Freehold Property

freehold tenure

Freehold is the most common form of land tenure in the UK and is the most complete ownership interest in a property that can be held (with the exception of allodial title which is reserved for governments). The majority of property on the market is freehold however there are an increasing number of property management companies and developers that are selling flats and other homes as leasehold properties.

What is a freehold property?

Freehold tenure is an interest in land which will allow the owner possession of the land and property during the course of their life without interference from others. This means that you fully own the property, you have absolute and complete ownership of the land and all buildings standing on that land. It also means you have full responsibility for maintenance and repairs.

There are two criteria that dictate the existence of a freehold estate:

  • the freehold must be granted for land or something relating to land (such as property)
  • the freehold must be granted for an unlimited time period (if granted for a limited time period, even if it's 1 million years, the estate cannot be considered freehold)

There are four government powers that can override your rights as a freeholder which are:-

  • taxation - the government's rights to collect taxes payable to them
  • compulsory purchase - gives the government the ability to seize a property with appropriate monetary compensation, but without the owner's consent
  • police power - gives the government the capacity to police and enforce order within its territory
  • escheat - ensures the property is not left in limbo and ownerless. It is mostly used when a freeholder dies and does not leave the property to anyone else

There may also be certain conditions in the deed which may restrict your rights over the property. This could be something such as a public right of way. For example if there is an adjoining property to yours and the only way they can gain access to their property is via part of your land, there would likely be a condition that would give them the legal right to walk through your land (this is more common for farms regarding public pathways).

Being an owner of freehold property allows you to do whatever you wish with the property provided it is within local planning regulations and does not breach the above government powers or conditions in the deed. For this reason, freehold property is generally more expensive than leasehold property.


  • Freehold os the most common form of land tenure
  • Freehold tenure gives the freeholder complete ownership of the land and all buildings associated with that land
  • Freehold property is generally more expensive than leasehold property

For more information about 'Freehold Property', you can call us on 020 8783 1337 or submit an online quote.