What are the required documents for land purchase in Nigeria? This is a potential question for every client hoping to acquire a property someday (especially landed properties). Just in case you don’t know, there are certain required documents for land purchase in Nigeria, to ensure a smooth change of ownership, which should be void of deceit.
It is pertinent you familiarize yourself with the under-listed documents, as they are very important. Buying land in Nigeria is a risky business, hence you have to be ahead of the game to not fall victim to fraud.
Without further ado, read further down to see the required documents for land purchase in Nigeria. These documents are really crucial to validate the sale of the said property. Never fail to miss it.
5 Essential Documents For Land Purchase in Nigeria
Do you know what a survey plan represents? It provides the details of a property, showing its accurate boundaries, as well as its area. This is necessary so that the property can easily be identified by both the owner and adjoining owners. This should be the first document you should request from the seller.
This survey plan has to be authenticated at the Surveyor general’s office. This is to make certain that the land is free from any government use.
It is not enough to have just any survey but to have an authenticated one. It should be a survey plan from a registered surveyor. What are the ways to know an authentic survey plan? The following information below should be on the document.
- The document must bear the name of the owner of the land surveyed.
- Address of the land surveyed or the description of the area.
- The size of the land surveyed in square meters.
- A sketch showing the shape and dimensions of the surveyed portion.
- The beacon numbers.
- Surveyor’s details show his/her name, the date the survey was drawn up, and the surveyor’s stamp.
- A “FREE FROM GOVERNMENT ACQUISITION” stamp.
It is advisable to desist from acquiring lands marked for government projects. This is to prevent future problems with the government.
This document is a public one and should be available on request. Do not be bullied to the extent you continue the transaction in its absence. The information on it would save you a lot of stress in the future.
This might not be one of the major required documents for land purchase in Nigeria, but you sure need it to move ahead with your transaction. How do I mean this? An approved layout of an area determines the type of structure(s) the custodian requires within the area. There are industrial areas, residential areas, agricultural areas, testing areas, and a whole lot more.
It doesn’t make sense for you to purchase acres of land in a residential area, just to build a factory. The same applies to a medical research facility in an environmental area. I am sure you are beginning to see the importance of this document!
Deed of Assignment
This one cannot be left out. It is a very important document. Some people ask the question, what is a deed of assignment? This document contains an agreement that states that the seller of a property or land has transferred on his/her rights, interests, title, and ownership of the said land/property to the current buyer.
The deed of assignment should be registered in the land registry as proof of the said transaction. However, the document must contain the following information :
- The parties to the agreement (Names of buyer and seller).
- Addresses of the parties and how it is binding on their representatives in all capacities.
- The land’s history on the earliest acquisition up until its most recent sale, including all documents.
- The agreed cost of the land with the seller’s intention to accept the cost.
- Size and description of the land to be transferred.
- Word of honor among both parties to perfect the transfer of the document.
- The signature of both parties, as well as witnesses to the transaction.
- Commissioner of Oaths signature or Governor’s Consent, which validates the agreement.
Don’t also complete the transaction without this document. Omonile (Land grabbers) always try to trick people out of this document to enable them to resell the same property unhindered. Be wise.
This document is also a no-brainer. How else can you prove you made a payment to someone if you do not possess a valid receipt? You must have a purchase receipt for the said property as it is required in registering the land. Do not also use this as an excuse not to get a deed of assignment.
Certificate of Occupancy / Governor’s Consent
This is considered the most important of the required documents for land purchase in Nigeria. The Certificate of Occupancy also called the “C of O”, decides whether you have land or not. Certificate of Occupancy is a document issued by state governments, to landowners, as proof of ownership.
This is a vital document, as all lands in the state belong to the state government. In the event of a government project that has to cut across your land, this document has got you covered.
On the other hand, there is the Governor’s Consent. Many people assume this document carries the same weight as a “C of O” document. Well, this is true. However, to differentiate both, a “C of O” is only issued once in the lifespan of a land.
If you buy a VIRGIN LAND, void of government acquisition or a previous owner, then you get a C of O. If the owner decides to sell the land to a new owner, the new owner gets a Governor’s consent.
The documents listed above are the correct required documents for land purchase in Nigeria. However, some are being listed as documents needed. One of them is :
Power of Attorney
This document is nothing other than an instrument of delegation, and not one which confers ownership of landed property. It is a document that also provides the channel via which a landowner transfers his powers to his agent.
By the powers in a power of attorney, a “donee”/“agent” can validly sell land to any purchaser by preparing a Deed of transfer/sale/alienation in the favor of the purchaser. This implies that before you purchase any land from an agent (not the real owner of the land), you should request to see a “power of attorney” document.
This confirms that the agent is carrying out the transaction in place of the landowner. On the other hand, the purchaser also needs a “power of attorney” document, which also empowers him/her to proceed with the necessary documentation at the land registry.
In getting the required documents for land purchase in Nigeria, it is also important to request the services of a lawyer. This will enable a smooth transaction process, void of negative consequences in the long run.
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