Leasehold vs Freehold Ownership

Leasehold Vs Freehold Ownership In Bali

The tropical paradise of Bali, Indonesia, with its unique culture, scenic landscapes, and robust tourism industry, presents a lucrative investment opportunity. The demand for short-term villa rentals has surged, making land acquisition and villa construction a popular strategy for maximising ROI. However, understanding the nuances of Indonesian land ownership—particularly freehold and leasehold systems—is critical for potential investors. This blog post will provide an in-depth analysis of the benefits, drawbacks, and intricacies of both methods, presenting a comprehensive guide for those looking to buy land in Bali and venture into its real estate market.

Freehold Ownership in Bali:

Freehold, or "Hak Milik," signifies the most complete form of land ownership in Indonesia, offering the owner full rights to the land and the freedom to sell, transfer, lease, or mortgage the property.


Control: As a freeholder, you enjoy total control over your property. You can modify, redevelop, or even demolish and rebuild the property without seeking anyone else's permission.

No time limit: Freehold ownership is not time-bound, unlike leasehold ownership that comes with an expiration date.

Value appreciation: Generally, freehold properties appreciate over time, making them an excellent long-term investment.


Restrictions for foreigners: As of 2023, Indonesian law states that only Indonesian citizens or legal entities, such as a PT PMA can hold freehold titles. Foreigners are not permitted to own land in Bali but can own a property through PT PMA, a leasehold agreement or a Hak Pakai title.

Higher initial cost: Freehold properties usually demand a higher initial purchase cost than leasehold properties, which may affect immediate ROI.

Leasehold Ownership in Bali:

Leasehold, or " Hak Sewa," allows an individual or company to lease land from the freeholder for a specific period, typically between 25 to 30 years, but can extend for another period of 25 to 30 years. The lease contract is legally binding and protected under Indonesian law, making it a popular choice for foreigners looking to invest in leasehold land in Bali.


Accessibility for foreigners: Leasehold is the most common and straightforward way for foreigners to acquire property in Bali. It offers a legal and relatively uncomplicated means to invest in Bali's real estate market.

Lower initial cost: Leasehold properties typically require a lower initial investment than freehold properties, enabling you to allocate more funds for villa construction and other ventures.

Profitability: Leasehold can provide a faster ROI, especially for investors looking to capitalise on the booming short-term rental market in Bali.


Finite duration: Leasehold's main disadvantage is its time limitation. Once the lease term expires, the ownership rights revert to the freeholder, unless a renewal agreement is made.

Depreciating asset: The property can depreciate in value as the lease term runs down, particularly if there's no clarity about lease renewal.


The choice between freehold and leasehold ownership in Bali should align with your investment objectives, risk tolerance, and time horizon. Both have their merits and downsides, and understanding them is crucial to making informed investment decisions when buying land in Bali. It's also vital to stay compliant with local regulations and consider legal requirements such as obtaining a valid Indonesian Tax Identification Number (NPWP), registering a local company, and ensuring the land or property isn't located in a protected area. Engaging a reputable notary and seeking legal advice can help navigate the complexities and ensure a smooth and successful property investment journey in Bali.

Whether you're looking to invest in a luxury villa or a cozy bungalow, the vibrant land of Bali offers a myriad of opportunities for savvy investors. With proper knowledge and planning, you can enjoy lucrative returns and own a slice of paradise in Bali's thriving real estate market.