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Leasehold v Freehold – what’s the difference?

It may seem like technical legal language, but there are few things more important about your home than whether it is freehold or leasehold. It makes the difference between owning your own home outright, and having a landlord

leasehold v freehold

What are the different forms of home ownership?

There are two fundamentally different forms of legal ownership: freehold and leasehold. Although estate agents tend to gloss over it, the difference can be between a home that is worth buying and one that isn’t. Many people who don’t sort this out when they buy a home end up regretting it – getting it wrong can be hugely expensive.

What is freehold?

If you own the freehold, it means that you own the building and the land it stands on outright, in perpetuity. It is your name in the land registry as “freeholder”, owning the “title absolute”. Freehold is pretty much always the preferred option: you can’t really go wrong with it.

  • You won’t have to pay annual ground rent
  • You don’t have a freeholder either failing to maintain the building, or charging huge amounts for it
  • You have responsibility for maintaining the fabric of the building – the roof and the outside walls
  • Whole houses are normally sold freehold – there is no reason for a standalone house to be leasehold though there is an increasing trend for leasehold houses, particularly with new build homes, so check before you buy

What is leasehold?

Leasehold means that you just have a lease from the freeholder (sometimes called the landlord) to use the home for a number of years. The leases are usually long term – often 90 years or 120 years and as high as 999 years – but can be short, such as 40 years.

  • A leaseholder has a contract with the freeholder, which sets down the legal rights and responsibilities of either side
  • The freeholder will normally be responsible for maintaining the common parts of the building, such as the entrance hall and staircase, as well as the exterior walls and roof. However, other leaseholders might have claimed their “right to manage”, in which case it is their responsibility
  • Leaseholders will have to pay maintenance fees, annual service charges and their share of the buildings insurance
  • Leaseholders normally pay an annual “ground rent” to the freeholder
  • Leaseholders will have to obtain permission for any majors works done to the property
  • Leaseholders may face other restrictions, such as not owning pets or subletting
  • If leaseholders don’t fulfil the terms of the lease – for example, by not paying the fees – then the lease can become forfeit

Disputes between leaseholders and freeholders

It is very common to have tension between freeholders and leaseholders.

  • Fees are a major source of contention, with one in four (26%) leaseholders feeling their freeholder is over charging, but being able to do little about it. While the ground rent usually costs in the region of £100-250, even on ordinary flats the annual charges can amount to over £1000 a year
  • Leaseholders often complain that freeholders don’t maintain the building to a sufficiently high standard, or keep common areas clean and tidy. One in four (23%) leaseholders complain of a lack of control over what major works are done and almost one in five (18%) have had difficulty getting necessary works done (2019 annual Homeowner Survey)
  • Freeholders often complain that leaseholders breach the terms of their lease, for example by making too much noise or not getting permission for building works

Do you have a service charge dispute with your freeholder? Read more in our guide on service charges and maintenance companies

The declining value of leaseholds

When the term of the leasehold goes down to zero years, then the property reverts to the freeholder. So, if you have a 40 year leasehold, you only have the right to use the property for 40 years before it goes back to the freeholder. A lease with a term of zero years is clearly worthless, and all other things being equal, the shorter the lease, the less it is worth. The value of long leases stays fairly stable, but the value of short leases can drop rapidly. For example, a flat with a lease of 60 years is worth more than 10 per cent less than if it had a lease of 99 years – you might think that a flat is worth £200,000, but actually it is worth less than £180,000, with the difference in value being owned by the freeholder.

Should I avoid buying a property on a short leasehold?

Leases of less than 90 years can start to be problematic for leaseholders, and should be approached warily. Certainly, any lease of less than 80 years can start to significantly affect the value of the house. If you have a short lease, the property can decline in value even if property prices in your area are generally rising. This means that fewer people will want to buy it when you resell; it also means that mortgage companies might be reluctant to lend on it.

Extending your lease

A series of Government acts have given leaseholders protection against short leases, by giving them the right to extend their lease or the right to buy the property – but this can be very expensive indeed. The law is slightly different depending on whether you have a house or flat:


  • You normally have the right to extend your lease by 90 years on top of your unexpired term
  • If so you won’t have to pay any more ground rent and you can negotiate new terms for the lease, like who pays for works on the flat
  • However, you only have the legal right to do this if you have held the lease on the property for 2 years and it was originally leased on a “long lease”, usually more than 21 years.
  • You will have to pay a premium for extending the leasehold.
  • Many people considering buying a short leasehold property (generally less than 80 years) insist that the leaseholder extends the lease before they buy it.
  • After you tell your landlord that you qualify for the right to extend the lease they can accept your offer, negotiate, or reject your offer. If they do the latter you can challenge them in court


  • You might have the right to extend your lease by 50 years on your house
  • If so you can renegotiate the terms of your lease, like who pays for works on the house
  • However, you only have the legal right to do this if you have held the lease on the property for 2 years and it was originally leased on a “long lease”, usually more than 21 years
  • Unlike flats, you don’t have to buy a lease extension for a house, but your ground rent is likely to go up
  • You should get a professional to help you extend the lease. For example, if you live in a converted house the rules for extending a lease on a flat might apply instead
  • After you tell your landlord that you qualify for the right to extend the lease they can accept your offer, negotiate, or reject your offer. If they do the latter you can challenge them in court

Want to know more? Take a look at Should I extend my lease? and our Step by step guide to extending your lease 

Buying the freehold on a leasehold property

You might also have the right to buy your house or flat outright, so that you own the freehold. This is called ‘enfranchisement’. While there are complicated legal procedures and legal costs involved this process of enfranchisement can be invaluable. Again, the law depends on whether you have a house or flat. Ensure you get professional advice and assistance.  For more information, see our guide:  Should I buy the freehold?

What is commonhold? 

    • Commonhold is a variant of freehold, created by the Leasehold Reform Act of 2002, which overcomes some of the worst aspects of leaseholds.
    • Commonhold is where a multi-occupancy building is divided into a number of freehold units, so each individual flat owns its own freehold. The common parts (staircases and hallways etc) are owned and managed by a Commonhold Association, a company that is itself owned by the freeholders of the flats.
    • This means there is no superior freeholder, but rather the owners of the flats manage the common and external parts of the property jointly. This protects people both from greedy landlords, and from the problems of short leases.
    • But, as with any form of community ownership, problems and conflicts can arise between members of the Commonhold Association. Moreover, only about 15 to 20 commonholds have been completed in the UK.

