What is leasehold land?
Leasehold land is Crown land over which the Crown has granted an interest. That interest is a lease (or in other words the Crown has rented its land to an individual or other legal entity). The person or organisation that was granted the leasehold can hold, occupy and use the land and in return must pay rent.
Leasehold is a lesser interest in land to freehold. Leasehold will be for a set time and for a specific purpose. The person who has the leasehold never 'owns' the land. The grant of leasehold will carry with it certain conditions or requirements. If the requirements of the leasehold are not met then the Crown may take back the land. In most cases the leasehold will expire on a certain date.
Leasehold is similar to when a person who 'owns' land leases (or rents) it to another person. With leasehold the Crown is the owner of the land. Another name for leasehold is a Crown lease.
A leasehold may be sold to another person or group, but that requires the approval of the Minister for Lands. Depending on the leasehold's purpose and the length of the lease, sometimes leasehold land can be used as security to raise loans from banks and other financial institutions (but the approval of the Minister for Lands will be required).
There are different types of leaseholds (or leases for short).
What are the different types of leases?
Pastoral leases are leases for grazing stock and all purposes connected with that. DPI issues pastoral leases. See fact sheet on pastoral leases for more information.
General leases are leases for some particular purpose. For example a general lease may be for the purpose of the use and benefit of Aboriginal people. General leases are issued by DPI. See fact sheet on general leases for more information.
Reserve leases are issued by a reserve's Management Body or if there is no Management Body for the reserve, by DPI. A reserve lease has to be consistent with the purpose of the reserve. For example, a reserve whose purpose is for the use and benefit of Aboriginal people might have a lease over the reserve, or part of it, to an Aboriginal organisation.
Leases in perpetuity are leases that have no expiry date, they go on forever. But they will still have conditions or requirements like other leases. These leases are only given to or for the benefit of Aboriginal persons. They are issued by DPI.
How do you lease a reserve?
The leasing of a reserve can be done through a Management Body or, where the reserve does not have a Management Body, through DPI. In order for a Management Body to give a lease it must have the power to lease in its Management Order (for more information see fact sheet on who manages Aboriginal reserves).
Any lease of a reserve must be consistent with the purpose of the reserve.
Leases from the Aboriginal Affairs Planning Authority
The AAPA can issue leases over freehold land or reserve land held by the ALT.
Leases from DPI
DPI can issue leases over Crown land for any particular purpose.
What rights do leaseholders have?
The person or organisation which holds a lease (in other words is renting the land) has certain rights. If they comply with the lease conditions, leaseholders are entitled to use the land without any interference from the lessor (the person or organisation who owns the land, for example the Crown). Such interference can be anything which may be unreasonable, unwarranted or causes inconvenience to the lessee (the person renting the land).