We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Fee Simple?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At SmartCapitalMind, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Fee simple is a term used to describe the ownership interest in a given property that is extended with no limitations of any kind on the recipient. For example, an heir who inherits property with this classification is free to retain the property, sell all or part of it, or lease it to a third party. However, fee simple does not free the recipient from the responsibility of meeting any and all requirements set by local and national governments, such as paying taxes on the property or observing any other requirements necessary by law to own property within the jurisdiction.

For the most part, a fee simple is utilized in countries that are categorized as common law nations. Within settings of this type, this type of ownership interest is often the most complete option available without the granting of an allodial title by the proper governmental regulating agencies. The arrangement does not usually limit the government’s right to eminent domain or the ability to seize control of the property in the event that taxes are owed. However, it does ensure the right of the property owner to sell or develop the property in any way that is in accordance with prevailing laws.

A property owner who has title to property via a fee simple is capable of using the real estate to arrange loans using the property as collateral. The private lender, bank, or loan agency will follow the same process as used with any other real estate deal. The buyer is still obligated to disclose any current mortgage on the property, make arrangements to comply with the terms of payment that govern the loan, and in general uphold his or her obligations as described in loan details.

It is also possible to sell a fee simple property. Both the seller and the buyer agree to the terms as outlined in the purchase agreement, and the transaction is registered with the proper governmental agencies. The same is true if the recipient chooses to lease the property, or develop the real estate in some manner, such as for business purposes or for multiple dwellings. As long as the development meets the requirements of the local jurisdiction, there are no limitations on how the property can be utilized.

In many cases, a fee simple does not require the recipient to pay any annual or other type of fee to the originator of the property ownership. However, there are some countries in which a freeholder would be required to pay what is known as a rentcharge. Essentially, the rentcharge takes the form of annual property taxes or estate charges that must be paid to local or national government agencies. Since the nature and applicability of a rentcharge varies greatly from one nation to another, it is important to consult a real estate professional before accepting property granted through a fee simple.

SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including SmartCapitalMind, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By Esther11 — On May 25, 2011

I remember my English professor back in college talking about this subject. It was a confusing idea, but I'll explain what I can. I'm sure I've forgotten a lot.

Back in the day - in the time of the feudal system, is when it started. Remember the overlords would let fiefs use some of their land to live and grow crops on. At first, those poor fiefs had to give service to the overlord. Later it changed and both the fief and the overload had to give something to each other. Only fair,huh?

After feudalism was gone, common law became the way to own land. In this system, the king actually owned all the land, but he would give some to certain people - lucky folks. Then a person who got land from the king could do what he wanted with the land. He could sell it or divide it in fee simple. Hope this makes sense.

By Misscoco — On May 24, 2011

I would like to know where the idea of fee simple came from. I have heard that it started way back in the days of kings and serfs in England. I'd like to know exactly how it worked in those days.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.