Freehold vs. Leasehold

Act of waste

Abuse of a property by a person who holds possession through a life estate

Fee simple

An inheritable estate

Fee simple absolute

Provides the most complete form of ownership and bundle of rights in real property

Qualified fee

An inheritable freehold estate that is defeasible (the grantor can terminate the title). For example, a parent could transfer property to a child as long as the child remained unmarried.

Life estates

Ownership, possession and control for someone's lifetime

Freehold estates

Ownership for an undetermined length of time; an example is home ownership.

Leasehold estates

An estate for a limited time (e.g., renting, leasing)

Estate for years

An estate for a specified time: (e.g., days, months, years)

Periodic estate

An estate that renews itself automatically at the end of each lease period

Estate at will (a.k.a. tenancy at will)

An estate for an unknown period of time; either party may terminate the lease by giving notice to the other.


A husband's interest in the real estate owned by his deceased wife; a form of legal life estate


The power of the state to claim property when the owner dies without a will and without heirs or creditors


A type of estate that gives the owner special rights in property used as a family home (not valid in all states)


The person receiving title upon the death of the life tenant

Remainder interests

Fee simple present interest in conjunction with receipt of title upon the death of the life tenant

Reversionary interest

Right of repossession of the property by the owner after the end of the life estate

Fee Simple Defeasible

With a fee simple defeasible estate, the property holder owns the property with all legal rights, but subject to a condition. If the condition is breached, the property may go back to the original owner.

Fee Simple Determinable

A type of fee simple defeasible, this ends automatically when the stated event or condition occurs. The original owner retains a possibility of reversion. Property is retained "while," "during," or "so long as" the condition occurs; this is the language m

Fee Simple on Condition Subsequent

A type of fee simple defeasible, and also known as a fee on condition, this is created when an estate is given on the condition that the owner does or doesn't take a specific action. The grantor has the right of reentry if the condition is violated. The e