Most homes in Northern Ireland are puchased on a leasehold basis. While you own the property, you do not own the land on which it sits. You will usually have to pay ground rent and service charges to the freeholder who owns the land on which the property is situated.
The length of the lease varies, but is usually between 99 and 999 years. If you own a house, you may be able to buy the lease from your freeholder, which means you will not have to pay any further ground rent. Most flats are leaseholds, but it is usually more difficult to redeem the freehold on a flat.
Overview of leasehold law
Leases are usually for between 99 and 999 years. You are allowed to live in the property for the term of the lease in return for paying ground rent. You can be evicted if you break the terms of the lease but this is quite rare. You can sell the lease on at any time. You may be able to buy the lease from your freeholder. More
Buying the freehold
You are usually able to buy the freehold of your house. You will own your property outright and no longer have to pay ground rent to the freeholder. It usually costs nine times the ground rent. More