Freehold Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Freehold, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Freehold?

(n) Freehold is the right in a property to hold it with a perpetual right. In freehold right there is no limit of time to hold the property like in case of leasehold property. A freehold property lies with the title holder unless he transfers it of his own.

History and Definition of Freehold

Freehold is a term used in real estate law and signifies the ownership of real property. A freehold estate is an estate in land in which the owner has a legal right to occupy and use the land for an indefinite period. The owner of the freehold estate holds a permanent interest in the property, subject to certain limitations such as zoning regulations or easements.

The concept of freehold originated in England, where it was initially used to describe the ownership rights of feudal lords in their landholdings. Over time, the concept of freehold rights was extended to ordinary people, who were granted ownership of their land with unlimited tenure, subject to the Crown's prerogative of eminent domain.

Examples of Freehold

  1. John purchased a freehold property that he intends to use as an investment property and rent out to tenants.
  2. Mary inherited a freehold estate from her parents and plans to build her dream home on the land.
  3. Jack has a freehold right in his apartment, which allows him to live in the apartment for as long as he desires, subject to certain restrictions such as payment of maintenance fees.

Legal Terms Similar to Freehold

  1. Leasehold: A leasehold estate is an estate in land in which a person has a legal right to occupy and use land for a limited period, subject to the terms of a lease agreement with the freeholder.
  2. Fee simple: Fee simple is an estate in land that represents absolute ownership of real property without any limitations or conditions.
  3. Life estate: A life estate is an estate in land that is limited in duration to the lifetime of the holder of the estate.