HOW THE LAW WORKS WHEN BUYING PROPERTY IN LAGOS STATE
Buying property in Lagos state is on the rise, whether it’s for an investment, a business, or a home. It’s also been ranked as one of the best investments. Most people want to buy property in Lagos State because the value of property goes up over time. This is especially true in urban areas like Lekki, where there are a lot of businesses. Lagos state is the commercial capital of Nigeria, and it is also the eighth city in Africa with the fastest growth rate. The world population review says that the number of people living in Lagos state has grown from 1.4 million in 1970 to over 22 million today.
About 5,000 people live in one square kilometer of Lagos state. This makes it one of the most densely populated cities in Africa. It is thought that about 86 people move to Lagos every hour, which is more than 2000 people every day and close to a million people every year. The more people there are, the more business and growth there are.
Reliable reports say that between the end of 2020 and the middle of 2021, property prices in some parts of Lagos rose by more than 40%. Unless something unexpected happens or God does something, the appreciation is likely to keep going up.
Even though buying property in Lagos state could be a good way to make money, it is risky to do so without the right legal and professional advice. There have been reports of people losing money to scams and frauds, which usually end in the loss of money. These problems happen when the purchaser is impatient, careless, greedy and doesn’t do enough research, or doesn’t have the basic knowledge that a property investor needs.
Before you buy a house in Lagos state, there are a few things you need to think about. There are also important things you need to do to avoid getting ripped off by con artists who pose as real estate agents. In the next part of this article, we’ll talk about what you need to do before you can buy a home in Lagos State.
BUYING PROPERTY IN LAGOS: WHAT YOU SHOULD THINK ABOUT FIRST
- Budget. Before you decide to buy property in Lagos state, the first thing you should do is check your “pocket.” This means you need to look at how your money is doing. Know your own value! You can do this by making a list of your assets and debts, figuring out how much money you make, and figuring out how much you can live without for a while without hurting your finances too much. Know how much money you have and how much you can spend. This will help you choose the right type of property and area for your budget. The problem with many potential purchasers is that everyone wants a high-value property at a low price. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a good deal. However, a deal that seems too good to be true may hide a danger that you can’t see. When you make a budget, it’s easy to decide if you want to pay for something all at once or in instalments. There are a lot of homes for sale that have flexible payment plans. Some vendors offer payment plans for as long as five years.
- Whether or not a property is fit for use. Before you buy a piece of property in Lagos state, you should also think about how it can be used. You must first decide why you want to buy the property. You might want the property either to rent it out or to live in it yourself. No matter what, you should look for a place to live that fits your needs. Most of the homes in the Lekki area are in estates that have tight security. Also, if you want to buy a property for business use, one that is close to the road or on the side of the road will be great for visibility and making business easy. Please keep in mind that if you want to buy a property as an investment, it’s always best to buy at the best price. For example, buying a house before it’s built (a property that has not been developed yet).
- Location of the property. The price of homes in Lagos state is often determined by where they are. The mainland and the Island are the two main parts of Lagos. Ikeja, Yaba, Surulere, Apapa, Ogba, Magodo, Iyanapaja, Oshodi, and Agege are all popular places on the mainland, while on the Island, Lekki, Ikate, Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Chevron, Ajah, and other places are popular on the island. Similar properties cost different amounts in each place.
- Environmental factors. You need to find out more about the neighbourhood around the property you want to buy. Check to see if the land is dry or wet. Is it a crowded place? Is it a bad place? Is it locked up? Is it part of a will? What are the rules for a will? Who lives in the neighbourhood and what kind of people do they have? How is the power supply? What taxes and fees do I have to pay? Is it likely to flood? What does the soil look like? Where do the physical limits start and end? What does the water taste and smell like? How close is it to the road, and what’s the traffic like there? Is there a way for water to drain?
- The property’s deeds or title papers. Every piece of real estate either has a title or doesn’t. You should do everything you can to buy a property with a valid title. If you can’t find out who owns a property, it’s best to stay away from it. You might come across a property that doesn’t have a title, but you’ve been told that the paperwork is being worked on. Buying such a property could put you at risk in some ways. For example, if the title isn’t given, you might have to call to get your money back. One important thing to know is that you can’t check a property title or find out who owns it on your own. You need to hire a lawyer to help you with this. A lawyer knows how to help you and what to do.
