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Last edited 05 Sep 2018
The term ‘freehold’ in property law describes the ownership of a property. A freeholder of a property owns the ‘title absolute’ of the property, that is, ownership of the land and any immovable structures attached to it, outright in perpetuity.
A freehold is in contrast to:
- A ‘leasehold’, which describes a lease from the freeholder that enables the leaseholder to use the property for a specified period, after which it will revert to the freeholder. Leaseholders are sometimes also referred to as ‘tenants’.
- A ‘commonhold’, which is a form of property ownership for multi-occupancy properties that enables the collective ownership of the freehold of property.
A leaseholder may have the right to purchase a freehold if they have owned the lease to a house for at least two years, or, if they own a flat, they may be able to buy it collectively with other leaseholders (see Shelter, Buying the freehold of a house for more information). Leaseholders of flats will also normally have the right of first refusal (RFR) if the freeholder decides to sell the freehold.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Buy-to-let mortgage.
- Housing tenure.
- Land registry.
- Negotiating a lease.
- Poor drafting of agreements.
- Property guardianship.
- Property ownership.
- Property rights.
- Types of building.
- Vacant possession.
- What is an estate?
- What is a mortgage?
 External references
- Shelter, Buying the freehold of a house.
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