Leave a comment (117)* Required

  1. billy quinnbilly quinn

    can i ask . it states in my partners lease that when all flats are sold in our estate . i.e 10 flats that we are now free holders rather than lease holders , can this be legal and if so do we need a freehold certificate from landlord

  2. Sally RadfordSally Radford

    My friend wants to purchase a retirement flat with only 60 years leasehold shes worried her family will suffer in say 20 years when she may not be around and the are left with flat to sell with 40 years left

  3. Tony MorganTony Morgan

    i am new to this business: having/owning property.

    i am considering buying a house – it is freehold, but it is in a building of 3 others. they all have thier separate roofs and walls (on 2 sides) the other 2 walls will be inside the building, so is this usually still in the hands of a body of some description i.e. other landlord/housing association?


  4. Tim LakinTim Lakin

    I’m considering buying a ground floor flat in a converted house. The ground floor flat has the freehold for the property. The above flare is lease hold. What if any are problem’s i may find..

  5. Nicolas LengeNicolas Lenge

    Good morning
    I am of congolese origine living in Zimbabwe
    I would like to purchase a house in the UK( investment for rentals). Budget £60-70k
    Kindly advise on procedures and other risks and advantages

  6. Ashish MittalAshish Mittal

    Hy, I want to buy a flat in London, which is leasehold. Can I resell it in 10 yrs time?


    Hi, There … I would like to buy a property , my annual income is 21,000 GBP Only, I have 12,000 GBP Is in my savings . Can I buy any property. my partner getting 600 GBP Benefit monthly. please advise me.

    Thanking you,

  8. Annelie SernevallAnnelie Sernevall

    Hi, I have a query.

    I own a property (company ownership). The estate has over 900 year lease and we are all shareholders. The management has been outsourced to a managing agent and I have no insight into the organisation. Whenever I ask any questions I am not being responded to. I wanted to join the management committee however they responded that it is a private meeting, even through there are vacancies on the committees. No AGM has been held for over 2 years, I’m concerned that the accounts has been submitted without a shareholders approval. The management agent are imposing late payment charge of service charge without sending a bill or reminders, my remortgage is held up because they only receive bank statements once a month. They are charging a subletting fee without this being in the rules and also no invoices is sent out for this, it seems like an addiction charge. What can I do to challenge them?

  9. Mrs A BradfordMrs A Bradford

    Add to my last comments that was in 2013 and we are still paying charges that are going up every year and the council said no to taking roads and so called gardens lights on small estate
    That’s freehold house it’s just like a expensive tax would not bought house if council were not taking it over in 2yrs as told on buying,feel like a con

  10. KathyKathy

    Hi, I live in a ground floor leasehold maisonette built 1965. The upstairs neighbours have put Laminate everywhere and we are constantly disturbed by the noise.Council have spoken to them and say there’s nothing they can do. Spoke to Freeholder who wasn’t interested,he said speak to council or Solicitor. Do you know if the Freeholder has an obligation to get involved and help.
    Many thanks

  11. CherylCheryl

    Hi, I’m thinking of building a separate dwelling on the side of my house but using my existing outhouse to be part of the new house. However the outhouse is under my bedroom & bathroom upstairs. Will this cause issues with selling the property later down the line or put my house insurance up? Would the new house have to be a leasehold or could it still be freehold even though the new house entrance is technically on my existing land?


  12. Oscar Buttazzoni AlvarezOscar Buttazzoni Alvarez

    No conocía el arriendo en plazos tan extendidos

  13. MariaMaria

    Could you help me with the following?
    We are about to buy a property where lease registered on the property however it’s freehold.
    the reason this is showing is due to the home being a shared ownership property. The seller owns a share of the property alongside a housing association.
    Our solicitor asked the vendor’s solicitior to remove the lease from the Land Registry however they are saying
    the lease will not be removed until we exchange on the property. This is common practice when buying a shared ownership at the 100% value as we are.

    Is this right? Will be changed after the completion? I am really confused. However I solicitor don’t want to move further until this has not been done.

  14. Debra BakerDebra Baker

    There is a flat which has 90yr freehold is that a good investment it doesnt seem to have a freehold association as there are no fees to be paid annually.

  15. Ruby LewisRuby Lewis


    I am a first time buyer and have viewed a flat I love but its full freehold and a 90 year lease, this has thrown me as I thought it could only be one or the other ? If I went for it I would own the freehold to the upstairs flat too- this has recently been bought and apparently needs alot of work doing as its rundown. Would this effect me as the freeholder ? and is it a problem that the lease is 90 years? I would stay in this flat maybe 3 years ? and wouldn’t mind extending the lease if it added value when selling again.
    Just a bit worried of any complications ?

    many thanks,

  16. ElizabethElizabeth

    Hi, I wondered if I can obtain some advice. I am in the process of buying a freehold house in a small retirement village. Built in 2016/17 I would be the second owner/occupier. The TP1 refers to Estate Management Service Charges (EMSC) costs for maintenance of the communal areas, roads, pavements, green spaces etc., set as a fraction relative to the number of units. The land owner has retained ownership of the common areas and operates a company to do this work. The TP1 confirms the company will undertake this work ‘initially’ and then the landowner will transfer it to another company to continue. It is widely understood by the property occupiers that the EMSC will be run by the freehold property owners, transferring to them after completion of the build but I can only find reference to this statement in the sales ‘brochure’. The brochure does not have a named builder/developer/company owner/ publisher. There are already approximately 40 units well built and occupied. The common areas appear well maintained and I am advised as there are this number already built/lived in there can’t be any problem.
    However, there is no reference in the TP1 of any element of reasonableness of the ESMC and although it details how these charges would originate, there is no remedy provided should these be unreasonable. The TP1 also refers to annual accounts but to my knowledge these have either not been done or not been sent to the freeholders. The original builder went into liquidation and the ‘village’ remains incomplete. I understand the landowner (owner of the communal areas) retains ownership of the remaining land on which the as yet unfinished but commenced (protecting the planning permission) properties are to be built. The new ‘developer’ has yet to complete and sell a property since taking over in 2018.
    Sorry to be so long winded but:
    1. Can the statement contained within the sales ‘brochure’ of transfer of the EMSC company to the Freeholders be enforced?
    1a). Can the landowner be required to transfer the ownership to the Freeholders before completion of the build? The TP1 states the (landowner) company will run the EMSC’s ‘initially’.
    2. Is there any remedy available against unreasonable EMSC’s being imposed?
    3. Is there any insurance policy that I could take out that would cover the cost of remedial action (if available) against unreasonable EMSC and/or provide cover for the loss in value should the property become unsaleable?
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  17. Christine PowellChristine Powell

