In England and Wales, there are two main forms of interest in a property – freehold or leasehold. When property or land is freehold it is owned outright, and there is no time limit on the period of ownership. Leasehold, however, is the temporary ownership of property under a lease. A lease can run for any amount of time, but once the lease expires ownership of the property reverts to the freeholder.
In the case of long leases, which can run for hundreds of years, possession of the property is often subject to payment (on demand) of “ground rent” to the freeholder (or superior landlord) for the use of the land the property sits on.