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What is a Freehold Real Estate?

What is a Freehold Real Estate?

A freehold real estate is one where the owner owns the land and can use it for any legal purpose. In Kenya, freehold land is held under a leasehold agreement with the government, allowing for a specific use period. After the lease expires, the land reverts to the government.In Kenya, real estate investment can be either leasehold or freehold. Leasehold real estate is where a tenant holds property for a specified period, after which the property reverts to the landlord.In Freehold real estate, on the other hand, the owner holds the property in perpetuity. Property owners can keep their freehold estates either for residential, commercial, or agricultural purposes.Residential freehold property includes single-family homes and multi-family dwellings, such as apartments. Commercial freehold property can be used for various uses, such as retail stores, office buildings, and warehouses. Agricultural freehold property is used for farming and ranching operations.This blog explains everything you need to know about Kenya’s freehold real estate. Keep reading.

What is Freehold Estate?

 A freehold estate is free from any hold that may deny the owner some rights. In addition, if the owner decides to sell a freehold property, they can do so without the government’s consent. 

The owner has complete control over the property and can do whatever they wish with it within the bounds of the law. This type of ownership is the most common in Kenya and is typically seen in residential properties.

This type of investment is often seen as more secure than other investments, such as leaseholds because the investor has complete control over the property. Additionally, freehold real estate investments tend to appreciate over time, making them suitable long-term investments.

Types of Freehold Ownership in Kenya

We have several types of freehold ownership in Kenya, each with its advantages and disadvantages.

1. Absolute freehold

 This is the complete form of ownership and gives the owner full control over the property. However, it also comes with the highest level of responsibility, as the owner is responsible for all maintenance and upkeep.

2. Limited freehold

This type of ownership gives the owner the right to use the property for a specific purpose, but not to make any changes. This can be advantageous if you only need the property for a short period, as you will not be responsible for any long-term maintenance. However, it can be disadvantageous if your need changes and you cannot use the property as you wish.

3. Qualified freehold

This type of ownership allows the owner to make specific changes to the property but not others. This can be advantageous if you want to make some cosmetic changes to the property, but not structural ones. However, it can be disadvantageous if you want to make significant changes, as you will need permission from the qualified freeholder first.

How to Choose the Right Freehold Real Estate

When choosing the right freehold real estate in Kenya, there are a few critical factors to consider.

You should ensure that the property is in a good location. It should be situated in an area that is convenient for you and your family, and it should also be in a safe neighborhood.

Secondly, ensure that the property is of good quality. It should be well-built and well-maintained, and it should also be spacious enough for your needs.

You should ensure that the price is right. The property should be priced reasonably, and it should also be within your budget.

Pros of Freehold Real Estate

The owner has complete control over the land and can use it for any purpose.

The owner can sell or lease the land as they wish.

The owner is not responsible for paying any property taxes.

Cons of Freehold Real Estate

The owner is responsible for all the maintenance and upkeep of the land.

The owner is also responsible for any environmental damage on the land.


The process of buying freehold real estate in Kenya is similar to that of purchasing property in other countries. The buyer must first find a suitable property, then negotiate a price with the seller. Once the purchase price is agreed upon, the buyer must obtain financing and complete the transaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth buying a freehold property?

Yes. A freehold property will be a great choice if you consider staying in Kenya. Remember, you can resell it if you need the money. And the good news is that it will be appreciated.

Does a freehold expire?

No. Owning a house means you own everything in it and the land it lies on. No one, including the government, can kick you out of a freehold property.

Which is better, freehold or leasehold?

This depends on your preferences. For instance, a leasehold will be a good choice if you don’t have enough income to buy a freehold. And the good thing is you don’t need lots of money to lease.

On the other hand, freehold is a permanent property ownership that needs a lot of money. Furthermore, it will be convenient to lease if you have a permanent home elsewhere and cannot manage multiple properties.

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