Some of the most common types of titles documents in Lagos State are:
- Certificate of Occupancy (C of O). This is a piece of paper that the government gives to a land lessee so that they can own and use the land for 99 years. On a piece of land, you can only get one C of O. This means that if a property owner with a Certificate of Occupancy wants to sell his land, another Certificate of Occupancy cannot be given on the same land. The purchaser would need another document, usually a registered deed that shows he owns the land. The state government usually gives a C of O to someone who owns a piece of land or property. It is given to people who owned land in the United States before 1979. State governments also give it to people who live on land owned by the government. When someone buys land from someone else, they don’t need a new certificate of occupancy. Instead, they need a deed of assignment with the governor’s permission.
- Registered Deed. This is a piece of paper that gives the purchaser of a piece of property the right to own it. The document could be a Deed of Assignment or a Deed of Sublease. This paper needs to be signed and stamped before it can be used. Also, the document needs to show that the Governor has given his or her permission. In sales transactions, a Deed of Assignment or Deed of Conveyance is used to permanently transfer land from the vendor (also called the assignor) to the purchaser (also referred to as assignee). It could be written by the assignor and looked over by the assignee, or the other way around.
- Surgery and Newspapers. This is the name given to land in communities that the government used to own but has since given back.
- Court judgment. A court’s decision can also be used as proof of ownership. This is because when there is a disagreement about who owns a piece of property, the court has the power to decide. Before you rely on a court’s decision, it is very important to make sure that the case is over and that there are no appeals left to be heard. The judgment of a court is another important document that can change or give someone else an interest in a certain piece of property. In Nigeria, several legal rights to properties have been moved from one person to another because of decisions made by different courts. When a lawsuit decided who owned a piece of property or a lawsuit was filed over a piece of property, it is important to get a copy of the judgement and read the court’s full decision about the property.
- Approved survey plan. A survey plan is used to show where a piece of land is and how big it is. With the survey document’s descriptions and coordinates, it is easier to find out from the office of the Surveyor-General if the land is actually owned by the government or not.
- Receipt for sale of land. A land purchase receipt is a normal receipt or document that shows that payment has been made for a certain piece of land or property. Most of the time, when a property is sold, the vendor gives the purchaser a receipt. But the receipt may not be needed if there is a clause for receipt in the document that transfers the land.
- Contract of sale. Parties use the contract of sale of land to agree on some terms before the deal is finalized. It is important when anyone buys any kind of property. It is not a document that can be registered and must come before another document that transfers ownership of the property in question.
- Governors Consent. When a piece of land with a Certificate of Occupancy is sold to someone else, that person must now get the Consent of the Governor before the Government will consider the sale legal. A governor’s consent means that the governor agreed to the transaction, which is the transfer of ownership of a piece of land with a certificate of occupancy from one person to another.
- Excision and Gazette. To cut a piece of land is to excise it. This is the process by which the government gives a piece of land back to its original owners so that it can be used to build homes and businesses. When this cut-off piece of land is listed in the official government gazette, it is said to have “Gazette as title”. A piece of land with titles like “Excision” or “Gazette” is safe to buy and build on. The gazette then becomes the land’s title, and this kind of land is safe to buy because it can be given a proper title.
- Deed of Mortgage. Deeds of mortgage are used in mortgage transactions to show that land or property has been transferred from the mortgagor (the borrower) to the mortgagee (lender). It is a temporary transfer because the borrower will be able to get the property back from the lender once the full loan amount and all of the interest has been paid.
- Deed of Gift. It is a piece of paper that shows that someone (the Donor) gave land or property to someone else (the Donee). A deed of gift can be used to give someone a permanent interest in a piece of land.
- Grant of Probate. A grant of probate is a document that shows that the will of a person who has died has been proven in the probate registry. All of the assets in the will are given to the executors of the estate by this document. They are now the legal owners of the property. When a property’s owner dies, all of that person’s property documents are no longer valid to transfer any interest in the assets that person left behind. The Probate will now be the only legal document that can be used to prove that a person has the right to own such property. While probate is given when the person who died left a will behind. The executors are given permission to sell the property of the person who has died leaving a will.
- Letter of Administration. The letter of administration also gives the property that a dead person left behind to the people in charge of the estate. It is usually given to the personal representatives of a person who has died if the person did not leave a will or if the will is no longer valid for some reason. Letters of administration are used when the person who has died did not leave a will.
