The surface: The real right that can solve the current problem of access to land and housing

Project: Research

Project Details

Project summary

Real estate development faces two delicate situations, the scarcity of land and the corresponding rise in prices, presenting the land as an inaccessible good, which has determined the resurgence of an old real right, the surface, framing itself as an efficient alternative in the start-up of buildings without the need to lease or acquire land, which boosts investment in real estate projects and businesses, manifestly reducing initial investment costs, improving flows and increasing the profitability of projects. However, its inorganic legal treatment, the scarce local doctrine and the lack of diffusion have not allowed the adequate and effective use of this important legal institution whose function is to allow access to the land to build and carry out various real estate projects, commercial and infrastructure within an adequate urban planning policy.


The surface is a real right that offers multiple possibilities for the construction market. It is versatile, it adapts to the needs of the investments according to the interest of the owner of the land and its owner. It allows non-owners to build on land belonging to a third party in exchange for a consideration. I build, saving the cost of the property, to invest directly in the start-up of the project. Being a real right of long life (the most extensive of all) it will allow to recover the investment of the factory. It is efficient, it allows a direct use of the land, transferring it to whoever can get a direct and immediate benefit from it.
The right of surface in the last decades has been reborn. As a legal institution, it is economically justified by the need to avoid the maintenance of inactive capital and to ensure the individual interest of the owner who, if he cannot or does not want to exploit the soil or subsoil himself, must not stop obtaining usefulness of the good; Thus, the surface tends so that the property achieves its community purpose, hence we can say that it is a right endowed with a clear social function that in terms of housing seeks to combat inequality and poverty (socialization of the land).

Interesting legal figure for real estate traffic, the surface works as an option against leasing, usufruct or the classic property that, in certain situations, are not the most suitable vehicles to carry out investments that require a quick or medium return. It is a right that goes hand in hand with new real estate and infrastructure projects in which profitability is prioritized, which is a business with minimal risk and less investment.

In general, the surface as an institute of civil law has sufficient flexibility to allow construction in the subsoil (commercial premises), on the ground (parking lots) or on the ground (building). As a typical right in rem, it is intended in favor of the owner and its owner. The first does not lose property; the second takes advantage of the good of another by building on it, becoming the owner of the factory; both with full rights over their assets, of use, enjoyment and disposal.
Short titlesurface right
Effective start/end date1/04/2231/03/23


  • Universidad de Lima: PEN50,000.00


  • Surface
  • Real right
  • surface property
  • Building
  • real estate accession
  • living place
  • Ground

Research areas and lines

  • Poverty and inequality
  • Finance and investment projects
  • Housing and construction

Kind of research

  • Applied


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