Louisiana Civil Code

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SECTION 3 - OBLIGATIONS OF THE USUFRUCTUARY

Art. 570. The usufructuary shall cause an inventory to be made of the property subject to the usufruct. In the absence of an inventory the naked owner may prevent the usufructuary's entry into possession of the property.

The inventory shall be made in accordance with the rules established in Articles 3131 through 3137 of the Code of Civil Procedure. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1]

Art. 571. The usufructuary shall give security that he will use the property subject to the usufruct as a prudent administrator and that he will faithfully fulfill all the obligations imposed on him by law or by the act that established the usufruct unless security is dispensed with. If security is required, the court may order that it be provided in accordance with law. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1; Acts 2004, No. 158, §1]

Art. 572. The security shall be in the amount of the total value of the property subject to the usufruct.

The court may increase or reduce the amount of the security, on proper showing, but the amount shall not be less than the value of the movables subject to the usufruct. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1]

Art. 573. A. Security is dispensed with when any of the following occur:

(1) A person has a legal usufruct under Civil Code Article 223 or 3252.

(2) A surviving spouse has a legal usufruct under Civil Code Article 890 unless the naked owner is not a child of the usufructuary or if the naked owner is a child of the usufructuary and is also a forced heir of the decedent, the naked owner may obtain security but only to the extent of his legitime.

(3) A parent has a legal usufruct under Civil Code Article 891 unless the naked owner is not a child of the usufructuary.

(4) A surviving spouse has a legal usufruct under Civil Code Article 2434 unless the naked owner is a child of the decedent but not a child of the usufructuary.

B. A seller or donor of property under reservation of usufruct are not required to give security. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1; Acts 2004, No. 158, §1; Acts 2010, No. 881, §1, eff. Jul. 2, 2010]

Art. 574. A delay in giving security does not deprive the usufructuary of the fruits derived from the property since the commencement of the usufruct. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1; Acts 2010, No. 881, §1, eff. Jul. 2, 2010]]

Art. 575. If the usufructuary does not give security, the court may order that the property be delivered to an administrator appointed in accordance with Articles 3111 through 3113 of the Code of Civil Procedure for administration on behalf of the usufructuary. The administration terminates if the usufructuary gives security. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1; Acts 2010, No. 881, §1, eff. Jul. 2, 2010]

Art. 576. The usufructuary is answerable for losses resulting from his fraud, default, or neglect. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1]

Art. 577. The usufructuary is responsible for ordinary maintenance and repairs for keeping the property subject to the usufruct in good order, whether the need for these repairs arises from accident or force majeure, the normal use of things, or his fault or neglect.

The naked owner is responsible for extraordinary repairs, unless they have become necessary as a result of the usufructuary's fault or neglect in which case the usufructuary is bound to make them at his cost. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1. Amended by Acts 1979, No. 157, §1; Acts 2010, No. 881, §1, eff. Jul. 2, 2010]

Art. 578. Extraordinary repairs are those for the reconstruction of the whole or of a substantial part of the property subject to the usufruct. All others are ordinary repairs. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1]

Art. 579. During the existence of the usufruct, the naked owner may compel the usufructuary to make the repairs for which the usufructuary is responsible.

The usufructuary may not compel the naked owner to make the extraordinary repairs for which the owner is responsible. If the naked owner refuses to make them, the usufructuary may do so, and he shall be reimbursed without interest by the naked owner at the end of the usufruct. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1]

Art. 580. If, after the usufruct commences and before the usufructuary is put in possession, the naked owner incurs necessary expenses or makes repairs for which the usufructuary is responsible, the naked owner has the right to claim the cost from the usufructuary and may retain the possession of the things subject to the usufruct until he is paid. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1; Acts 2010, No. 881, §1, eff. Jul. 2, 2010] 

Art. 581. The usufructuary is answerable for all expenses that become necessary for the preservation and use of the property after the commencement of the usufruct. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1; Acts 2010, No. 881, §1, eff. Jul. 2, 2010]

Art. 582. The usufructuary may release himself from the obligation to make repairs by abandoning the usufruct or, with the approval of the court, a portion thereof, even if the owner has instituted suit to compel him to make repairs or bear the expenses of them, and even if the usufructuary has been cast in judgment.

He may not release himself from the charges of the enjoyment during the period of his possession, nor from accountability for the damages that he, or persons for whom he is responsible, may have caused. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1]

Art. 583. Neither the usufructuary nor the naked owner is bound to restore property that has been totally destroyed through accident, force majeure, or age.