    Could you give me a quote for building insurance for my flat and the one above valued at £170,000 each we both jointly own the freehold.
    Christine Powell

  18. Paul BrocklehurstPaul Brocklehurst

    I own a flat in a block of three which is lease hold however between the three flats we own the freehold for the property through our holding company of which each of the flat owners is a director. If we own the freehold for the property between the the three flats is renewing the lease hold on each flat an unnecessary expense.


  19. Teresa HoTeresa Ho

    Hi, I am looking for a Freehold property for letting. On the web, a property stated the tenure is Freehold. However, when contacting the agent, they said it’s currently leasehold and will be sold in freehold. The vendor has started the procedure of changing the tenure with the developer, Persimmon.
    he vendor said the process should be completed in 4 weeks. The vendor has a new tenant from Nov 20 and said I would receive rent monthly.
    Is it safe to purchase the property in the above situation? I want to buy a Freehold property for letting or selling later on. And I don’t want any dispute or contradiction about the property arise in future. That’s why I want a Freehold property.
    Looking forward to receiving your valuable advice. Many thanks

  20. DanniDanni


    I live in a freehold house, the freehold extends only to the walls of the house. All outdoor areas are leasehold including the road, parking and back and front gardens.

    When we purchased the house we were told that the gardens were to be maintained by the service charge company. The back garden in particular is the area causing us issues. The garden is fully enclosed and attached the back of our properties. Only the four leaseholders and the maintenance guys have access to it. We have been here for a almost a year and half now and we have had so many problems with the garden and despite our constant complaints to Barratts nothing has been done to fix these issues.

    Problems include broken fence panels, uneven and wobbly paving slabs, gates that won’t lock properly, dead patches of grass, overgrown areas of grass, over grown weeds and mushrooms. We are having to de weed the garden and lay grass seed ouselves, which wouldn’t be much of an issue if weren’t paying someone else to be handling this for us and especially given that it is in our contracts.

    Although these problems are annoying, they are not very serious. What concerns me the most is the fact that the ground was never leveled or evened out when the turf was laid which has resulted in craters in the earth underneath the grass. The turf also doesn’t quite reach the outer fences and walls which means we have ditches surrounding the garden. There have been several occasions where I have caught my foot in one of the craters or ditches and ended up on the floor. Although no lasting damage has been done it’s only a matter of time before someone breaks their ankle.

    We have made several complaints and requests for the garden to be sorted out but so far nothing has been done. All four leaseholders have expressed that they are unhappy with the service we have been provided and we feel that we have been taken advantage of by a large company. We feel helpless to do anything and are unsure on what we can do.

    As Barratts are in breach of their contract do we have grounds to take them to court or start legal proceedings? Where would we begin and how would we go about this? Are you able to give us any pointers please or reccommend a legal representative? The ideal outcome would be that the garden is signed over to us so that we can fix these issues ourselves, we would even be open to purchasing the garden, but again we wouldn’t know how to approach this, if it’s even an option.

    Due to the unusual set up of freehold house but leasehold garden we are struggling to find any concrete guidance online.

    Any advice would be gratefully received. Thank you in advance.

    Best Regards

  21. DaveJohnsonDaveJohnson

    Scaremongering bullshit

  22. Colin ClarkColin Clark

    What if the property is freehold and the land is leasehold? Worried this could be problematic in the future?

  23. MarieMarie

    I have a couple of questions.
    1.We live in a flat that was divided into two flats. The property has a shared driveway. on our contract both party’s are landlords. We are all both leaseholders and freeholders. The people living upstairs have sold. Do i need to sign a new contract between us and new owner.
    The house once belonged to the people that lived next door but they sold this part of the house. Meaning they had to give part of their garden to the new owners along with a garage. Up until 5 years ago the old lady owned a garage on our property. She sold it exchange for roof repair work to the owner upstairs who in turned sold it to a person living up the road. Yes unfair as they never asked if we wanted it. So my question is when the old lady owned the garage she had right of way over the driveway to the garage. When she sold the garage i believe she lost all right to drive up or walk up the drive way. The old lady has since died and her niece and her husband were left the house . The niece has taken to drive up our driveway and use the drive to empty shopping etc i told them you have no right now to come onto our land.He is insistent he has every right. He got an old contract out but when i pointed out that we have a new contract that was made when we bought the flat to extended the year lease. He has a copy of this contract as we gave him one to read, Although he has to access his garden gate by the drive way that is acceptable does he have the right to drive up our driveway and park. Hope this makes sense. Thank you

  24. Roy WakelamRoy Wakelam

    Need advice to exit open space management charges

  25. MaureenMaureen

    Who is responsible for the maintenance of the perimeter fences if say, they are damaged by strong winds, as they run along the rest of properties on a block?

  26. TonyTony

    We are a group of 6 self contained flats on a long term leasehold. One of the flats has gone up for sale and is being bought to rent which is against what the rest of the occupants desire. Has the freeholder any right to stop the BTR purchase.


    • HomeOwners AllianceHomeOwners Alliance

      Dear Tony – This would depend on what was in the lease agreement. Some stipulate that they cannot be rented out.

  27. Sandra CollingwoodSandra Collingwood

    My daughter bought a house that was originally purchased on a shared basis. However the previous owner had purchased the property and it was registered as a Freehold in their name. My daughter therefore bought a Freehold property. She is now in the process of selling her house but is having problems concerning the Company who manage areas of the estate – the lender to the proposed buyer will not accept some of the terms in their contract. Can the Management Company have clauses that would prevent a sale.

