December 28, 2005

Property Law I Didn't Need for the Exam

by PG

(I hope.)

The New York Times's catchphrase roundup for 2005 introduced me to one wholly new word: usufruct.

Still, usufruct could turn out to play a role in the city's recovery. It refers to an obscure concept in Louisiana law under which a person has the right to use and profit from property that belongs to someone else. It may be unfamiliar even to many lawyers because Louisiana law has its roots in the Napoleonic code, a throwback to the time of French rule.

By invoking usufruct, the state could temporarily take control of houses in damaged areas like the Lower Ninth Ward, renovate and rent them out. If the original owners wanted to return, they would be able to re-establish ownership.

Usufruct seems likely to be more important than Kelo, certainly, as the city government appears just to want people to come back and be part of the New Orleans. Rather than desiring to take over property and turn it over to more profitable and taxable purposes, the government would like to see it put to any profitable and taxable purpose. Pfizer probably isn't showing up anytime soon, so NOLA needs the small businesses and residential areas. Though the Wikipedia entry for usufruct categorizes it with more common property terms like "easement" and "right of way," it sounds a lot more complicated than those where the use made of property isn't total (one gets an easement to walk over a neighbor's driveway, not to camp out on it). If the states renovates and rents out these houses and the owners return, do the owners have to compensate the state for the renovations? what if they don't like some of the changes made? what about the tenants?

December 28, 2005 01:42 AM | TrackBack
Comments

Louisiana Usufruct Contracts under the LA. Civil Codes, is a bad move. The Usufructuary Contract holder has abused their contracts for many years. They are only looking for the Naked owners to provide them, not only with a house, they want the Naked Owners to pay for all the repairs and maintenance. Let's Face it, they are FREE LOADERS...Something for nothing! I have a Usufruct Contract in Louisiana and it's been a nightmare for me. The current Civil Codes protect the Usufructuary even if they are in Breach of the Contract! Over the past years, I've spent so much money with Attorney's in that state, and I still don't have one thing resolved with the Usufructuary. They still live in my house free, and refuse to pay a penny to have anything repaired or replaced. The Attorney's stated after spending several thousands of dollars for their service, that my case is untenable. The only way a Naked Owner or a city can Revoke or Terminate the Usufuct Laws is to rewrite the Louisiana Civil Codes Laws to include a fair and balanced Naked Owner Bill-Of-Rights, that would terminate these FREE LOADERS Contracts.

My advise to anyone looking to honor a Usufruct Contract to a family member, is don't do it!! You will be the one that's punished for doing a good deed. Remember, No good deed goes un-punished! Once they get back into the property, After you've paid to have it repaired and remodeled, they will change the locks on the doors and you'll never be welcomed back into your property. Believe me, I speak from experience! They can and will call the Sheriff if you show up with a contractor to make repairs on your property, at your expense. They say that you are distrubing their enjoyment, of the property. They will throw your belongings in the front yard and laugh at you when you try to retreive them. You are dead meat and doomed after you sign your property over to a Usufructuary! Just say NO! HELL NO!!!! Meaning of Usufruct= U-SO _?ucked!!!

Posted by: Joyce Serhan at July 30, 2006 10:23 PM

I am in a situation where, I am the Naked Owner and also 1/2 owner of the usufructuary with my dead brother's wife.
Since I am the Naked Owner and 1/2 interest in the usufructuary, does this entitle me to more rights than her 1/2 of the usufructuary?

Posted by: Luci at May 9, 2007 07:23 PM
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