Freehold Estate: Different Types Explained

Freehold Estate: Different Types Explained

If you have experience owning a property, you are aware of the procedures involved.

However, the real estate market is a complicated one. Your particular requirements as a property buyer will determine the kind of home you buy.

But what is a freehold estate?

A freehold estate is a sort of real estate that you can buy if you wish to start renting out a home as a side business. Or it can be your primary residence.

These properties have an unlimited transferable ownership period and no set ownership schedule.

In this article, I am going to discuss what a freehold estate is, including the different types that are available to you.

What's Ahead...

What Is A Freehold Estate?

A freehold estate grants its owner long-term exclusivity rights over the property. Freehold estates can be divided into three categories: fee simple defeasible, life estates, and fee simple absolute.

In the real estate industry, they represent an immovable asset in which you are seeking to own. Each sort of real estate can be used in one of several ownership categories, depending on the type of asset they are.

How Do They Work?

Any type of freehold estate is essentially a kind of real estate. It has unrestricted ownership that you can typically transfer over endlessly.

There are three basic forms of freehold estates. However, in order to keep your ownership in the future, you must satisfy specific requirements for each type.

Below, we have gone into more detail surrounding the 3 different types of freehold estates you can have.

Various Forms Of Freehold Real Estate

As mentioned above, there are three different variations of freehold estates that you may obtain.

It is important that no matter which type you may decide to go with, that you do all the relevant research. This is because a few of these freehold estates will require you to fulfill particular criteria.

The different freehold estates include fee simple defeasible, life estate, fee simple absolute.

Freehold Estate - Different Types Explained

Life Estate

When planning your estate, take into account a life estate. People frequently want to leave their homes to their surviving offspring.

A homeowner can facilitate that changeover process through a life estate.

The original owner, also referred to as the life tenant, is permitted to occupy the property until death. However, they have shared ownership with the inheritor so long as the life tenant occupies the property.

As a result, you still have obligations like paying your property taxes and insurance. However, before making any modifications, you must obtain the receiver’s consent.

When the life tenant dies, they lose their ownership interest in the property. The beneficiary instead assumes ownership, making it possible for them to inherit the property without the intervention of a probate court.

Fee Simple Absolute

The terms fee simple absolute and fee simple come from the phrase “freehold estate” and are frequently used interchangeably.

In the context of a fee simple absolute, the owner has unrestricted total control over their property. Therefore, there isn’t a time limit on how long you may own the property. Additionally, you can leave it to your chosen heirs.

Provided that you pay your property taxes and other responsibilities as an owner, you retain unrestricted ownership.

You can even utilize the land and property as you choose, so long as you do this.

The most typical kind of estate ownership is this one.

Fee Simple Defeasible

Compared to the fee simple absolute, this type of freehold estate imposes greater restrictions on the estate owner. Owning the land in this context is subject to a number of restrictions.

For instance, you could be required to use the land and property for a particular objective.

An example of this is you could be granted a property under the condition that it remains to operate as a working farm.

However, you risk losing ownership if you don’t follow through. It will be quite clear the terms that you need to follow.

Always remember that each property will have a specific set of requirements, therefore it’s crucial to carefully read all paperwork before making a purchase.


Every homeowner seeks a home that meets their requirements. You can get the level of ownership that meets your objectives through freehold estates such as fee simple defeasible, fee simple absolute, and life estate.

Each type is slightly different from the other. As a result, it is critical to understand your ownership rights when purchasing any kind of property.

I hope this article has made it clear on what a freehold estate is and the different types of freehold estates there are.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Most Common Type Of Freehold Estate?

The most common kind of freehold estate is a fee simple absolute property. As long as they don’t break any local zoning regulations, the owner of this kind of property is free to utilize it however they like.

The deed may be kept, sold, transferred, or left to an heir at any time by the owner.

What Is The Difference Between Freehold And Non-Freehold Estates?

Real estate can be broadly divided into freehold and non-freehold categories.

A non-freehold estate, sometimes also known as the law of landlord and tenant, comprises a lessor and lessee relationship. While a freehold estate signifies complete ownership of the property.

Are Freehold Estates A Better Option?

Freehold estates undoubtedly bring comfort of mind because freehold ownership ensures total ownership.

The drawback is that the initial purchase price might be higher. Also, with a freehold estate, you don’t need to pay for any ground rent.

Additionally, freehold properties are simpler to sell because it is more difficult to do so the nearer a lease is to expiration.

If the lease is less than 70 years, mortgage rates will also rise. Overall, you have a lot more control over your decisions concerning your property.

Paul Martinez

Paul Martinez is the founder of He is an expert in the areas of finance, real estate, and eCommerce.  Join him on to learn how to improve your financial life and excel in these areas. Before starting this blog, Paul built from scratch and managed two multi-million dollar companies. One in the real estate sector and one in the eCommerce sector.