  28. Mary HillyardMary Hillyard

    M We feel she will do this often and my daughte rfeels harrassed.y daughter has bought an upstairs flat above the freeholder on a long lease. The freeholder is spoiling her enjoyment of the property by frequently emailing her . Lately my daughter had to soundproof a bedroom floor before recarpeting. The freeholder is demanding to inspect what is going on and is generally behaving as if my daughter is renting the flat and is behaving illegally, Does the freeholder have the right to peremptorily demand to be let in?

    • HomeOwners AllianceHomeOwners Alliance

      Hello Mary, in the first instance, your daughter should check what the lease says about the freeholder/landlord having access to the property. There is usually some text that will say the freeholder/landlord has the right to access the property for specific purposes. The freeholder/landlord will usually have the right to access the property to check the state of repair of the flat and to carry out repairs to other parts of the building. Your daughter has a right to live in the flat without lawful interference by her freeholder/landlord.

  29. Claire StarkeyClaire Starkey

    Hi, my house is leasehold with my local council with 57 years remaining. I realise the property is reducing in value but I cannot afford the fees the council have quoted for a freehold conversion. How can I find out the true value of my property as it currently stands as local estate agents could only give me a true market value if it was freehold. Is there anyway I can challenge the council’s fees to convert? Thank you.

    • HomeOwners AllianceHomeOwners Alliance

      Dear Claire – Initially it might be worth contacting Bonallack and Bishop for some free initial advice on extending the leasehold or buying the freehold and what likely costs should be.

  30. Ernie TurnbullErnie Turnbull

    Hi, I have two title deeds from HM Land Registry for my property. One is for the leasehold which is Title Absolute and the other is for the freehold of the same property again title absolute. I believe a previous owner purchased freehold. My question is can I own both the Freehold and leasehold?

    • HomeOwners AllianceHomeOwners Alliance

      Dear Ernie – If the property is question is the exact same premises (ie the leasehold is of the whole building, not just a flat within the building) and you are registered owner of both the freehold and leasehold, it sounds like the lease has become irrelevant and could be merged with the freehold. You would need to instruct a property lawyer to document this and make the necessary registrations at the Land Registry. Best of luck!

  31. P LeeP Lee

    I own an apartment which has a leasehold that now has a 105 year left. Having read your guidance I am concerned about the value of the property and the lease reduces. What are my options if I want to keep the property or sell it?

    Many regards

    • HomeOwners AllianceHomeOwners Alliance

      Hello, have a read of our guide to extending your lease and if you need more tailored advice, please do consider becoming a member.

  32. Pamela BurgessPamela Burgess

    I own my house my daughter is buying the upstairs and having an extension done. I i own the house why does she have to have lease hold rather than buying freehold?


    New build Freehold houses now contain clauses that require permission to make
    changes to the property. How can these be Freehold, now known as Toxic Fleecehold homes

  34. r fordr ford

    very good information
    will be back to enquire further

  35. Hugh ThompsonHugh Thompson

    I didn’t know that everything needed replacing all at once in Balfron Twr 150 flat 25 story tower block.

    I was offered less than the market value or I had to move out and the freeholder would pay my rent for over two years. No arbitration or mediation. Just a summons for Vacant possession with no mention of payment. I faced their damages of £40,000 a week if I stayed and stopped the contract starting as a thousand had been decanted except for me. The time is nearly up. Can I still have arbitration to get Proff of the need for all the works. A ruse for evicting the tenants to sell their vacant flats. Who owns my flat?

  36. John MarleyJohn Marley

    I am a freeholder on a fairly new development where the majority of the properties which are all terraced houses are leasehold. There are communal common ground areas which require grass cutting etc, I an being billed unquantified ” service charges ” followed by significant non other defined fees.
    I have requested clarification from the RMG Company set up by the Builder ( Miller Homes } for almost one year , no clarification has been provided,Can you please provide any advice.
    Kind Regards,

    • Sara HindSara Hind

      Hi John. We’re sorry to say there is at present no dispute mechanism if owners think they are being over charged. Government plans to introduce “reasonableness” requirement and access to Property Tribunal but no signs of any action on that yet.
      In the meantime anyone in the process of purchasing a property will be interested to note that we endorsed the recent Freehold Management Enquires conveyancing form (FME1 form). When buying a property, a buyer should make sure that their conveyancer uses this form which is asking the third party owner/management company lots of questions about these charges. Many conveyancers might not yet know about these standard enquiries.

  37. anneanne

    i am in the process of buying a freehold house to find that there is an unregistered lease on the property going back to 1905, the lease is for 200 years.
    the freehold was bought by the current owner(vendor) in 1983, she bought the house in approx 1960s as a leasehold property.
    am i safe to assume that the vendor is probably the lease holder?
    and that if she registers the lease with the Land registry, she can then transfer it to me?

    • Chandni SahniChandni Sahni

      Hello Anna, it seems like that would be a sensible assumption however you could speak to the current freeholder to establish the facts before moving forward. It sounds like the leasehold would have merged with the freehold in 1983 but do speak to your conveyancer to confirm this.

  38. Akin AjanakuAkin Ajanaku

    My 99 year lease on a land which I built remains 16years of my original lease hold. Unfortunately, unknowingly ground rent has not been paid for almost 30years.
    I now have two options.
    Should I pay up the unpaid lease hold in which it will be renewed for another 99years
    Or sell off and share the proceed with the leaseholder.
    What should be the sharing Ratio?

    Thank you.

  39. Brian StevensBrian Stevens

    I own a freehold property – a house – that is within an estate of relatively new properties, containing a mix of freehold and leasehold, houses and flats. I have to pay over £300 to a managing agent who will not answer my questions about what it is that I am paying for nor why i should pay at all. What are my rights?

    • Sara HindSara Hind

      Firstly, have a look at any correspondence you have about the managing agent to see if it gives an indication that the managing agent is a member of an association. If they are, the association will likely require their members to set out their complaints procedure and you’ll be able to contact the association for more information on what the complaint procedure is. You could also ask for a copy of the managing agent’s in-house complaints procedure and follow that. If you’d like more tailored advice, please consider becoming a member of HomeOwners Alliance so that we can offer you more support.

