Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Usufruct Definition:

The rights to the product of another's property.

John Bouvier defines this civil law term as:

"The right of enjoying a thing the property of which belongs to another, and to draw from the same all the profit, utility and advantage which it may produce, provided it be without altering the substance of the thing."

The Québec Civil Code, at §1120 and on, defines usufruct as a form of limited ownership:

"Usufruct is the right of use and enjoyment, for a certain time, of property owned by another as one's own, subject to the obligation of preserving its substance....

"No usufruct may last longer than 100 years."

In R v Smith, Justice Estey of Canada's Supreme Court adopted these words to define usufruct:

"The right of temporary possession, use, or enjoyment of the advantages of property belonging to another, so far as may be had without causing damage or prejudice to it."

For example, a farmer may give a right of usufruct of his land to a neighbor, thus enabling that neighbor to sow and reap the harvest of that land.

The person receiving the usufruct is called the usufructuary.

French: usufruit.

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