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HMRC internal manual

Capital Gains Manual

Land: land tenures

Ultimate ownership of all land in the UK rests with the Crown. However, other persons may have varying degrees of ownership of, or interests in, land. The methods by which land in the UK is held are called ‘tenures’. In England and Wales, there are only three tenures: freehold tenure, leasehold tenure and commonhold tenure.

In Scotland, the tenures were based on the feudal system of ownership until 28 November 2004 when the Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc (Scotland) Act 2000 was brought into force. On that date the Act replaced the feudal system with a system of outright ownership of land. All superiority interests in land were extinguished. The right of feudal superiors to enforce conditions ended subject to certain saving provisions of a restricted nature. Feu duty was abolished (with compensation possibly payable).