Leasehold and freehold – what impact does property title have on me?


By Roland Romata

UK property market is a significant part of the country’s financial state. The property market is highly regulated and great investments are often needed in order to enter into it.

Property ownership can be a rather complicated matter as a piece of land may give various rights to people other than the rightful owner. These rights can arise out of various legal actions, such as transfer of deed. However, they can also be acquired over time and customs.

Leasehold and freehold

The two major type of property ownership are freehold and leasehold. A freehold owner has the absolute rights over, and in, the property for indefinite time. In contrast, a leasehold owner purchases the right from the freehold owner to use and occupy a given land or dwelling for the given purposes.

For example, I have dealt with numerous cases where a leaseholder has refurbished the property by changing the layout of the house without having consulted the freeholder or a solicitor to see if the lease would allow him to do so. This always ends up being a stressful situation as the freeholder will have the potential right to evict the leaseholder, or to render the agreement void. In most cases, the parties agreed to settle the dispute using a professional mediator in order to avoid major legal costs and lengthy proceedings.

A crucial point of a lease agreement is the purpose of the lease. I have come across cases where the leaseholder has decided to transfer a property intended for private occupancy into a bed and breakfast. When the freeholder found out that the matrimonial property was transformed into business, a legal action was taken against the freeholders.

It is needless to say that property transactions can have serious consequences, on other to ensure that your interests are looked after you should always instruct a specialist solicitor.

Roland Romata is one of Contact Law’s most knowledgeable case handlers with extensive experience in this matter from dealing with clients on a day-to-day basis.

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