What is usufruct?

From the Latin usufructus, usufruct is the utility or benefit obtained from a thing. For example: “The usufruct granted by the business is very large, so there are so many interested in participating in the project”.

In the judicial sphere, usufruct is the right to enjoy the assets of others with the obligation to preserve them. This means that the usufructuary owns the property in question (has possession), can use it and obtain its fruits, but is not its owner (not the owner). The usufructuary, therefore, does not have the right to dispose of or diminish the property without the owner’s permission. Only the latter can dispose of the good, encumber it or sell it, according to his will.

The usufruct presupposes the temporary dismemberment of the domain of a property, since its owner cannot enjoy it while the right to obtain its utilities belongs to the usufructuary. That is, the benefit of the owner will occur in the future, when the usufruct ends. It is possible to distinguish between simple usufruct (when it is enjoyed by a single person) and multiple usufruct (the good is enjoyed by several people, successively or simultaneously). Another classification of usufruct makes it possible to distinguish between partial usufruct (the usufructuary can only make use of a part of the property) and total usufruct (affects the property in its entirety). Finally, legal usufruct is imposed by law, while voluntary usufruct develops from an act of will (will) or a bilateral contract. The usufructuary is entitled to: * Use and enjoy the good. As there are things that cannot be used without being consumed, it is common that in different regulations a moderate level of consumption is allowed;

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* perceive the fruits that the thing generates. Note that even when the usufruct benefits begin to be generated before their constitution, they are the property of the usufructuary. Likewise, in cases where the aforementioned fruits begin to be produced in the usufruct but must be collected after their completion, they must be received by the owner;

* fully enjoy its usufruct right, being able to dispose of it, lease it and tax it;

* make the improvements you wish to the property, provided that its form or essence is not altered, and knowing that you will not be compensated at the end of the usufruct. On the other hand, you are required to:

* preserve the form and substance of the good; in other words, not to damage or destroy it, unless it concerns consumer goods, such as the land to be exploited. To achieve this objective, the usufructuary must fulfill the maintenance tasks of the usufructuary property;

* take inventory before starting to enjoy the thing;

* Deliver a deposit to guarantee the owner the fulfillment of his obligations. Testamentary usufruct is the only case in which this point is generally ignored;

* return the property as soon as the usufruct ends. The usufruct may be terminated if: * the usufructuario dies. This occurs with lifetime usufructo, which establishes that the beneficiaries will be able to use the bien mientras vivan;

* the term expires (as if the usufruct is terminated) or if the resolution condition is fulfilled (as it is established in the conditional usufruct);

* the usufructo and the property are consolidated under a titleholder;

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* the usufructuary waives his rights and obligations;

* if it is lost or extinguished, the exception of the cases in which the bien is replaced is replaced by an indemnity or by other things;

* the right of the person who creates and establishes the usufruct is resolved;

* prescribe the treatment, when the usufructuario does not use it during the time that it has been established by law.

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