  40. Christina BrendleChristina Brendle

    Hi, I have a flat in a freehold company comprising 3 flats in Westminster. One of the freeholders (flat owner) has been building in her 65 m2 flat for the past two and a half years, disturbing everybody else. She also refuses to sign the Deed of Variation. What can we do?

  41. GinaGina


    I’ve just been told I cannot get a mortgage on a leasehold semi-detached bungalow. I’m not surem the property is a new-build, registered as a flat but is a semi-detached vaulted ceiling bungalow. I’ve been told if it is a semi-detached bungalow it should be freehold not leasehold and if it is a flat it would not be classified as a standard flat (as there is no-one living above/below me and due to the vaulted ceilings). Is this correct?


    • AKerrAKerr

      Hi Gina
      Who did you speak to about the mortgage? Was it a broker? Get in touch with us and we can look into it for you. or 033 0088 2051
      (HomeOwners Alliance)

  42. JimJim

    I j ust found out that a property I own comes under same title freehold as four others what does mean

    • AKerrAKerr

      Hi Jim
      This sounds unusual. Perhaps you have a leasehold interest in your property as do the four others and the leases are created out of this larger freehold title. You could check the position at the Land Registry – all property ownership information is available for a small fee and it should be able to shed light on the situation. If you are still confused, become a member of HomeOwners Alliance and speak to our legal helpline who should be able to clarify things for you.

  43. oonaoona

    I have recently be informed that I will be charged £250 so my freeholder can conduct a flood plan. I am confused as I know on the govt website you can do personal flood plan for free

  44. AlixAlix

    I am buying a leasehold flat and the current owners have taken back right to manage which starts on 13th September 2017.
    However, the management company in charge until then wanted to charge each flat £10k for works in the building. This is still on the sellers statement and they will not answer emails and calls to remove it. No work has been done so far – am I safe to buy the flat or will they still try to come after me for the outstanding £10k? If they never remove it, does it become null and void after 13th September?

    Also, the owner of the building wants the works to be completed still. Will they let us build up a pot of money first then get the jobs done when we have the resources or can they demand payment upfront?

    Very concerned that I’m entering into a commitment of paying off £10k and then having to pay for the future works upfront.

  45. DanDan

    I’m in the process of purchasing a house only to find out from solicitors there’s a missing leasehold interest document.
    Therefore the vendor has taken out an ‘outstanding leasehold indemnity’ policy which supposedly covers us.
    But reading through the contracts we are to sign it states we only own the freehold interest as there is the missing leasehold interest document.
    Could you advise me on what the difference is between freehold and freehold interest.
    I’m a first time buyer so not used to all the technical lingo so lahmens terms please lol.


    • AKerrAKerr

      Hi Dave
      We would recommend you speak to the solicitor or conveyancer you’re paying to progress you purchase if there is anything you don’t understand. You shouldn’t sign anything you don’t understand.

  46. Caterina SpeightCaterina Speight

    Hi, I own part of the freehold of a multi occupancy building and I am also a leaseholder for our house. We developed the loft space in 2012. At this point all the residents in the 6 houses of this joined up building thought we owned our own loft spaces. There are 6 attached houses and 3 flats. We have now been told the freehold company which I am part of could ask for payment for the developed loft space. Even though no one else can gain access through to our loft we are being told the company own the loft spaces not the individual houses. Could you help me understand my legal rights with this. Kind Regards. Caterina Speight

    • Sophie KhanSophie Khan

      Dear Caterina,

      Whether you have any ownership of the loft should be specified in your legal documentation. If your lease doesn’t include the loft space then it does seem on the face of it that you have developed property that does not belong to you. Did you have any discussion or negotiations with your freeholder at the time of planning and developing the loft? If so, try to find some written evidence of this as it could be helpful to your case. If you were to join us you would be entitled to a free legal call to discuss your rights.

      Best wishes,
      HomeOwners Alliance

  47. Joyce PorterJoyce Porter

    I own the freehold on the whole property that consists of two converted flats, which I own one of. Being the freeholder I have to organise the insurance for the buildings which both leaseholders pay 50% of each. Recently I have had to make a claim on this insurance regarding the water from the flat above that came through my ceiling. This leak was caused by the leaseholders tenants 2year old boy and now the leaseholder is refusing to pay 50% of the excess. The leaseholder wants to know where it says they have to, I can’t find it in the lease but as we pay 50% each towards the insurance, does that mean we each pay 50% of the excess?

    Joyce Porter

  48. S LaneS Lane

    I own the freehold for the whole house and live in the first floor converted maisonette. The leaseholder lives in the ground floor flat below. We now wish to sell but I have been informed that we may need to buy a lease even though we are freeholders for the whole house (we share the buildings insurance) for over 10 years. Why is this? Thanks.

    • Sophie KhanSophie Khan

      Dear S Lane,

      It would be good to know more details about your situation and who has advised you of this? We would be happy to discuss further so please do consider becoming a member. We can guide you through the selling process and your membership would also entitle you to a 10% discount on conveyancing fees through our site.

      many thanks,

      HomeOwners Alliance

  49. ChuChu

    Hi, I have recently completed a contract exchange on a leasehold flat on the fourth (top) floor of the building. On the day we completed and I picked up the keys, I was able to check the mailbox only to find a notice that the developer (freeholder) submitted plans to build a 5th floor extension. They have not brought up this during negotiations and the other tenants that have also recently moved in has felt that our property value will now drop. I was wondering who I would consult regarding this first issue.

    Secondly we were assured prior to completion that the building’s lifts were working yet the lift has not been working for 3 weeks, their are loose wires exposed and hanging from the ceiling, there is bird faeces dried into the carpets in the stairwell, the corners of the metal borders on the stairs have not been trimmed thus leave exposed sharp edges. In my property itself, the developer has not been around to perform a snagging review and we have found faults with the property such as a wall being built slanted causing the window to scratch the wall everytime we open it. I would just like to know who I can talk to as I feel that with the issue of the building extension and the developers (freeholder) failure to disclose this information during negiotations, I was unable to make an informed decision and was deceived into completing this contract. (I have confirmed that my solicitor and the selling agent were both unaware of this as well). (Can I claim violation of my right to quiet enjoyment of my flat?) And secondly with the state the property is in, especially with the lift being out of order while tenants were moving in is a complete disgrace and must be in breech of duties to maintain the property as a freeholder. Your advice would be much appreciated.