If the naked owner elects to restore the property or to make extraordinary repairs, he shall do so within a reasonable time and in the manner least inconvenient and onerous for the usufructuary. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1; Acts 2010, No. 881, §1, eff. Jul. 2, 2010]

Art. 584. The usufructuary is bound to pay the periodic charges, such as property taxes, that may be imposed, during his enjoyment of the usufruct. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1; Acts 2010, No. 881, §1, eff. Jul. 2, 2010]

Art. 585. The usufructuary is bound to pay the extraordinary charges that may be imposed, during the existence of the usufruct, on the property subject to it. If these charges are of a nature to augment the value of the property subject to the usufruct, the naked owner shall reimburse the usufructuary at the end of the usufruct only for the capital expended. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1]

Art. 586. When the usufruct is established inter vivos, the usufructuary is not liable for debts of the grantor, but if the debt is secured by an encumbrance of the thing subject to the usufruct, the thing may be sold for the payment of the debt. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1; Acts 2010, No. 881, §1, eff. Jul. 2, 2010]

Art. 587. When the usufruct is established mortis causa, the usufructuary is not liable for estate debts, but the property subject to the usufruct may be sold for the payment of estate debts, in accordance with the rules provided for the payment of the debt of an estate in Book III of this Code. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1; Acts 2010, No. 881, §1, eff. Jul. 2, 2010]

Art. 588. When property subject to a usufruct established inter vivos is encumbered to secure a debt before the commencement of the usufruct, the usufructuary may advance the funds needed to discharge the indebtedness. If he does so, the naked owner shall reimburse the usufructuary, without interest, at the termination of the usufruct, for the principal of the debt the usufructuary has discharged, and for any interest the usufructuary has paid that had accrued on the debt before the commencement of the usufruct. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1; Acts 2010, No. 881, §1, eff. Jul. 2, 2010]

Art. 589. If the usufructuary of a usufruct established mortis causa advances funds to discharge an estate debt charged to the property subject to the usufruct, the naked owner shall reimburse the usufructuary, without interest, at the termination of the usufruct, but only to the extent of the principal of the debt he has discharged and for any interest he has paid that had accrued on the debt before the commencement of the usufruct. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1; Acts 2010, No. 881, §1, eff. Jul. 2, 2010]

Art. 590. If the usufructuary fails or refuses to advance the funds needed to discharge a debt secured by property subject to the usufruct, or an estate debt that is charged to the property subject to the usufruct, the naked owner may advance the funds needed. If he does so, the naked owner may demand that the usufructuary pay him interest during the period of the usufruct. If the naked owner does not advance the funds, he may demand that all or part of the property be sold as needed to discharge the debt. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1; Acts 2010, No. 881, §1, eff. Jul. 2, 2010]

Art. 591. If property subject to the usufruct is sold to pay an estate debt, or a debt of the grantor, the usufruct attaches to any proceeds of the sale of the property that remain after payment of the debt. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1; Acts 2010, No. 881, §1, eff. Jul. 2, 2010]

Art. 592. If there is more than one usufructuary of the same property, each contributes to the payment of estate debts that are charged to the property in proportion to his enjoyment of the property. If one or more of the usufructuaries fails to advance his share, those of them who advance the funds shall have the right to recover the funds they advance from those who do not advance their shares. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1; Acts 2010, No. 881, §1, eff. Jul. 2, 2010]

Art. 593. Unless there is a governing testamentary disposition, the legacy of an annuity that is chargeable to property subject to a usufruct is payable first from the fruits and products of the property subject to the usufruct and then from the property itself. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1; Acts 1990, No. 706, §1; Acts 2010, No. 881, §1, eff. Jul. 2, 2010]

Art. 594. Court costs in actions concerning the property subject to the usufruct are taxed in accordance with the rules of the Code of Civil Procedure. Expenses of litigation other than court costs are apportioned between usufructuaries and naked owners in accordance with the following Articles. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1; Acts 2010, No. 881, §1, eff. Jul. 2, 2010]

Art. 595. Parents who have a legal usufruct of the property of their children are bound for expenses of litigation concerning that property, in the same manner as if they were owners of it; but reimbursement may be ordered by the court at the termination of the usufruct in cases in which inequity might otherwise result. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1]

Art. 596. Conventional usufructuaries are bound for expenses of litigation with third persons concerning the enjoyment of the property. Expenses of litigation with third persons concerning both the enjoyment and the ownership are divided equitably between the usufructuary and the naked owner. Expenses of litigation between the usufructuary and the naked owner are borne by the person who has incurred them. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1]

Art. 597. The usufructuary who loses a predial servitude by nonuse or who permits a servitude to be acquired on the property by prescription is responsible to the naked owner. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1]

Art. 598. If, during the existence of the usufruct, a third person encroaches on the immovable property or violates in any other way the rights of the naked owner, the usufructuary must inform the naked owner. When he fails to do so, he shall be answerable for the damages that the naked owner may suffer. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1]

Art. 599. When the usufruct includes a herd of animals, the usufructuary is bound to use it as a prudent administrator and, from the increase of the herd, replace animals that die. If the entire herd perishes without the fault of the usufructuary, the loss is borne by the naked owner. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1]

Art. 600. The usufructuary may dispose of individual animals of the herd, subject to the obligation to deliver to the naked owner at the end of the usufruct the value that the animals had at the time of disposition.

The usufructuary may also dispose of the herd or of a substantial part thereof, provided that he acts as a prudent administrator. In such a case, the proceeds are subject to the provisions of Article 618. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1]

Art. 601. The usufructuary may remove all improvements he has made, subject to the obligation of restoring the property to its former condition. He may not claim reimbursement from the owner for improvements that he does not remove or that cannot be removed. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1; Acts 2010, No. 881, §1, eff. Jul. 2, 2010]

Art. 602. The usufructuary may set off against damages due to the owner for the destruction or deterioration of the property subject to the usufruct the value of improvements that cannot be removed, provided they were made in accordance with Article 558. [Acts 1976, No. 103, §1]

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