Freehold Land & Property Title Information
All land in England and Wales, technically, belongs to the Crown. What “land owners” actually own is a right to use and occupy their land, called an “estate in land”. These estates were granted by the Crown centuries ago to noblemen, who in turn granted estates out of their land to farmers and such. Prior to 1925 and the introduction of the Law of Property Act 1925, which is the basis of modern land law, there were many different types of estate but the Law of Property Act reduced these to two: Freehold and Leasehold.
What is the Meaning of Freehold?
Freehold (or to give it its full name, “fee simple absolute in possession”), is in practical terms absolute ownership. The owner of the freehold estate has a perpetual right to use and occupy the property to the exclusion of all others (except anyone with a legal right over the property such as a right of way) and is free to sell, mortgage, lease, gift or bequeath the land as he wishes. Although technically the land still belongs to the Crown, as long as there is someone to inherit the right will continue for eternity so that the Crown has no real influence.
What is the Meaning of Fee Simple Absolute in Possession?
Fee simple absolute in possession is the proper name for freehold land. It breaks down like this: a fee is an estate in land and a fee simple is an estate in land which is from restriction