Estates in Land: 4 Types and Differences

August 10, 2022by REDOC0

An estates in land is an interest in real property, which means it may become possessory. This is a type of personal property and encompasses land ownership, rental and other arrangements that give people the right to use land.

Key Takeaway

  • What is Estate in Land
  • What an Estate includes
  • Types of Estate and most common
  • Type of Property


An estate includes the entire property of an individual in which the property is distributed according to the individual’s will, which involves managing the personal estate and financial planning in a legal way.

Types of Estate In Land

The amount and kind of interest a person has in real estate is called an “estate in Land”. There are four different types of estate in Land but only two are common, which are freehold and Non-Freehold. Which I will give more explanation on in this article,

  • Freehold
  • Non-freehold
  • Concurrent
  • Equitable

Freehold Estate

Freehold Estate are types of an estate in land, in which there is no time duration for the interest in land and is also characterized by the ownership of the land, this type of ownership comes with indefinite ownership and you can easily pass on forever. It gives the rights of conveyable exclusive possession and uses, having immobility and indeterminate duration. There are 3 types of the freehold estate

Fee simple

Fee simple Absolute

Both fee simple and fee simple absolute are often used interchangeably. In this case, the owner has a complete property without restriction; there is no limit on the length of time you can own the real estate. You can also pass it down to your heir.

This is the most common type of property ownership

Fee simple Defeasible

A fee simple defeasible is a form of freehold estate that puts more limitations on the owner compared to a fee simple absolute. With this real estate, owning the land comes with certain conditions.

Life estate

A life estate, a type of freehold estate, is something to consider during estate planning. Often people want to give their homes to them after they pass. Through Life estate, a homeowner can make that transition process easier.

Read also: First-Time Homebuyers: 5 Essential Tips

Non – freehold

Non–freehold estates are types of estate in land, where a real property has a limited right to use or occupy but don’t own. In effect, you lease the property without holding any ownership over it.  For example, a non–freehold estate may include a condo you rent.

Tenancy For years

Tenancy for years is a type of estate created by a lease. When the tenant enters this type of lease agreement, they have it for a fixed amount of time. The contract outlines the beginning and end of the tenancy. Because of this, neither the tenant nor the landlord has to notify each other about the termination of the lease. The documentation already specifies the dates. At the end of the term, the tenant either moves out of the property or renews it.

Tenancy at Will

You may hear of a tenancy at will referred to alternatively as an estate at will. Under this type of agreement, either the owner or the tenant can terminate it at any time. The two parties do not use a binding contract or lease. The agreement also doesn’t typically specify the occupancy’s time length or the ways the tenant pays. Instead of a contract, local and state govern the tenure.

Tenancy from period to period

Tenancies from period to period, or periodic tenancies, are leases that do not have a defined end date. The agreement may still identify a length of time for the occupancy. However, the landlord and tenant can extend the tenant’s stay, renewing indefinitely.

Tenancy at Sufferance

Tenancy at sufferance works somewhat similarly to a tenancy at will. Like the latter, it does not occur under a contract or lease. Instead, it is a type of tenancy that takes place after the tenant’s lease expires but before they leave the property.

Concurrent Estate

This type of estate is owned by many individuals and co-owners, joint tenants are responsible for it, and according to the agreement if any of the owners passed away the property is shared equally as stated.

Equitable Estate

This type of estate involves taking the assets of the land which does not have legal rights, in which the court can take notice. The property is neither owned nor possessed and exists only in countries influenced by the common law tradition.

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