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16 Jan

HOW TO BUY A HOUSE IN LAGOS, NIGERIA AND ITS ACCOMPANYING LAND DOCUMENTS

The purchase of a home in Lagos, Nigeria, requires a number of different land documents. A person, company or institution that plans to buy or sell landed properties in Nigeria must fully grasp and be familiar with the sorts of paperwork that govern land transactions in the country because purchasing a home requires significant activities. In essence, there are six recognized title documents in Nigeria for land, each of which will be discussed in more detail below.

CERTIFICATE OF OCCCUPANCY: It is commonly referred to as the C of O. It is the most significant title document that confirms the genuine and legal ownership of any parcel of land in Lagos. C of O denotes that the State’s Executive Governor has changed the land’s statutory owner. In the case of rural property, the Local Government Chairman of the Council in which the land is located grants the owner a traditional right of occupancy.

It is a widely used and officially recognized land document that attests to the owner’s legal title to the property. For a landowner or a purchaser of land, it is a crucial land document. The C of O typically specifies whether the site will be used for commercial, residential or mixed development purposes. It is given by the State Government to landowners and purchasers of real properties as proof of ownership of land and it leases the land for a specific term of at most 99 years to the applicant.

According to Section 5(1) of the Land Use Act 1978, it is be permissible for the Governor to give the statutory right of occupancy to any person for all purposes with respect to land, whether or not in an urban area. Further in Section 9 of the Act, it is stated that it shall be authorized for the Governor to issue a Certificate of Occupancy under his hand as evidence of such right of occupation where a person is entitled to a statutory right of occupancy.

A Certificate of Occupancy has advantages. Some of which includes granting the legal title owner exclusive possession of the land, allowing it to be used as collateral or security for loans from banks or other financial organizations and preventing claims of multiple ownership. The standards for obtaining the Certificate of Occupancy vary from state to state and are available from the state government where the property is located.

This is the most well-known land title, and most people know it. It is a great title. Investing in land with a Certificate of Occupancy is a very safe thing to do. A Certificate of Occupancy is usually given by the State Government. It means that the State Government has officially leased the piece of land to the applicant for 99 years.

DEED OF ASSIGNMENT It is a contract between a land purchaser and a vendor. It demonstrates that the vendor has given the new purchaser full ownership, title and rights to the land. The purchaser must determine whether or not the deed is registered before purchasing any land in Lagos. Transactions involving property ownership ought to be reported to the Ministry of Lands. By doing this, the Lagos State government is guaranteed to have records of the title status of all the lands under its control. Every deed of assignment filed with the Lagos State Ministry of Lands has been verified. Either a Governor’s consent or a registered conveyance is used. When purchasing land in Lagos, the two most crucial documents are the deed of assignment and the certificate of occupancy.

A Deed of Assignment is a contract between the owner and vendor of the property and the purchaser of the property. It shows that the vendor has given all of his rights, title interest, and ownership to the purchaser. As soon as the deed of assignment is signed and registered at the land registry, the purchaser has full legal ownership of the land or property.

It is a contract between a land purchaser and a vendor. It demonstrates that the vendor has given the new purchaser full ownership, title and rights to the land. The purchaser must determine whether or not the deed is registered before purchasing any land in Lagos. Transactions involving property ownership ought to be reported to the Ministry of Lands. By doing this, the Lagos State government is guaranteed to have records of the title status of all the lands under its control. Every deed of assignment filed with the Lagos State Ministry of Lands has been verified. Either a Governor’s consent or a registered conveyance is used. When purchasing land in Lagos, the two most crucial documents are the deed of assignment and the certificate of occupancy.

Upon the conclusion of a land transaction between an Assignor and Assignee, a Deed of Assignment is prepared and executed in favour of the Assignee to evidence the transfer of the unexpired residue of the land by the Assignor to the Assignee. When purchasing real property, the purchaser owes it to himself to be given the right to request and receive a Deed of Assignment, which serves as proof that the purchaser has acquired legal possession of the property and is a legitimate source of title to the property.

