Legal Speak Made Easy

“Bare Dominium”

“Bare dominium” is ownership of a property without the right to use it. To put that into perspective, almost all of us have “full ownership” in our properties, so we can both sell them and “use and enjoy” them as we please. But if someone else has a right of usufruct (usually provided for in a will, but sometimes by agreement) over your property they have the usage rights, and you just have the “bare dominium” i.e. ownership and nothing more. The terminology can be complex (you may also come across terms such as usus and habitatio) but the important thing from a practical point of view when buying any property is to check that you will have “full ownership” and not just “bare dominium”.


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