The usufruct it is a real right to enjoy something that belongs to someone else, without having the right to alter its substance. This means you can’t sell it. The owner of the usufruct is not the owner but the one who has tenure. For example: life usufruct, voluntary usufruct, legal usufruct.
This means that without owning something, the beneficiary of the usufruct can obtain benefits and make use of that good.
The usufruct represents a temporary dismemberment of the domain. The owner only retains the right to dispose of his property, but does not benefit from it.
The usufruct arose with the Roman Law. The objective was to allow the widow to have a means of support from the profits obtained from her husband’s properties without affecting the inheritance of the children.
When a usufruct is made, the usufructuary must make a inventory of goods, appraise them, and present a guarantee that allows repairing the loss or deterioration of the goods. The usufructuary must also pay all the expenses of conservation, maintenance and ordinary repairs that are necessary, as well as taxes.
When does a usufruct end?
- The usufructuary dies (in cases of life usufruct)
- The condition that started the usufruct is met.
- The usufructuary buys the property, that is, he becomes the owner.
- The usufructuary waives the usufruct.
- The thing that is usufruct is lost.
- When the good is not used for a certain period of time. The length of this period depends on the legislation of each country.
Examples of usufruct
- Usufruct for life. Gives the right to the use and benefit of an asset until the death of the usufructuary.
Example: A widow can use the profits of a company that had been owned by her husband and is now owned by her children.
- Usufruct of real estate. It allows to enjoy goods that have a fixed situation, that is to say that they cannot be displaced. They usually refer to houses, land, land, apartments, factories, commercial premises.
Example: you can make use of a house by living in it or renting it, but you cannot sell it.
- voluntary usufruct. They are constituted by the will of the parties.
Example: if a contract is signed for a farmer to cultivate land owned by another and sell or consume their products.
- legal usufruct. Established by legal provision.
Example: if the legislation of a country determines that every widower or widower shall enjoy lifelong usufruct of the property of the spouse.
- Tangible and intangible assets
- Free and cheap goods