Is It Better to Buy a Freehold or a Leasehold?

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While the actual estate laws and customs of the USA simply distinguish between owners and tenants, in the uk and other foreign nations, there are two prevailing definitions of land tenure: freehold and leasehold. There are benefits and disadvantages for both, and also this basic definition of a home trade must be wholly understood by anyone contemplating the purchase of a house, condominium or other dwelling abroad.


A freehold is land, including buildings and land, over which you have complete control and therefore are absolutely free to use and alter as you desire, provided that you remain within the boundaries of local zoning and building ordinances. Freeholds comprise fixtures on the land, landscaping features, paths, patios, fireplaces and the rest of the natural and artificial capabilities. There’s no additional claim on the property by any individual or business unless agreed to by you in writing.


A leasehold property is one in which you purchase the right to live inside a building but do not have the land or surrounding land on which it stands. You may be limited in any decoration, alteration or maintenance of the land in addition to your dwelling unit, and must secure the consent of the owner to tackle any such pursuits.

Freehold Obligations

A freehold resident possesses the house in addition to the land and has responsibility for upkeep and all repairs. The freehold also imposes the duty to meet property taxes and any evaluations on the home, such as sidewalks, fiber optic lines and other improvements. A freehold grants you the right to live at the property as long as you desire. Nearly all private houses are sold as freeholds.

Leasehold Obligations

A leaseholder may be free of obligations to maintain and repair surrounding land, but may be imposed fees for these actions as specified in the sales contract, in addition to ground rent that is shared with the other leasehold owners on the home. Most flats and condominiums are sold as leaseholds, as are townhouses in which a developer maintains ownership of surrounding land and a homeowner’s association has the duty to maintain it.

Leasehold Expiration

Many apartments, condos and homes sold as leaseholds have a restricted period in which the buyer enjoys use of the possession and property of the unit in which he lives. A frequent term is 99 decades, and the leaseholder will need to pay attention to keep the right of leasehold ownership, or convert the leasehold to a freehold.

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