It may seem like technical legal language but understanding your property tenure makes the difference between owning outright and having a landlord. In a nutshell
Someone who owns the freehold of a property owns the property and the land it stands on, for an unlimited period. It is essentially ‘free from hold’. This means you’ll be responsible for repairs and maintenance of your home – with no third party having any say in what you do. Traditionally, most houses were sold as freehold. And, given the choice, freehold is pretty much always the best option.
Unlike a freeholder, as a leaseholder you own the property BUT NOT the land on which it is built – that is owned by the freeholder. Ownership of your property is also for a set period,and leases normally start out with a term of either 99 or 999 years.
When there are zero years left on the lease, ownership of the property reverts to the freeholder. This applies regardless of any mortgage on the property – whether it’s outstanding or paid off.
In general, the shorter the remaining lease, the less a property is worth. This means it can be difficult to remortgage or sell your property once your lease has fewer than 70 years left.
Flats are almost always leasehold, but houses can be leasehold too.