  50. Pamela allmanPamela allman

    Have a freehold house on an estate managed development. Am I arrears and management company want to go to my mortgage company and get them to pay the arrears. The arrears have been caused by extra charges, finance charges, balancing fees, debt collectors fees. Despite the fact that I have been paying £100 a month to cover the service charges. Four different management companies have been involved over the last 14 years. First two years no invoices were sent out. I am 68 on my own and living on a state pension. The letters I have received have made me really ill. Have offered them increased monthly payments with my daughter helping me. But it has been refused. The company are Hurford Salvi Carr in Hertford. The house builder is Crest Nicholson and the development is Napsbury Park, AL2 1UA. I hope you can kindly advise me.

  51. KayKay


    I own the freehold for the whole building and live in the first floor Flat and the leaseholder lives in the ground floor flat below. We have had a fraught relationship from day 1 unfortunately.

    I now want to sell, and have heard about a Section 5 notice relating to Right of First refusal, there are some exemptions and I’ve read that if I’ve lived there for a year I don’t need to do this. I’ll have lived there a year in April, so assuming I don’t complete a sale prior to then I assume I don’t have to issue a section 5?


  52. liz Ridgwayliz Ridgway

    Thank you in anticipation of your help.

    I own the freehold on the top floor flat in a converted old property of two flats. The owners downstairs wish to remortgage their property, and have asked me to establish whether there will be any fee to do this. I have contacted my solicitors who have stated that it is largely at my discretion, and the amount I could expect to receive would be minimal; they have also stated that this could involve a lot of paperwork!

    Is this the best advice ?

    Many thnaks

    • Sophie KhanSophie Khan

      Dear Liz,

      Thanks for your query.
      If you have a good relationship with the downstairs owner and have no problem with them remortgaging, then you could waive any entitlement to your fee and confirm that you have been notified of the remortgage (if you are required under the lease to be notified of remortgages).

      Hope this helps and good luck!

      Kind regards,

      HomeOwners Alliance Team

  53. KenKen

    We own one of a three flat leasehold. We are considering attempting to buy the freehold or extending our leases to 99 years or beyond.
    We have about 55 years left on the leasehold.
    Generally speaking, is the price of extending the lease more or less than buying the freehold.
    How could your organisation help us with the decision and then assist us with the process?

    • Sophie KhanSophie Khan

      Dear Ken,

      Thanks for you query.

      You can get an idea of the premium (purchase price) for extending the lease by using our lease extension calculator tool here.

      For information on the process of extending your lease, take a look at our step by step guide to extending your lease.

      Also take a look at our guide Leasehold v Freehold – what’s the difference? to get general information on leasehold, freehold and buying the freehold (freehold enfranchisement).

      In either case, you will have to pay a premium (purchase price) as well as lawyers and surveyor’s professional fees, in some cases you are also liable for the freeholder’s professional fees.

      We can help and support you through the process but you will also need professional assistance. We can help you find suitable solicitors and surveyors.

      Kind regards,

      HomeOwners Alliance Team

  54. Dr Mary ScottDr Mary Scott

    I and other flat owners bought the freehold of the property(a house divided to flats) some yeas ago. We formed a company with £I shares each. Each of us is a Director of the company However, a solicitor advised us at the time to appoint a managing agent–it was/is an estate agent, and to pay ground rent and service charges. our company sends in an annual return to Company House.Recent changes: Some of the flats have been bought under buy-to-let.
    Question 1.Who is the landlord for a buy-to-let flat that is being rented out?
    Question 2. I had to have a hip operation. There is no lift in the house. I am on the 5th floor. Although there is money left over from our recent payment for
    repairs to the building my fellow directors have not responded to my request for a chain/rail that I could hold onto with one hand while using a waking stick in the other hand.As getting up and down the stairs is difficult, painful and hazardous what might I do about a rail/chain to make the climb less dangerous?
    Best wishes
    PS I am a pensioner but doing academic research

  55. rayray

    my mother in law lives in a flat which is freehold,the property management company has sent a renewal for the buildings insurance for 217 pounds .This seems excessive and we can get it cheaper even half that amount .Are we bound to take their insurance or can we use our own .Thanks .

    • Sophie KhanSophie Khan

      Hi Ray,

      Please do consider joining us a member and one of our property experts would be more than happy to look into your query. Joining is easy and only costs £45 for the year.

      Kind regards,

      HomeOwners Alliance Team

  56. BeauxBeaux

    My partner and I own a leasehold flat with a garden. It is clearly shown on our lease. We are now going through the legalities of up scaling to freehold ownership with our two Neighbours. There is a small patch of land which is on the other side of a fence at the top of our garden and is accessed by a side road. Our next door neighbours quite cheekily have been using this land for some years. Now that we are applying for the freehold, it has transpired the ground floor flat in our building has that patch of land on his lease. My question is, when the freehold goes through, will we loose part of our garden to give this neighbour right of way? Presently on our lease the garden is for our sole use, and there is no right of way.


    Many thanks

    • Sophie KhanSophie Khan

      Hi Beaux,

      One of our leasehold experts would be more than happy to answer your query if you were to join as a member. Joining is easy and only costs £45 for the year.


      HomeOwners Alliance Team

  57. P JoyceP Joyce

    I own my house which is freehold but is subject to £10 per yr ground rent. Is this still payable?

    • Sophie KhanSophie Khan

      Hi P Joyce,

      If you were to join us a member we would be more than happy to go through your query.


      HomeOwners Alliance Team

  58. Damien TDamien T

    Hi, I’m looking at getting a mortgage on a freehold flat, however I would become the buildings manager and own the land. The upstairs flat would apparently pay me ground rent and pay towards the home insurance.

    The upstairs flat is leasehold and has 78 years left. Would you be able to explain what that would mean for me? Would I be in anyway liable for extended their leasehold etc?

    Thanks for any info!

