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.
 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 a mortgage?
 External references
- Shelter, Buying the freehold of a house.
Featured articles and news
Read about Belgrade's Brutalist landmark - the Western City Gate.
Read about the measures that can be taken by individuals to protect and minimise exposure to outdoor sourced air pollution.
Government announces leaseholds on new-build houses will be banned.
Transport Secretary announces public consultation into London's funding of Crossrail 2.
Have a look at some of the most impressive concert stage designs of all time, including Pink Floyd, U2, Rolling Stones, and more...
What is the Home Quality Mark? Find out how it can help you when buying/renting a new home.
Business Secretary launches £246m Faraday Challenge to establish UK as world leader in battery technology.
Government announces new plans for regulations to improve safety and security awareness of drone users.
Read our introductory article to the various different types of fuel.
IHBC book review: Charles Barry’s monumental struggle to rebuild the Houses of Parliament.
Read about RSHP's British Museum extension which has been shortlisted for the 2017 Stirling Prize.
Read our introductory article to building a house extension.
More updates from DCMS about the large-scale testing of cladding systems and the number of buildings affected.
UandI secure resolution to grant planning consent for major new regeneration project.