In English law, a fee simple (or fee simple absolute) is an estate in land, a form of freehold ownership. It is the way that real estate is owned in common law countries, and is the highest ownership interest possible that can be had in real property. Allodial title is reserved to governments under a civil law structure.Â
Fee simple ownership represents an ownership interest in real property, though it is limited by government powers of taxation, eminent domain, police power, and escheat, and it could also be limited further by certain encumbrances or conditions in the deed.
Fee simple ownership interest may be limited by government powers through a shift from allodial title to fee simple, such as when uniting with other property owners acceding to zoning restrictions and municipal regulation.