership, giving buyers complete control and the freedom to make decisions regarding their property without restrictions. However, it’s important to carefully consider all factors and conduct proper research before making such a significant investment.

buying freehold land

Considering Leasehold Land

When it comes to property ownership, leasehold land is an alternative to freehold ownership. Unlike freehold, where you own both the property and the land it stands on, leasehold entails owning the building while renting the land from the landlord. While leasehold land may offer a more affordable initial investment, it does come with ongoing financial obligations that need to be considered.

One such financial obligation is the payment of ground rent, which is a fee paid to the landlord for the use of the land. Additionally, leasehold ownership often entails annual service charges, which cover the costs of maintaining and managing the communal areas of the property.

Leasehold ownership also comes with ownership restrictions and limitations on use. Depending on the terms of the lease, there may be restrictions on subletting the property or owning pets. It is essential to carefully review the lease agreement and understand any ownership restrictions before committing to leasehold land.

However, for some individuals, leasehold land can be a viable option, especially for those who prefer to avoid the upfront costs and responsibilities associated with owning freehold land. Leasehold properties often provide convenience and peace of mind, as the landlord takes care of maintenance and repairs.

Before deciding between freehold and leasehold land, it is crucial to carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of each. Leasehold land offers an initial affordability but comes with ongoing financial commitments, ownership restrictions, and limited control over the land. It’s important to analyze your unique circumstances and priorities to determine the best fit for your needs.

To help you better understand the key differences between freehold and leasehold land, refer to the following table:

Ownership Type Ground Rent Service Charges Ownership Restrictions Financial Obligations
Freehold No ground rent No service charges No ownership restrictions No ongoing financial obligations
Leasehold Ground rent required Annual service charges Ownership restrictions may apply Ongoing financial obligations to the landlord

As you can see, the choice between freehold and leasehold land ultimately depends on your preferences, financial situation, and long-term goals. By carefully considering the advantages and disadvantages of each ownership type, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your needs and priorities.


Freehold tenure in the UK offers property owners long-term ownership rights, providing them with complete control and freedom over their land and buildings. Unlike leasehold, freehold ownership eliminates the need for ongoing lease payments, service charges, and restrictions on use. With freehold, property owners can make independent decisions and have full control over their property, enjoying the simplicity and peace of mind that comes with outright ownership. However, it is essential for potential buyers to carefully consider their specific needs and preferences before deciding on the type of property ownership that best suits them.


What are the benefits of freehold property ownership?

Freehold ownership offers advantages such as no ground rents or service charges, complete control over the property, and the ability to pass on or sell the property at any time.

What should I consider before buying freehold land?

Before buying freehold land, it is important to consider legal and valuation fees, as well as the cost of stamp duty. Due diligence should also be conducted to check for any building challenges, risks of flooding or subsidence, and restrictions imposed by local planning authorities.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of leasehold land?

Leasehold land may be more affordable initially, but it comes with ongoing financial obligations such as ground rent, service charges, and maintenance fees. Leasehold ownership also comes with restrictions on use and limited control over the property.

What does freehold tenure provide?

Freehold tenure provides ownership rights in perpetuity, allowing property owners long-term control and freedom over their land and buildings. It eliminates the need for ongoing lease payments, service charges, and restrictions on use.

How long does a freehold last?

The beauty of a freehold property is that it lasts forever. Unlike leasehold properties, which have a set period of ownership, a freehold property is owned outright and there is no time limit on how long you can own it. This means that you can pass down the property through generations and never have to worry about renewing or extending the lease.

What are the two main types of tenure?

The two main types of tenure in the UK are leasehold and freehold. Leasehold properties are owned for a fixed period of time, while freehold properties allow for permanent ownership of both the property and the land it sits on. Freehold last offers the opportunity for homeowners to own their property outright, providing them with a sense of security and control over their investment. With Freehold, you have the power to make decisions about your home without worrying about leases or ground rents. Enjoy truly owning your own property with Freehold last.

What does freehold tenure mean when renting?

Freehold tenure means that the land or property is owned by the tenant for an unlimited period of time. Unlike leasehold, where the property is only leased for a certain number of years, freehold gives tenants complete ownership and control over the property. This means that there are no additional fees or restrictions from a landlord, giving you more freedom and stability in your living situation.


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