Definition of usufruct, usufructuary, bare ownership and bare owner

August 4, 2022

What is usufruct?

Usufruct is the right to enjoy someone else’s house. The ownership is held by the bare owner, who is the person who owns the property.

What types of usufruct are there?

  • Simple: only one person lives there.
  • Multiple: different people enjoy, at the same time or successively, the dwelling.
  • Own: related to real estate.
  • Improper: related to consumable goods.
  • Partial: affects a part of the property.
  • Total: affects the entire property.
  • Legal: that which the law imposes (ex: assets of the deceased).
  • Voluntary: bilateral contract or last will (will).

What is a usufructuary?

A usufructuary is a person who has possession of a property, but not ownership. It is the holder of the usufruct. As he/she is not the owner, he/she cannot sell or give it away without consent.

Rights of the usufructuary:

  • Right to dispose of the usufruct.
  • Right to improve the property.

Obligations of the usufructuary:

  • To preserve the home.
  • To make an inventory before moving into the home.
  • To pay a deposit as a guarantee that he/she will comply with the obligations.
  • To return the home when the usufruct ends.

What is the bare ownership?

The bare ownership is the right of a person to a property of which he/she is the sole owner. He or she has dominion over the property, but does not have possession because there is a usufruct, i.e. he or she cannot live in the property for the time being.

What is a bare owner?

The bare owner is the person who has the ownership of the house. It is limited because there is a usufructuary. The bare owner will become the full owner when the usufruct is extinguished.

How can the usufruct be extinguished?

  • Death of the usufructuary.
  • Expiration of the term (if there is a contract).
  • Consolidation of the usufruct and ownership in the same holder.
  • Renunciation of the usufructuary.
  • Loss or extinction of the dwelling.
  • Termination of the constituent’s right.
  • Prescription for not using the property for the period of time established by law.

What are the rights of the bare owner?

  • The right to recover the house in good condition when the usufruct is extinguished.
  • By maintaining the usufruct, he can sell his bare property.

If the usufructuary is a town, Corporation or Society, the duration of the usufruct will be a maximum of 30 years.

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