Freehold meaning

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Freehold meaning

Postby gardenlaw » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:53 am

The Land Registry will say if land and buildings are owned as freehold or leasehold. The difference is that "Freehold" is owned for an indeterminate period and "Leasehold" for a set length of time eg 999 years or 125 years and then it "reverts" to the owner who gave the Lease which may well be the person who owns the Freehold at that time.

This is one attempt to define Freehold

"In English law, a freehold is the ownership of real property, being the land and all immovable structures attached to such land eg a house. This is opposed to a leasehold in which the property reverts to the owner of the land after the lease period has expired Immovable property includes land and all that naturally goes with it, such as buildings, trees, or underground resources, but not such things as vehicles or livestock (which are movable).

For an estate to be a freehold it must possess two qualities: immobility (property must be land or some interest issuing out of or annexed to land); and ownership of it must be of an indeterminate duration. If the time of ownership can be fixed and determined, then it cannot be a freehold."
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Postby Conveyancer » Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:11 am

To expand on the above:

The starting point for English land law is the Norman Conquest. William the Conqueror won England by right of conquest and had it at his disposal. Without going into the complexities of the feudal system, basically William granted land to his barons. He did not "give" land to them, but they held it as tenants. "Tenant" here has its original meaning of "one who holds" and does not imply the relationship of landlord and tenant. The land was held in exchange for rendering services to the king usually, but not necessarily, providing knights. The barons in turn granted part of their land to their own tenants in exchange for some service. Those tenants in turn might grant land to their own tenants and so the pyramid of the feudal system arose and with it the notion of "tenure". Tenure is a question of how or on what terms land is held. Tenure took a number of forms and over a period the provision of services came to be commuted to a payment of money. Over a further period the sums of money did not become worth collecting. That in due course lead to the number of types of tenure being reduced until the Law of Property Act 1925 struck the final blow and reduced the feudal tenures to one. As Megarry and Wade puts it: "Our law has preferred to suppress one by one the practical consequences of tenure rather than to strike at the root of the theory of tenure itself." A rather English way of doing things. All this means that there is one thing that has not changed since 1066: all land (other than land held in the royal demesne) is held from the Crown, though this is rarely of practical consequence.

If "tenure" answers the question: "How or on what terms is the land held?" then "estate" answers the question: "For how long is the land held?" Without going into this in detail, there were three freehold estates: a fee simple, a fee tail and a life estate, which could be for the life of the grantee or the life of another (known as pur autre vie) and one non-freehold estate, a term of years or lease.

When it comes to leases the position starts to get a bit confused because the relationship of landlord and tenant, or more properly when discussing land law in a historical context and because "tenant" has more than one meaning, lessor and lessee, was outside the feudal system. However, because the relationship of lessor and lessee closely resembled that of (feudal) lord and (feudal) tenant, leases came to be regarded as being capable of being both an estate and a form of tenure.

The Law of Property Act 1925 reduced the number of legal estates to two: the fee simple and the term of years. The position now is that:

1. For all practical purposes freehold tenure is the same thing as an estate in fee simple.

2. For most practical purposes leasehold tenure is the same thing as an estate for a term of years.

Hopefully this helps explain terms such as "estate", "tenure", "fee simple" and "term of years" that property lawyers bandy about.
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Re: Freehold meaning

Postby RUHEAP » Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:44 am

from ruheap....regardless how you describe the lump of area you live in/on freehold/ lease hold..... you pay in various ways whilst you are alive ...even the bit of land you are buried in...you have to pay for that.... but every bit of land is ... eventually..... used for other purposes !!!!. ..old battle fields become growing areas for weeds etc.. even forgotten where they even existed.
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