What is a Flying Freehold?

Mariam Abu HusseinLegal Assessment Specialist @ Lawhive
Updated on 14th November 2023

If you’re thinking of buying a house or commercial property, you might have come across the term “flying freehold” and wondered what on earth that means. In this article, we’re going to break it down for you including what a flying freehold is, what it could mean for you, and how to navigate it if you’re considering buying or selling a property with one.


What is a flying freehold?

A flying freehold is when a part of one property overhangs or lies under another property.

Examples of flying freeholds include:

  • Overhanging rooms

  • Balconies that stick out over neighbour’s property

  • Basements that extend under neighbouring properties

  • Rooms above shared passageways

  • Houses that sit under or over another freehold property (like maisonettes)

Flying freeholds are more commonly found in buildings that were built back when architects and builders didn’t stick to the typical property lines we see today. A flying freehold isn’t always an automatic red flag, but there are legal implications to consider and issues that might crop up over time, like if you are selling or remortgaging.

So, now you know what a flying freehold is, let’s talk about the legalities.

Maintenance & Repair

One of the key things to know with a flying freehold is who’s responsible for what in terms of repairs and maintenance. Many disputes around flying freeholds arise because individuals can’t agree on who takes responsibility for, repairs and pays for them.


A flying freehold can sometimes involve a shared space. When it does, questions can arise around who has access to it and how it should be used. This can also be a cause for conflict and disagreement if clear boundaries aren’t set.

Selling & Resale

Flying freeholds can sometimes impact a property’s value and be a bone of contention in negotiations. It’s important to be prepared for this. And if you’re selling a property with a flying freehold it’s good to be transparent about it from the beginning to avoid issues.


There are some key factors to consider when buying a property with a flying freehold such as the impact on the property value, resale potential, how it should be used, and what your shared responsibilities are in relation to the upkeep and maintenance of it.

Getting a flying freehold mortgage may be difficult, though not impossible, and you’ll also might need to consider flying freehold indemnity insurance if you do buy a property with one.

Before making any decisions on the above, consider seeking advice from property experts and property solicitors. They can provide insights specific to the flying freehold in question, so you can make informed decisions.

Next Steps

Flying freeholds needn’t be a big deal, no matter which side of the fence you are on. Whether you’re searching for your dream home, considering a property investment, or are in the midst of a neighbour dispute, understanding flying freeholds gives you the power to deal with your situation.

If you’re still unclear, you should reach out to a property solicitor, who can provide personalised guidance. At Lawhive, we help everyone, regardless of who they are, access affordable, flexible legal help online with property law matters like flying freeholds.

To get started, simply tell us about your case and we will give you a fixed-fee quote in less than 5 minutes. In most cases, we can also get you working with a solicitor on the same day you reach out. Win, win!

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