The usufructuary is the person who has the right to enjoy other people's assets, but with the obligation to preserve them and to respond to the damages caused to those assets.

To understand the figure of the usufructuary it is necessary to know what the usufruct is.

The usufruct is about the right to enjoy goods that are not owned by that person, having to preserve either its form or substance, being responsible for them. It is a right of possession and not of property.

Usufruct and bare ownership

When the right of usufruct falls on the property over a good, we find this partition:

Characteristics of the usufruct

Certain characteristics of the usufruct are:

  • The property of the usufruct is not the patrimony of the usufructuary but of the bare owner.
  • It is a temporary right, it cannot be indefinite.
  • The usufructuary can be a natural person or a legal person.

Constitution of the usufruct

This right of usufruct usually arises from the cause of death. For example, a person dies leaving a widow and a child and in the will allows the widow to have the usufruct of the habitual residence until her death. This is also called a legal usufruct.

This means that the property of that house belongs to the son, but until the death of the widow she will have the usufruct, the right to enjoy that real estate without having that right being disturbed.

The usufruct may also be born by an onerous contract (a sale of the right).

Purpose of the usufruct

On what can this usufruct fall?

  • All kinds of goods and rights, except the very personal ones, such as the right to food.
  • About a credit.

Rights of the usufructuary

  • Enjoy the good.
  • Enjoy the fruits granted by that asset that is under the usufruct (we imagine that you have in usufruct some agricultural land and onions are planted, that fruit will be for the usufructuary).
  • The usufructuary does not have to pay the tax charges of the object of the usufruct, since the owner responds.
  • The usufructuary does not have to pay the debts that the object of the usufruct has, responds the owner.
  • The usufructuary does not have to pay for extraordinary repairs, as it is the owner's obligation.

Rights of the usufructuary

  • The usufructuary must pay a bond.
  • The usufructuary must make an inventory of the assets that make up the usufruct.
  • The usufructuary is liable for damages caused in the usufruct if he has been negligent.
  • The usufructuary has the obligation to face the ordinary repairs required by the object of the usufruct for natural use of the thing.
  • The usufructuary has the obligation to pay the taxes on the fruits.

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