The usufruct is a real right of enjoyment or enjoyment of a foreign property. The person who owns this right is the holder of the object, but not its owner or proprietor. Therefore, you can use it, enjoy it or take advantage of its fruits, without having property rights over it. The word usufruct derives from Latin: usus fructus, "Use of the fruit."

Usufruct is very important in economics since despite having property rights over a good, it cannot be enjoyed. It is essential to understand that usufruct implies the use and enjoyment of something. However, having an object in usufruct does not mean being its owner. Therefore, by not having the object in property, the usufructuary will not be able to sell the thing.

It is very frequent when an inheritance takes place, since inheriting can entail the right to use and enjoy the assets in situations of widowhood. A property can be sold from one person to another without the buyer being able to enjoy the home, because the usufruct right is in the hands of the widow. In these cases, the owner has what is known as bare ownership of the home, while the usufructuary has the right of usufruct.

But there is not only the usufruct of a home. There are other types, such as the usufruct of shares, where the bare owner will have the quality of partner, while the usufructuary will have the right to receive dividends.

Usufruct classes

  • Simple or multiple: It will be simple if one person enjoys it and multiple if the right is enjoyed by several people.
  • Proper and improper: We will speak of own usufruct if it falls on real estate or non-consumable, on the contrary, it will be improper if the right falls on consumable goods.
  • Partial or total: There is partial use and enjoyment if it falls on a part of the good, while the enjoyment will be total if the right is held on the whole of the good.
  • Legal or voluntary: There will be legal usufruct when the usufruct is established in a law, while it will be voluntary if there is a contract or will.

Rights and duties of the usufructuary

Fundamentally, the usufructuary has the right to use the good, also in some cases to enjoy the products that this good produces and can even improve the good.

The obligations of the usufructuary will be to keep the thing in good condition, deliver the property once the period of usufruct ends and deliver a surety, if so agreed.

When does the usufruct end?

The usufruct right can end for any of these four reasons:

  • Death of the usufructuary.
  • End of the usufruct period agreed in the contract.
  • Waiver of the right of use and enjoyment.
  • Loss of the thing over which you had the right to use and enjoy.

Once the usufruct right ends, the thing must be delivered in good condition.

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