Freehold vs. Leasehold

At common law, in British Columbia, land tenures can be generally divided into two large catagories, fee simple land and leasehold lands.

Fee simple lands (also called freehold lands) are lands where the owner owns all the property rights associated with thoses lands, except the rights which are reserved for the Crown (for example oil and gas rights). The restrictions on use on freehold land are imposed by the Province and the local municipality.

Leasehold lands are lands where the rights of the owner are limited by the another party, usually a landlord. Long term leases (49 – 99 ys) are commonly found in the Province of British Columbia when land is sold on Native Reserves as the inalienability of native lands, under the Canada Constitution, prohibits Native Reserve being “sold” to anyone except to the Crown. Additional restrictions on the use of leasehold land are found in a LEASE or HEADLEASE document which creates contractual obligations between the Landlord and Tenant.

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