The different land tenures in Queensland are based on the Feudal System which come from England and was established hundreds of years ago. It is based on the premise that all land is owned by the Crown and this system allowed the population to have holdings and work the land. It was a culture by which classes were established and where ‘Real Estate’ came from. Real Estate is the Latin term meaning Royal Status.
So the familiar terms that we know today, such as Freehold and Leasehold refer to this system of land tenure. Titles given to parcels of land are still owned by the Crown today. Next time you see a title search you will notice the first interest is reserved to the Crown, and who we commonly refer to as the owner, is listed as the Tenant.
Freehold tenants are not required to pay rent to the Crown, but Leasehold tenants are required to pay a lease to the Crown.
There are several different Leasehold categories in Queensland:
– Term Lease – The lease is set for a specific time and ends on the expiry date.
– Perpetual Lease – Lease is issued in perpetuity, but the land is allocated for a specific use only.
– Freeholding Lease – The Leasee/tenant nominates to pay out the lease to make the parcel freehold.
– Permit to Occupy – The occupant does not have exclusive use of the land. The parcel will usually have another primary use. (Example: Stock routes).
There are some licenses which are also issued in Queensland such as a Road License (occupying a gazetted road that is typically unformed) and the Occupation License. Land parcels issued with a license can be taken from the occupant by the Government with as little as 3 months notice, with no compensation for improvements undertaken at the property.
Land values can be significantly different based on the nature of tenure. Most residential properties in the suburban areas of Queensland are Freehold. Even though all rights are reserved to the Crown, this form of tenure is very permanent in practical terms and is highly protected by law.
I hope this brief look at the different tenures has been informative.
Written by Bruce Coats – Certified Practicing Valuer and Associate of API.