usufruct

Usufruct describes using someone else's property as long as you don't harm it. City gardeners, who are known for planting vegetable patches in empty lots, assume the right of usufruct.

Usufruct, pronounced "YOO-zuh-fruct," was an aspect of ancient Roman law which stated that citizens could use and even profit from another person's land or property as long as it wasn't wasted or destroyed. Various countries still use usufruct as a way to allow people to use land they don't own or as part of inheritance law. The word usufruct comes from the Latin phrase usus et fructus: "use and enjoyment."

Definitions of usufruct
  1. noun
    a legal right to use and derive profit from property belonging to someone else provided that the property itself is not injured in any way
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    type of:
    legal right
    a right based in law
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