Buying a leasehold property

A leasehold property is a type of property ownership where a person (the leaseholder) holds the right to occupy and use the property for a fixed period, as specified in the lease agreement.

However, the land on which the property is built remains under the ownership of the freeholder.

In a leasehold arrangement, the leaseholder has a contractual agreement with the freeholder, the terms and conditions of which are outlined in the lease. The lease typically includes details such as the lease term, ground rent, service charges and various other covenants, obligations and restrictions.

During the lease term, the leaseholder has the right to live in the property and enjoy its use, subject to compliance with the lease’s terms. However, once the lease term expires, ownership of the property returns to the freeholder, and the property may revert to its original state unless the lease is extended, or the freehold is purchased by the leaseholder through a process known as leasehold enfranchisement.

A lease gives the leaseholder the right to occupy the property for a set period subject to specific conditions that will be written into the lease. It is important that you understand your rights and obligations under the lease.

What is in a lease?
Who owns the freehold?
How long is the lease?
Is there a management company?
What other information do I need?
Do I need leasehold indemnity insurance?

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Caroline Polder