What is a freehold?


All land in England and Wales is owned by the Queen whom allow people rights over land, so they can use and possess that land. There are different rights a person can have over different pieces of land which vary in extent and scope. A Freehold is a type of right and interest a person can possess over land. These rights are the closest thing a person can have to complete ownership of land.

The duration of the freehold is unlimited unless there is nobody to pass the property rights over to. Likewise, the rights to use and possess the land are virtually unlimited, if they are in accordance with the law of the country.

A person can sell, lease, or pass on such land if they desire. This is important to know as individuals may end up wrongly buying a leasehold property as they were not aware of the difference. Leaseholds can last a very long time but not forever as eventually the rights will be returned to the freehold ‘owner’. This could contradict with what individuals intended to eventually do with that land; for example pass the land on to subsequent generations – so caution is recommended when buying land.

Key terms

Freeholds – A type of rights over property. It’s essentially complete ownership as their rights and duration of such are virtually unlimited.

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