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Paul was extremely excited about his first year of law school. As he quickly glanced over his syllabus for Real Property Law, he saw several terms he had never seen before. One of the terms that caught Paul’s eye was “usufruct.” Paul decided to do some preliminary research on the topic.

What Is Usufruct?

The meaning of the term “usufruct” is the right of enjoying a thing, the property of which is vested in another, and to draw from the same all the profit, utility, and advantage that it may produce, provided it be without altering the substance of the thing. The person who has the right and enjoyment of a usufruct is known as a “usufructuary.”

What Are the Kinds of Usufruct?

There are two kinds of usufruct: perfect and imperfect. Perfect usufruct refers to things the usufructuary can enjoy without altering their substance. It does not matter that their substance may be diminished or deteriorated naturally by time or by virtue of the use of the usufructuary. Such things include a house, land, and animals. An imperfect usufruct, also known as a “quasi usufruct,” refers to things that would be useless if the usufructuary did not consume and expend them and change the substance of them. Some examples of items subject to an imperfect usufruct are money, grain, and liquors.

Does a Usufructuary Have Any Obligations or Duties?

Yes. A usufructuary has a duty to make an inventory of the things subject to the usufruct and do so in the presence of those having an interest in the things. Moreover, the usufructuary has a duty to give security for the restitution of the things when the usufruct comes to an end. The usufructuary must also take good care of the things at issue. The usufructuary must also pay all taxes and/or claims that arise during the usufruct. Lastly, the usufructuary must make any necessary repairs at his or her own expense.

Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.


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