Property law can often be quite a confusing area, throwing up different kinds of ownership structure that can have different consequences for property owners.
Here we provide an overview of the law on freehold properties: what they are; and what it means to purchase a property that is freehold.
What is a Freehold Property?
There are two different kinds of property in the UK: freehold and leasehold. With a freehold property the purchaser/owner, i.e. the freeholder, owns both the property itself and the land that the property is built on. Furthermore, the owner of a freehold property has sole responsibility to maintain the property.
What Does it Mean to Purchase a Freehold Property?
Theoretically, being the owner of a freehold property means that you can do anything you want with the property. There should not be any outside interference in your doing what you want with your property.
However this is not technically true as there are some restrictions on what can/cannot be done, including:
- Local Planning laws – your local or city council will insist that anything you do or plan to do with your property complies with their planning regulations, otherwise they will not approve it;
- Your property may have built-in limitations on its use – it is not uncommon that some properties are built with restrictive covenants written into the deed, preventing certain things from ever being done; and
- Environmental considerations – your property may have been built in an area that is of some importance to the environment e.g. conservation area, which could impact any development plans you have.
Freehold properties are very common in the UK and should generally not pose any difficulties for their owners. However there are some situations when there may be some rules that prevent you from having complete freedom to do whatever you want with your property.
At Lewis Nedas we have a specialist team of property lawyers who have a great deal of experience in advising on the law surrounding freehold properties and their use. If you have any questions, please contact us. We pride ourselves on our professionalism and practical legal advice. We are here to help.