Right of occupancy in Spain

1. What is a right of occupancy in Spain

The personal right of occupancy is named «Usufructo» in Spain. It is the personal right that entitles someone to live in a home, which belongs to another person.

The holder of the right of occupancy neither can sell the property nor place a lien upon it such a mortgage, however, he is entitled to rent the property and to get the proceeds from the rent.

The right of occupancy might be extinguished in the following cases:

  • When the holder of the right dies or acquires the property becoming the owner thereof.
  • When the right is repudiated.
  • When the property is not used by the holder of the right for 30 years.

Once the right of occupancy ends, the holder shall return the property subject to the right to his owner.

2. The duties of the holder of the right of occupancy

Some of the duties that the holder of the right of occupancy have are as follows:

  • To guarantee the property to cover the cost of any damage caused. Should he not comply with this duty, he may be forbidden from the use of the property.
  • Take good care of the property to which use is entitled.
  • He is responsible for the upkeep of the property.
  • To pay all taxes and liens which arise while the property is in his possession, i.e.:  the real estate tax…

3. Types of rights of occupancy in Spain

There are two kinds of usufructs:

The voluntary one: The parties set up this right, and it is designated through a deed. It can be a lifetime right of occupancy, which allows them to occupy the property for as long as they are alive.

The legal right of occupancy: Spanish law provides sometimes compulsory rights of occupancy, such as the one that the surviving spouse receives of the estate’s distribution in Spain.

4. Get Legal Help

Get legal advice regarding your right of occupancy. A legal professional in Spain may examine your situation and weigh your options.

Ask an English-speaking Spanish lawyer.


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