  59. Peter APeter A

    We have a lease hold apartment but have a mortgage. What happens when the leasehold runs out. We pay a ground rent to one company and a maintenence fee to a management company. The ground rent does not cover any grounds or maintenence work. Should we look to buy leesehold

  60. LukasLukas

    What is the point of buying flat on leasehold, getting a mortgage, paying almost double the property value to the bank, paying the maintenance and other charges to freeholder, being restricted to do anything with your flat, not having permit to keep animals, etc and in fact NOT REALLY OWING the property you paid for, as in 90 years it will go back to the freeholder. You pay mortgage all your life, you do not go for nice holiday or buy a nice car, because you have to pay your mortgage and you cannot afford any luxuries in your life and you cannot even pass the property to you kinds, because the leasehold will expire by the time they are 40 -50 y.o. What is the point of buying a property in this weird country???

  61. WilsonWilson

    My daughter is buying a house and garage that is in a block they were originally built as leasehold but the vendor bought the freehold he thought this was for both house and garage but it turns out only the house was transferred into lease hold
    He has contacted original solicitor who did this but it is taking forever is there anyway we can hurry this up or can you give us any idea how long this will take

  62. MarkMark

    I have a purpose built Maisonette worth approx. 250000 with 43 years left on the lease all 4 of the current owners wish to purchase the Freehold, I know the legal fees will be between 3 and 500 pounds but what is the rough cost of the Freehold for myself with only 43 years left ?

  63. Kun BaoKun Bao

    Hi, I am interested in a house but there are only 43 years left on the lease. If I buy it now and sell it after two years, whether there will be a high risk that the price of this property drop? Furthermore, it is a two-storeys house but divided by two leaseholders, one leaseholder owns the ground floor and the other owns the first floor. The one in the market is the ground floor one. The location and the outlook of this property is very good, however the lease really made me in a dilemma. What shall I do?

  64. Dorothy. WilsonDorothy. Wilson

    3 houses in a block on a hillside. Mine is freehold semidetached and has a flying freehold under part of the house behind. My semi detached neighbour bought his house with the other part of house behind which had a flying freehold. He was advised to buy a lease on the rear house. He did and in doing so where do I stand? My flying freehold is over120 years old. Should the leaseholder pay ground rent to me? He purchased the lease on the whole of the house behind. What rights do I have.?

  65. Yvette HollowayYvette Holloway

    I don’t understand why anyone would buy a leasehold property, because when the lease expires you’ve thrown your money away?

  66. Luke SweeneyLuke Sweeney

    Hi – I am interested in a property however on the land registry it is showing as having both freehold & leasehold – is this possible a mistake online?

    Or is this entirely possible?



  67. GedGed

    I’ve owned my home for 30 yrs, but pay ground rent or “a perpetual yearly rentcharge” (negotiated 2nd May, 1892), according to the Deeds, yet the property is Freehold?
    I’ve bought my house, but still have a low mortgage, Do I own my ‘own’ house or not? As one of your prev correspondents asked?

  68. Emma CarterEmma Carter

    Hi – I live in a freehold house on a small development of 56 homes. The leasehold flats won right to manage back in 2012 but we are all still tied to a dreadful managing company who have appointed themselves as managing agents (nb they don’t actually manage anything). Costs have almost doubled in 7 years and we are now paying over £300 a year each for a small patch of grass to be mowed and 9 faulty bollard lights. Is there anyway we can replace this managing agent / company? Is there any regulation of the industry for freeholders? If not there needs to be as there are 100s of these companies demanding money for nothing and getting paid by threatening hard working people with legal action. Thanks in advance for any guidance. Emma

  69. Sue WhiteleySue Whiteley

    I am looking into buying a flat which is freehold and has one flat above which is leasehold. I understand there is a shared Buildings insurance policy but how do I find out what ground rent/service charge the leaseholder pays and what will I be responsible for e.g maintenance & repairs?

  70. TomTom

    I have just given permission to the next door neighbours to build an extension astride the party wall. The extension goes beyond the part wall by about 3 inches. Can I object to this and what legal process can I take?
    I own the Freehold on my property.


  71. MarcoMarco

    Good morning

    I have been offered a price to buy a council Maisonette. We lived in this place for nearly 4 years and it is a good place. We had a very good offer for this property. The landlord is Sheffield City council.

    It is a leasehold for 125 years. My question is shall we go for it or not?

    Also after buying the lease do we need to pay a rent again?

    Kind regards


  72. Anne ConlonAnne Conlon

    I bought my flat which is an ex Council property in 2002. I didn’t buy under Right to Buy Scheme but rather off someone who did. This is leasehold. No work has ever been undertaken in all the years I’ve lived here until this year when the Council undertook painting of external gates and downpipes and fitting a fence and new outhouse door. They didn’t inform me or consult me at all re this and now say I’m liable to pay for work I didn’t ask for or need after it’s been done. Any advice would be welcome. Thank you

  73. sue mcnultysue mcnulty

    what does this mean?

    By a transfer made between seller and buyer the rent charge was informally apportioned as to £3 to the land in this title.

  74. JaneJane

    We have been offered the freehold on our house for £840 and we paid this back in march when we decided to move house & we agreed with our buyers that we would buy the freehold & as part of the contract transfer it over to them. We are still waiting for the freehold purchase documents & our purchasers & the owners of our house are threatening to pull out. We have contacted estates & management & they tell us there is nothing they can do to quicken up the process – we are ready to exchange when we get these documents & our solicitor will do the transfer! What can I do I am so stressed out.

  75. angelaangela

    we have lived in our new build house for 15 years and pay an annual ground rent to Shenstone Properties – who I have googled as I wanted to email them a question, only to find awful reports about them. In these 15 years, I send a cheque annually for £50 but otherwise have no contact at all. I admit to being totally lacking in any knowledge about what these companies do and why I pay them!? Ive read here about how they are responsible for common areas etc? I dont recall our solicitor going into any detail when we bought the property, My questions are – can I free myself from leasehold, and more importantly for now, it sounds like Im a tenant and dont own my own property that we have bought outright – can this be correct :(?

  76. NazminNazmin

    Recently I would like to buy a house which is £125,000. The leasehold remained for 56 years, and the agent said I can but the freehold after two years. I also can arrange for a mortgage. Can you please advise me if it is going to worth buying that house and what can be the cost of I buy the freehold after two years.

  77. JennyJenny

    We only have 54 years left on the lease for a flat that was left to me by my grandpa. The flat is one of 9 in a building. Is it better for me to extend the lease or go for the freehold?

