UsufructJan 19, 2010
A Usufruct is a real right by virtue of which a person is given the opportunity to enjoy the property of another with the concomitant obligation of preserving the property unless otherwise agreed upon. Although it is a Civil law concept tracing its origin to Roman law it still finds wide application in the present. It may be likened to a lease agreement except it entails more rights and privileges not present in leasehold. Being a real right, a Usufruct must be registered with the Land Office. Upon registration of the Usufruct, the person on whose favor it was constituted, or Usufructuary, is entitled to the enjoyment of the land. A usufruct may be constituted either for a specific period of time or for the life of the Usufructuary. It is presumed that a usufruct was constituted on the life of the Usufructuary if no period was agreed upon. The ownership of the land on which a Usufruct has been constituted is prohibited from being transferred from one person to another. The Usufructuary is allowed to rent out the property and therefore acquire rent income from it. The Usufructuary however, is required to perform the following duties: maintain the property in proper condition, refrain from making any major alterations on the property, pay for the destruction or depreciation of the property unless the exercise of ordinary prudence can be proven and ensure the property. Once the Usufruct is terminated, the land reverts back to its owner.