Flying Freehold Explained

When it comes to mortgages, what is a flying freehold? It's explained here.

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A flying freehold is a term that is used to explain the situation where part (not all) of a freehold property extends either above or below another property. However, the element that extends another property is not actually touching that other property or the ground. Confused, see below.

Take a look at the image below. In it, you can see a passageway. The passage is owned by the occupier on the ground floor. Right above the passage, there is a bedroom that is owned by the occupier of the upper floor. This is a flying freehold.

This can create issues and lenders may not be willing to lend on the upper property. That is unless there is something in the title that provides enforceable rights to maintain and repair the passage.

For example, let's say the roof of the passage gets damaged which is supporting the floor of the bedroom in the property above. The property owner may not be able to carry out repairs or take steps to prevent further damage as they have no right over that empty space in the passage and cannot simply block it with supports or carry out repairs as technically, or more specifically, legally, it is not theirs to repair.

Care needs to be taken in these circumstances and legal representatives should take care to check rights in the event of purchasing a property with a flying freehold.

Lee Wisener CeMAP, CeRER, CeFAP, CSME

Having worked in the mortgage industry for over 20 years I have always wanted to build a website dedicated to the subject. Also being a geek when it comes to the internet all I needed was time and I could both build the site from scratch and fill it with content. This is it!