  78. We have a piece of land that we bought from the local farmers. When we remortgaged our house, the building society include our land in with the house for the remortgage. Can they do this legally??

  79. Felicia WalkerFelicia Walker

    Hi I purchased a right to but property from a housing association freehold seven years ago. The deal was I could not sell before 5 years and I would be able to sell back to the housing association and I would get the market value.

    I emailed them asking my options and was advised to put it on the open market as they are not buying back houses now. I had no notification that they had changed the rules but they are still charging me maintenance fees. As they have changed the rules can I now refuse to pay maintenance fees?

  80. AnnaAnna

    We have a freehold flat in a freehold building. We’re the only owner-occupiers in our building. The other flats are let. Out of sudden we were asked to pay £1,500 for the fire risk assessment works as without this those owners who decided to let their flats (The landlords) won’t be able to get a permission to do it.. Are we under obligation to pay what they demand from us as it seems unfair on us as we aren’t getting any money from our flat?

  81. RosRos

    My parents bought a leasehold property around 50 years ago they paid the ground rent for many year however something went wrong and they stopped receiving requests for the ground rent to be paid when they did finally receive a bill it was for around £10,000, for the ground rent. The house was sold, my parents went to court and were evicted. They believed due to the lease they had and showed the court they had around 30 years left on the lease. This was disputed and another lease was requested from the land registry and they where told they was a error on the schedule they had. What can they do about this? They thought their schedule was correct… Further to this my parents have continually tried to go to court to dispute the issue to no avail, please help with some advise…

  82. coral jonescoral jones

    The Crown Estate have just sold the freehold to four flats which form a block next to my house. However one of the flats is empty, and under the flats there are 11 garages. On selling the freehold, the Crown has also sold the 11 garages and the empty flat to the new freeholders (who own two of the flats). Does the Crown have the right to do this? My understanding is that selling a freehold does not guarantee the freeholder the right to buy leases in the property, in this case one empty flat and 11 garages. Many other Crown residents used to have licences to rent the garages which have now been revoked, and we have to pay 350% increase to the new freeholders. Is it legal to automatically sell the leaseholds on enfranchisement?

  83. bronagh jordanbronagh jordan

    Hi my mother has the freehold to land but cant find the certificate how do we get a new one or a letter of ownership we live in lurgan co armagh n ireland

  84. AlexAlex

    I am new to this forum,
    I am a leasehokder of a flat (first Floor) in Newham Council. The lease specifies that i also own a small portion of garden. Recently, the council contacted me saying that they ned to take 400mm of the garden in order to build new flats on adjoining derelict land.
    My question is, i am entitled to ask to be compensated for losing the portion of land? if yes, how do i go about it?
    Thanks in advance for your advice,

    • AKerrAKerr

      Hi Alex, We just spoke. Dig out a copy of your leasehold agreement. If you would like us to look at it with you and put you in touch with our legal helpline, please join us today! Angela

  85. JohnJohn

    I bought a leasehold maisonette some 25 years ago.
    It is one maisonette in a block of 12 – previously council owned

    I pay £700 annually for sewerage, but I feel sure this is the freeholder (owners) responsibilty, should I challenge the bill?

    • AKerrAKerr

      Hi John, Check your leasehold agreement and see what it says about responsibility for sewerage. If you have any further questions simply join us so we can give it our full attention. Thanks, The HomeOwners Alliance team

  86. steve sandersonsteve sanderson

    My freeholders latest scheme is to sell off the vistors parking car parking places, the flats are fairly new only completed in late 2013. Part of the original planning permission was that these spaces were there for visitors to the properties. I understand that he owns the land but would he be able to do this ?

  87. LouseLouse

    Hi, we found the perfect house, perfect location, perfect plot on a small new development in Oxfordshire. The house is detached, there is a maintenance charge as it’s a private road with public open space which we are happy to pay to ensure it looks pristine but have been told it’s leasehold for 999 years with the option to buy in 2 years? how on earth do we work out how much that would cost us in 2-3 years time? Or is this the future and we are just panicking as leasehold is not the norm at present on houses?
    Many thanks

  88. Graeme. Judge.Graeme. Judge.

    I am buying the house I have lived in for the last 25 yrs from a housing association, (Freehold). However,I am forced to pay service charges on a piece of common ground 20 yards away of £166 per year as a condition of sale.The house is number 2 of a block of 6 terraced houses. Numbers 1,3 and 5 were bought from the council” freehold” and no service charges imposed.
    It was later agreed at the time the council stock was sold to the housing association that I would not lose any of my rites due to this sale. Is the housing association playing fair with me,as should I sell in the next 10 yrs,this could affect the amount I could sell for or indeed if I could sell at all.

  89. M/S Katrina McKennaM/S Katrina McKenna

    My family own our home the land on which it sits has yearly ground rent. If we decided to rebuild on the site are we answerable to the land lord?

  90. JoannaJoanna

    My sister and I have lived in the same house, divided into 2 separate maisonettes, for 35 years and our mortgages are paid up. However, our father, who died 4 years ago, was the freeholder. Our mother has therefore now become the freeholder. We don’t want to have a separate freeholder and want to own the freehold ourselves. Our mother is in agreement. Can you advise what would be the best option eg ‘Tenants in Common’ etc?

  91. Mr HumphreyMr Humphrey

    Cannot find anywhere information on buying a freehold propery that has holiday statas and what this means. Thanks

  92. MadhuMadhu

    Please can someone guide me. I am about to purchase a ground florr masionette and at the near end of the process we have discovered that the As the lenders consent was not obtained to the Deed of Variation. We will require seller to obtain the necessary consent from the Lender registered against the freehold title and have the entry removed from their title.

    Is there any solution to this ?

    Thanks in advance.

  93. TerryTerry

    My father has just passed away and has left a leasehold ground floor flat in his will to me.
    Does this affect ownership and negotiations of the leasehold.

  94. emma warrenemma warren

    how do i go about buying half the freehold i live in a converted house and live on the first floor but own half the garden. am i entitled to half the freehold?


    We have owned a leasehold, purpose built, maisonette for over 20 years and have paid for our own buildings insurance. We have recently been informed by an insurance company that the landlord should be paying for a block buildings insurance. Is he legally bound to do this?
    Thank You

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