- Assent. Assent is a legal document that the executors or administrators of an estate use to give the beneficiaries of an estate or any third-party purchaser an interest in a specific estate. It is always sent with a copy of a letter of administration or a grant of probate.
Before buying a home in Lagos state, you should also think about how much it will cost to maintain the property, how reliable your agent is, and how you can make sure the vendor is who they say they are.
The laws that govern buying property in Lagos State, although not exhaustive, are:
- The 1978 Land Use Act
- Lagos State 2015 Administration of Estate Law
- Lagos State Land Registration Law of 2015
- Lagos State Stamp Duty Law of 2015
If you want to buy property in Lagos State, there are some steps you should take.
- Pay someone to do it. When you want to buy a house, you need the help of professionals. You might need to work with a property lawyer, an estate surveyor, or a land surveyor, among other experts.
- A real estate lawyer. It is important to hire a lawyer who knows a lot about Lagos state property law. The lawyer will give you all the legal advice you need and walk you through each step. Classic Attorneys is a law firm that deals with real estate and has experience with property transactions. People often think of buying and selling real estate as nothing more than buying and selling. There’s more to it than meets the eye. There are laws and rules that tell us how to do this. Nigeria’s real estate laws are complicated and could be hard to understand for someone who doesn’t know much about them. Having a property lawyer help you through the process will not only help you avoid making mistakes, but it will also help protect your interests in general.
- An Estate Surveyor and Valuer. An estate surveyor and valuer is a trained professional who knows a lot about the real estate market in the area where he works. Surveyors and valuers of real estate do two things. They act as agents and give helpful information about how much the property is worth on the market. Estate surveyors and valuers can help you choose the right property and figure out how much it’s worth.
- A surveyor of land. A land surveyor knows a lot about how land boundaries work. When buying undeveloped land, it is very important to hire a land surveyor. He or she can help you figure out the boundaries, restrictions, and easements of your land. He or she can also choose the property’s coordinates and ask for charting to make sure the land hasn’t been bought or promised.
- Check out the physical condition. If you can, you should always visit a property you want to buy in Lagos state before you buy it. This way, you can see for yourself if what you have been told about the property is true or not. If you are a Nigerian living outside of Nigeria and want to buy a home in Lagos, you can give a power of attorney to someone to buy the home on your behalf. Your chosen representative can go to the property and do a physical inspection for you. They can also make a video call so you can see the property in real time as well.
- Conduct Due diligence. This is the most important and necessary thing you need to do before you can finish buying a home in Lagos state. Your efforts to do your due diligence should be led by a lawyer. Most of the time, a lawyer has to:
- Go to the land registry of Lagos state
- Go to the registry of deeds
- Go to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)
- Go to the Court of Law
- Go to the office of the Surveyor General
- Go to the office of the community leader
- Go to the office of the previous owner
- Closure. After the due diligence is done and the title to the property has been checked, the next step is to close the deal. During the closing, the title has to be transferred from the vendor to the purchaser. Transferring the property’s title is the process of giving the purchaser the rights to own the property. The transfer is made with a document called a deed of assignment, deed of lease, or sublease. Both the vendor and the purchaser must sign the document in front of witnesses.
Documents needed at the end are:
- A receipt for buying land
- Agreement to sell land
- Map of the area
- Registered certificate of occupancy
- Mortgage deed (where it is a mortgaged property)
- A gift deed (where it is a gifted property)
- Probate (where the property is inherited with a will)
- Letter of Authority (where it is an inherited without a will)
- Court’s decision.
- Register your title. Under Section 22 of the Land Use Act, it is illegal to transfer a land interest without the permission of the Governor of the state where the land is.
The first step to making the title official is to ask the Governor’s permission.
To ask the Governor for permission, you need the following papers:
• Filled out form 1c
• Certificate of title
• A copy of the deed of assignment in its original form.
• Proof that the Charting and Endorsement Fee has been paid.
• Site Where the Property Is
• Make a copy of your ID card
• Photos for passports
• Application Letter
• Picture of the place
Once permission has been given, the land must be registered at the land registry. The law on land registration in Lagos state says that any document that can be registered must be registered within 60 days of getting permission from the Governor. Registration is the only way to finish the transfer of title.
Even though buying property in Lagos state sounds easy, it must be done with great care and attention to detail, and a lawyer is an important part of this process.