You probably have a vague idea of what ground rent is. You know it is something that you need to pay to own property, but you’re not sure how much it costs or even what it means. Many people find the idea of ground rent bewildering and confusing. In this article, we explore the meaning behind ground rent and explain different aspects of this regular payment. Whether you are looking to buy a house, apartment, condo or any other property, there is almost always an additional cost involved called ground rent. Read on to find out what ground rent is, as well as how much you can expect to pay if you are considering buying a property that has it included in the purchase price.

What is Ground Rent?

Ground rent is a regular payment made to the owner of the land that you are renting. The fee is in exchange for the use of the land and is a form of leasehold tenure or a long-term lease. Many people are confused because the lease is between two parties, the landowner and the tenant. Ground rent is a periodic payment made by a homeowner or tenant to the owner of the land on which the home or building sits. Ground rent is charged based on the number of years that the lease has left. For example, if you have a 50-year ground rent lease, you will pay 50 annual instalments. Ground rent is paid to the landowner by the homeowner or tenant who has leased the land. The ground rent is usually fixed, and the payment amount stays the same over the years.

How Much Does Ground Rent Cost?

The cost of ground rent is usually incorporated into the price of the property and paid by the buyer as part of the purchase. This is generally done as an upfront cost and a down payment for the lease agreement. The amount of money you will have to pay for ground rent will depend on the location and value of the property. Ground rent is usually charged quarterly, monthly or yearly, and the amount will depend on the length of the lease.  Ground rent is often charged as a percentage of the property’s value or market rent. 

What’s Included in Ground Rent?

Ground rent is usually paid to cover maintenance costs and necessary repairs for the building itself.  The lease usually outlines what precisely the ground rent payment covers.

Fixed and Escalating Ground Rent

The length of the lease will also have an impact on the ground rent. If you have a fixed-rate lease, the amount you pay each year remains the same for the entire length of the lease. However, with an escalating lease, the amount you pay each year will increase over time. Therefore, property owners, especially large corporations and real estate companies, often opt to include escalating ground rent clauses in their lease agreements.


Ground rent is a nominal amount paid by the homeowner to the property’s owner (usually a real estate company or developer). It is usually a yearly payment, either on a fixed amount or as a percentage of the property’s value. When you buy a property with ground rent, you have to pay the cost of the rent for the rest of your life. Always read the contract carefully to find out how much ground rent you will be paying and how it will fluctuate. You can also ask the seller for information about the current owner and their right to increase the rent.