This is a very common question our commercial property team receives, so we thought we'd explain it in some more detail.
Simply put, freehold and leasehold land give different ownership rights. Freehold gives the most benefit, with freehold ownership property rights including the right to occupy the land, earn income from the property/land, erect buildings on the land, lease the land, sell the land, subdivide the land, use the land/property as security for loan purposes. In other words, freehold ownership gives total unencumbered ownership.
Leasehold ownership, on the other hand, splits the above rights between two parties: those who own the land ("the lessor") and those who then lease the land ("the lessee"). The lessor retains the right to freehold title of the land, and to use the land as security, however, the right to income changes to a right to rental income, and the right to sell may be prohibited. All other rights, such as lose of occupying, subdividing, building and entering the property transfer to the lessee.