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    LCC Art. 577. Liability for repairs.
    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, from the normal use of the things, or from 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.

    LCC Art. 578. Ordinary and extraordinary repairs.
    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.

    LCC Art. 579. Rights of action for repairs.
    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.

    LCC Art. 583. Ruin from accident or decay.
    Neither the usufructuary nor the naked owner is bound to restore property that has been totally destroyed through accident or because of age.
    If the naked owner elects to restore the property or to make extraordinary repairs, he must do so within reasonable time and in the manner least inconvenient and onerous for the usufructuary.
    Acts 1976, No. 103, §1.

    LCC Art. 613. Loss, extinction, or destruction of property.
    The usufruct of nonconsumables terminates by the permanent and total loss, extinction, or destruction through accident or decay of the property subject to the usufruct.
    Acts 1976, No. 103, §1.

    LCC Art. 627. Right of retention.
    Upon termination of the usufruct, the usufructuary or his heirs have the right to retain possession of the property until reimbursed for all expenses and advances for which they have recourse against the owner or his heirs.
    Acts 1976, No. 103, §1.

    Facts: Usufructuary had a conventional lifetime residential usfruct of land & home in NOLA. Naked Owner lives in California. Usufructuary living in exile in Alabama. There is no family relationship between usufructuary and naked owner, although both were related to usufruct grantor. Usufructuary’s request to naked owner to join in Road Home application refused by naked owner. Home was assessed 51% damaged in Katrina by the City. Usufructuary applied solo. Usufructuary obtained Road Home grant. In addition to usufruct of subject property, usufructuary also owns an unimproved lot in same neighborhood.

    Question 1: Would the City’s 51% damage assessment satisfy the requirements of Article 583 so as to cut off the naked owner’s legal, although unenforceable, obligation of extraordinary repair/restoration?

    Question 2:  Would the City’s 51% damage assessment satisfy the requirements of Article 613 so as to terminate the usufruct of the nonconsumable?

    Question 3: Assuming that the answers to the 1st two questions are No, is there any obligation, law or rule that would require a conventional usufructuary to use public funds (Road Home Grant) to satisfy the legal obligations of the naked owner to restore the subject improvement, as opposed to using the funds to build a home on the lot owned by the usfructuary?

    Question 4: If the usufructuary were to use the grant to restore the subject property, would the usufructuary’s estate have the right to retain the property until reimbursed w/o interest from the naked owner?

    Question 5: What impact, if any, would the naked owner’s unilateral demolition of the subject improvement have on the scenario?



    You have asked several questions requiring a legal opinion which we are not allowed to give. We can only give advice from our experiences with various aspects of the legal system.

    The situation you have described requires the assistance of an attorney experienced in that field.

    Thanks for posting with La-Legal

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