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Freehold vs Leasehold

View profile for Katelyn  Isliker
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When purchasing a property in the UK, the property can be either freehold or leasehold.  The two are quite different and it is important to understand the differences when searching for a property to buy.  Here at Johnson Astills, we are here to make sure our clients are fully equipped to make informed decisions.

Freehold Title

When buying a freehold property, you will own the property and the land it sits on for an unlimited period of time.  This type is known as the most total form of ownership. With freehold properties, you are responsible for arranging buildings insurance, all maintenance, and repairs. However, some freehold properties come with management companies that may charge a maintenance or service charge fee. This usually occurs if there are shared services, for example a communal garden. Generally, most houses are freehold, but it is essential that you double check this.

Leasehold Title

In contrast to a freehold property, when buying a leasehold property, you will own the property but not the land the property sits on. The land the property sits on will be owned by the freeholder. You will also only own the land for a set period of time, which is known as the length of the lease.

The length of a good lease tends to vary between 99,125 and 999 years. A lease less than 80 years is considerably hard to sell, re-mortgage and mortgage lenders are less likely to lend for a purchase.

Leasehold properties are most commonly flats; however certain houses can be leasehold. Leasehold properties also tend to be cheaper than freehold properties.  Owners of a leasehold property often have to pay a fee to the freeholder, known as ground rent and/or service charge. The fees often go towards the maintenance of communal grounds, buildings insurance, building works etc. These fees vary amongst the freeholders and are paid either monthly, quarterly, or annually depending.  Sometimes these fees are also subject to increase. With some leasehold properties, there is an option to purchase a share of the freehold.


Our Property Team at Johnson Astills can assist you if you are looking to sell or purchase a property. Please call us on 0116 2554855.