The easiest and most legitimate way to find out if a property is a freehold is by visiting the land registry on the government’s website which can be found here.
On this website you are able to search the property map of an area known as an index map which can be used if you cannot directly find the building on the land registry by using the search feature.
Typically, as well as finding out if the property is a freehold and who the freeholders are, you will be able to find the title register of the building, the title number and also the title plan which are all useful pieces of information provided by the land registry
How else can you tell if a property is a freehold?
Besides the land registry, there may be some other ways to work out the freehold status of a property laid out below. It is useful to note that these may not be as accurate but could give you a good indication.
Look on your property documents
The document given by a lender or a conveyancer should tell you about all of the details of the property, especially if you have bought it yourself. Have a look here for the world freehold or leasehold.
There are no legal obligations that say a freeholder has to tell the leaseholder that they are a leaseholder as this is implied when they hand over their contract but the leaseholder can always buy the freehold of the house if it is worth it.
Ask the freeholder
If you are a leaseholder but you are not sure if the person managing your property is a landlord or they are in fact a freeholder, you could ask them directly if you have their contact information and it may be also worth asking them for details about the property while you’re at it.
Is it a new build or a flat?
A lot of the time, new builds are sold as leasehold, especially if they are flats. While of course not all flats are leaseholds, this is an indication that the building is not a freehold and whoever lives in the flat are not in ownership of the land.
How does property ownership work in England and Wales?
In the United Kingdom, the crown, which is owned by the royal family, owns all land in England and Wales. And all of this land is either owned on a freehold estate or a leasehold estate.
How does the leasehold reform act of 2022 relate?
As part of the leasehold reform act of 2022 seen here, the government set out to tackle ground rents as part of this act which means freeholders will not be able to charge anything for ground rents.
So, if you hear of information regarding this this means you are a leaseholder. However, make sure that you have a long lease and extend your lease to at least 21 years if you want to benefit from this as a leaseholder.