WHAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT BUYING A HOME IN NIGERIA
Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria, means almost everything when it comes to property business or deals. Lagos is the centre of Nigeria’s real estate business, which is why investors both big and small, from Nigeria and other countries, see it as a place to invest. Even though the city feeds people by giving them chances to make huge, sometimes unimaginable returns on their investments, it also eats them, and many people have burned their fingers trying to get a piece of what they think is a great investment asset class.
This is why “purchasers should beware” and try to learn as much as they can about what they need to know and do before buying property in this city of many colours. These are especially important so that the purchaser can buy and go to sleep.
A property purchaser needs to know about the state’s (simplified) conveyancing process, as well as the Lagos Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) Law, the Land Use Charge of 2018, and the Land Registration Law.
Most important papers needed to buy a house, such as:
- Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) is a document that the government gives to the person who rents land and lets them own and use it 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 also need another document, usually the Governor’s Consent that shows he owns the land.
- The Governor signs a document called “Governor’s Consent” when he or she agrees to the transfer of property from one person to another. This is especially important when a lot of people buy land at the same time from the same agent. The state government says that this whole process shouldn’t take more than 30 days. In reality, though, it can take anywhere from three to six months.
- Deed of Assignment is a legal document that shows that all of the vendor’s rights and interests have been given to the purchaser. Usually, the purchaser’s lawyer makes it, and then the vendor and his lawyer look it over and sign it. This document has the details of the sale and a description of the property being sold. It is only valid if it is registered in the land registry and has the governor’s approval. Another thing that is like a deed of assignment is a deed of conveyance. Before the Land Use Act of 1978 went into effect, it was seen as proof that someone owned a property or land. In some parts of Lagos, these are still the title documents for some old homes.
- A Deed of Mortgage is a document that is needed when you need to borrow money. It gives the lender (mortgagee) a stake in the property. If the person who borrowed the money doesn’t pay back the loan, the person who has the paper can take the property.
- Contract of Sale, Letter of Allocation, and Receipts: A contract of sale shows that a property has been bought, while a letter of allocation shows that a piece of land or property has been given to a person by the government or a private developer. A payment receipt, on the other hand, shows that the vendor has received a certain amount of money for the sale of the property. Even though these three things are important proof of a land or property deal, they are not legal documents and cannot be seen as a deed of assignment.