Engel & Völkers
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What is a usufructuary of a property?

Que significa ser el usufructuario de una vivienda

If you are still not clear about what usufruct is and how it works, this term refers to the right of a beneficiary to enjoy the use of a property without being the owner. The person who takes over the property is called a usufructuary of a propertywhile the one who hands over the property is called the bare owner.
The figure of the usufructuary of a dwelling is common in inheritances inheritances between family members, since, due to some legal precepts, the property and the assets that compose it are established in favour of an heir (generally the spouse), which allows him/her to enjoy it without being the owner.

Rights of the usufructuary of a property

The essential right of the usufructuary is the use and enjoyment of a property. Of course, we are referring to everything that is included in the property; if it has a storage room, garage if there is a storage room, garage, garden, orchard, etc., the usufructuary is also entitled to make use of these facilities.

Among the rights of the usufructuary of a property, there is also the right to be able to rent the property. However, it is possible that an agreement is made between the bare owner and the usufructuary that the latter cannot rent the property. In such cases, the usufructuary can enjoy the property, but not rent or sell it. Therefore, the usufructuary can rent, if there is no prior agreement preventing him/her from doing so.

In short, the widowed spouse is by law the forced heir of the deceased spouse (legal usufructuary share), but does not therefore inherit the property, but is the beneficiary of the usufruct in the proportion determined by law.

Obligations of the usufructuary. Usufructuary who pays the IBI (property tax)

We already know that the usufructuary is entitled to the use of the property and to receive right to the use of the property and to receive its rents and fruits and is also responsible for its taxation. Therefore, if there is any doubt as to who pays the taxes on a usufruct, it is the usufructuary who must pay the taxes. In fact, the usufructuary pays inheritance tax, property tax and other tax obligations tax obligations.

On the other hand, the usufructuary is obliged to draw up an inventory and to appraise all the assets, leaving a record of their condition. Furthermore, the usufructuary is obliged to take care of the goods without damaging them, to pay for their maintenance and upkeep, and to pay his or her taxes. Another obligation is the return of the usufruct at the end of the contract, returning any damaged goods at the end of the contract. In this respect, it should be noted that the usufruct can be established for a duration or for the entire duration of the usufruct life of the beneficiary.

Que es ser usufructuario de una vivienda

How to remove a usufructuary

If our readers are wondering how to remove a usufructuary, remember that it is a figure protected by law, and the usufruct is extinguished by the death of the usufructuary, by the expiry of the established term or by the renunciation of the usufruct.

Legitimate heir and bare ownership

A legitimate heir is the one who by law inherits certain assets, even if there is no will. On the other hand, nuda propiedad is the right that a person has over an asset, even though he/she is not in possession of it because it has been transferred through a right already mentioned, the usufruct.

What to do when the usufructuary dies

In the case of a usufruct for life, if it is extinguished by the death of the usufructuary, we must cancel the right in the Land Registry, providing the corresponding death certificate.

How to make a usufruct of a property

A usufruct can be instituted in several ways: by law, by prescription or by the will of the owner.

When the usufruct falls on real estate by act between living persons, generally the usufruct is established by donation however, usufruct may also be established for valuable consideration, even if the usufruct is extinguished by the death of the usufructuary. A usufruct by contract can be made in two different ways, by alienation and by retention.

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