Question posted in the Property Law category relating to Western Cape
Question value: R 200.00
Are Usefructory rights ONLY confered in the event of the death of the person that bequeths such? OR can one enjoy full usefructory rights whilst the original property owner is still alive?
My Ex wife (in financial difficulty) owns a bonded property and wants me to redeem the bond in exchange for lifelong usage of a granny flat on the property.
Answer to the Question
Hi there and thank you for your question,
Usufruct means the right to use and enjoy the profits and advantages of something belonging to another, as long as the property is not damaged or altered in any way. To bequeath usufruct to someone is a common way of providing for your next of kin after your death.
A usufruct is often described as a life interest someone acquires in terms of a will: "It gives the usufructuary the right to use and enjoy specific assets of the estate for the term stipulated by the testator in the Will."
BUT, a usufruct may be granted to a usufructuary during the life of the property owner!
So, your ex-wife WILL be able to give you a usufruct right over the granny flat on her property in exchange for some sort of payment from you. She would then use that payment (I assume) to assist in settling the arrears on her bond.
In order to formalise this, I would suggest that you make an appointment to speak to a conveyancing attorney and ask them to assist in having the usufruct registered against the title deed of the property. It should be important to know that you will need to obtain the bank's consent to register the usufruct, simply because they already have a registered mortgage bond over the property.
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