Land Tenure

land tenure

In England, Wales & Scotland, there are two main types of land tenure; freehold and leasehold. Until recently, their used to be a third type of tenure in Scotland called feudal although recent legislation (The Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc. (Scotland) Act 2000) has meant that this has now been abolished.

What is Land Tenure?

Land tenure is the term commonly used to describe the different interests in land i.e. who owns the land, who has the right to occupy the land and for how long. Effectively, it is the right to hold land. Tenure falls into two categories, freehold and leasehold.

Freehold Tenure

Freehold tenure is the most common form of land tenure and is also the most complete form of ownership that can be held for property. You will find that the majority of properties on the market will be freehold. When you purchase the a freehold property, you fully own the land and any buildings standing on it and have the power to do as you wish. It also means you have full responsibility for maintenance and repairs. As you own the property outright, you should expect to pay more for a freehold property than a leasehold property.

More information about freehold tenure

Leasehold Tenure

Leasehold properties are becoming increasingly popular are are commonly found associated with properties such as flats. Leasehold is a form of property tenure where one can buy the right to occupy land or a building for a given period of time. The lease is purchased from the owner (the freeholder) which entitles the tenant to reside in the property for a stated length of time. Once the lease has expired, the property again becomes possession of the freeholder. As you do not own the property outright and are in effect renting the land, leasehold properties are generally cheaper than freehold.

More information about leasehold tenure

Feudal Tenure

Feudal property is a very old form of land and property ownership that no longer exists. Feudal tenure was abolished in 1660 in England and Wales (long after it ceased to operate in practice although some historians would argue it was abolished much earlier with the arrival of William de Normandy in 1066) and 2000 in Scotland. The concept behind feudal land tenure stems back to Medieval times where all land and property was considered to be property of the Crown. The crown would grant land to lords who would then dole out portions of their land to lesser tenants in exchange for services, who in turn divided it among even lesser tenants.


  • There are two types of land tenure today; freehold and leasehold
  • Freehold tenure means you own the land and property outright, leasehold tenure means you are affectively renting the land
  • Freehold properties are generally more expensive than their leasehold counterparts

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