The following crucial details in the Deed of Assignment should be noted by a land purchaser:

  • The parties to the land transaction’s full names, addresses, and status;
  • The date on which the land purchaser received title to the property;
  • It needs to have the complete land description, location, and survey number (if any). For instance, if the land was acquired by a certificate of occupancy or it is a family land passed down from generation to generation, then such information must be expressly stated in the Deed of Assignment;
  • It must also contain the clause that breaks down how the vendor of the land acquired possession of the land and also aids in tracing the history of how the present vendor acquired possession of the land;
  • The agreed-upon purchase price at which the land is being sold to the purchaser constitutes the consideration;
  • Parties shall also agree to any additional terms and conditions relating to the land transaction;
  • It must be properly indicated that the vendor is the land’s beneficial owner;
  • It is necessary to explicitly mention information about the witnesses to the land transaction, such as their name, address, profession, and signature;
  • The document must next be properly signed, sealed and delivered.

The purchaser of the land may perfect his newly acquired title to the property, in cases where a Deed of Assignment has been executed on his behalf, by carrying out the following actions:

  • Securing the approval of the Governor of the State where the land is located.
  • Putting a stamp on the Deed of Assignment at the Land Registry.
  • Having the Deed of Assignment registered with the Lands Bureau Division of the Land’s Registry.

DEED OF LEASE A Deed of Lease is another important land document in Nigeria that creates a possessory interest in land for a fixed period in consideration of rent. In a Deed of Lease, the unexpired residue in the land is not transferred to the Lessee because the Lessor still enjoys a reversionary interest in the land. This essentially means that after the expiration of the period in which the Lessor of the land leases the interest in the land to the Lessee, the interest reverts back to the Lessor.

The most crucial requirement for a Deed of Lease is the certainty of time. Accordingly, the lease must have a beginning date and an end date as it cannot be left to the whims of the parties to the land transaction. A Deed of Lease is an important land document, which must be duly signed and delivered to indicate that a commercial land transaction has been executed between a leaseholder and a third party.

Similar to the items that must be included in a deed of assignment, a deed of lease must likewise include the following:

  • The day the land lease officially began;
  • The parties to the land leasing transaction who should be aware that they must be legal persons that can be sued as well as be sued;
  • Detailed information on the demised land;
  • The agreed-upon time period during which the lease will be in effect. It may be 10, 20, or 50 years, depending on the parties to the land transaction;
  • The Lessee of the leased land transaction reimburses the Lessor for the rent in the consideration clause;
  • The parties will also agree on any additional leasing terms and conditions;
  • It must be properly indicated that the Lessor is the land’s beneficial owner;
  • It is necessary to explicitly mention information about the witnesses to the land transaction, such as their name, address, profession, and signature;
  • The document must next be properly signed, sealed and delivered.

A deed of sub-lease is issued to the third party when a leaseholder in a land lease transaction sub-leases the remaining term of the lease to the third party. For example, if a landowner leases his land to a lessee for a fixed term of 20 years, the lessee may sub-lease the land for a period of time within the same 20 years to a sub-lessee.

DEED OF MORTGAGE This transfers the legal interest in land to another as security, but that interest ends once the obligation has been redeemed. The Mortgagor using his land as security is still the owner of the land as the Mortgagee is only holding the land in custody.

SURVEY PLAN In order to determine the precise size and description of a piece of land, a survey plan is a document that depicts the boundaries of that land. The survey plan is crucial when purchasing any land in Lagos. It displays who actually owns the land. It also reveals whether the site is part of any government-owned or designated regions. Surveyors are in charge of a survey plan. The Lagos Surveyor-General oversees the activities of surveyors and purchase of land in Lagos.

Provides the border measurement and coordinates of a parcel of land, offering a precise measurement and detailed description of the area. The survey plan can also aid to disclose if the land to be transacted is under any government acquisition or not. A property can be sold to a purchaser with only the survey plan as the evidence of ownership in the land. In such a case, the purchaser must conduct a due diligence search at the office of the Surveyor-General to authenticate the true ownership of the survey plan before purchasing the land. The purchaser owes himself the duty of ensuring that his ownership in the land purchase is accurate.

To buy a house in Nigeria, one must understand and be aware that he or she must acquire a good title to the property purchased, which goes beyond paying the purchase price for the land. The aforementioned land documents are an overview of the most well-known and significant documents in a property transaction. Finally, the aforementioned documents are not exhaustive as there may be additional ones necessary for a land transaction depending on the specifics of the property being bought, such as the need for a grant of probate or a letter of administration in cases where the owner of any property being sold has passed away.

CONTRIBUTORS:

  • ISOCHUKWU MICHAEL
  • AYENI OMONIKE

Isochukwu

Quite eccentric really

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