There are two main types of land rights in Japan – freehold and leasehold. Leasehold is broken into two types – surface rights and right to lease.
– Freehold (Shoyuken): The absolute ownership of land and building.
– Surface Rights (Chijoken): The land is leased, while owners of the building and units have the right to buy/sell as they please. This form is most commonly found on land used for apartment buildings.
– Right to Lease (Chinshakuken): The land is leased, while owners of the building and units must attain the landowner’s approval before they can transfer or sublease. Also, before rebuilding the structure on the land, the landowner’s permission must be obtained. This form of leasehold is mainly used for land designed for individual houses, but not often for apartment buildings.