HOW TO BUY A HOUSE OR LAND IN IBEJU LEKKI, LAGOS
Lekki is one of the areas in Lagos State with various vacant lands for development and there are tens of thousands of properties developed or under development in Lekki that are currently being marketed to potential purchasers. Over time, Lekki has become a respectable commercial hub, a residential zone and a go-to tourist spot, thereby making Lekki a rave in the real estate industry. It is interesting because the government often acquires the majority of the lands in Lekki through excision, which is then gazetted. Due diligence and thorough checks must be made before purchasing a home or piece of land in Lekki, and after the property has been properly confirmed, the necessary paperwork must be created to prove the parties’ agreement and transfer title.
HOW TO RESEARCH BEFORE PURCHASING LAND IN LEKKI
A property lawyer should be consulted before moving forward with any purchase of land or a house in Lekki due to the significant risk involved in such a transaction. In general, it is advised that a purchaser shows great care, attention and diligence before contracting to buy a property. Below are places where investigation of property title can be conducted before purchase:
- Register of Lands. In Nigeria, every state has a land registry, which is frequently overseen by the Ministry of Land.
- General Surveyor’s Office. Charting of a property is very crucial in Lekki because so many lands in this area are under one form of government acquisition or land. Charting at the Surveyor General office will reveal whether a property proposed to be purchased has been acquired by the government for any purpose.
- Corporate Affairs Commission. The search at CAC is only relevant where the owner of the property to be purchased is a corporate entity. The C.A.C maintains a record of all charges on limited liability companies in Nigeria. Investigating in the commission will help disclose whether there are any registered charges on a company’s property.
- Physical Examination. It is crucial to physically inspect the proposed property before making the purchase because this will reveal details that cannot be found in a search of any government records, such as whether the vendor has a possessory interest in the land himself and flaws like the property’s proximity to a proposed road or even the ocean.
CONTRACT OF LAND SALE
The contract of sale of land specifies the terms and conditions necessary for the sale and purchase of a property. This document protects parties in a contract, and where there is any occurrence of non-performance by any party, such party will be liable for a breach of contract. The contract of sale of land is an important aspect of property law in Nigeria because the interest in a property is transferred from one party to another.
STAGES INVOLVED IN PROPERTY SALE
Purchasing a home in Lekki, Lagos, involves a number of steps, which are outlined below:
- Pre-Contract Stage: Before purchasing a property in Lekki, it is advisable to have a preliminary meeting with the property owner to discuss the nature of the title on the land, easements, fixtures, restrictive covenants, nature of the transaction, reversionary interests, etc. It is at this stage that the maxim caveat emptor comes in as the vendor is only obliged to disclose latent defects while the purchaser is to look out for the patents defects. Occasionally, there are properties in Lekki that are available for purchase even before they have been built; however, buying off-plan can be very risky.
- Agreement/Contract Stage: Here, the parties have agreed to transfer ownership of the property, but the conditions for this stage have not yet been met. For this stage to be valid, there must be an offer, acceptance, consideration, purpose to create a legal relationship, etc. at this stage, the equitable interest in the property is transferred.
- Post-Contract Stage: This stage involves deducing of title, investigation of vendors title and writing of search report. It is based on the purchaser conducting a comprehensive examination into the root of the title, after which the purchaser’s solicitor prepares a deed of transfer and sends copies to the vendor’s solicitor.
- Completion Stage: As the name suggests, this is when the vendor and vendor finalize their deal, provided that the full purchase price is paid and the property is delivered to the purchaser together with the original title and other relevant paperwork. Legal interest of the property is transferred to the purchaser, subject to perfection of his title. A deed of assignment is made at this stage to evidence the transaction and the original is given to the purchaser.
- The Post-Completion/Perfection Stage: This stage involves obtaining the consent of the Governor, stamping and registration of the legal documents, so as to vest legal title on the purchaser. It is advised that a purchaser obtains the application for the Governor’s consent through the State’s Ministry of Lands. Thereafter, the payment of stamp duties on the approved deed of transfer is made. It is well known that a land transaction is yet to be finalized and legal until the consent of the Governor of the state has been gotten in respect of the transaction.
Finally, purchasing land or a home in Lekki can be a wise financial decision or a chance to find a suitable place to live. But it is crucial that every prospective purchaser conducts due diligence by consulting a professional, especially a property lawyer, who can confirm and ensure a smooth transfer of title, before making a decision.
- ISOCHUKWU MICHAEL
- AYENI OMONIKE