How to Buy Land in Lagos with Confidence

With the reputation and the economic impact of Lagos , it is no surprise that millions of Individuals around Nigeria would want to own property in Lagos. From the mainland to the Island, people are contantly looking to buy or build in the state. Buying property in a city like Lagos can be a bit of a problem especially landed property. You have the Land grabbers also known as omo onile, fraudulent agents posing as genuine real estate companies  and even sometimes the government to contend with when buying land in Lagos.

First time buyers are usually the victims of fraudulent land transactions in Lagos. It is usually a sorry sight to see people lose their hard earned money to these fraudsters and land grabbers. In a city very notorious when it comes to the sale of landed property, you need to understand the do’s and don’ts , the necessary precautions to take and the necessary documents you need to have when buying land in Lagos.

Documents to know before buying land in Lagos

Survey Plan

The survey plan is the most important document to you must ask from an estate agent , company or any family that intends to sell land to you. This document shows you information about the size and location of the land. With this document, you can know whether or not your land is designated for government use in the future.  If your property falls within the area designated for government use in the future,  no matter how long it takes, your property will be demolished with no form of compensation whatsoever.

Please note: a survey plan isn’t a private document, it is a public document that should be presented upon request, don’t be swayed into believing that it can’t be released due to security reasons.

Deed of Assignment/Conveyance

A deed of assignment/conveyance traces the history of the owners of a property or land to its present owner.  With this document, you can easily trace the original owners of the land and determine if it’s been legally transferred to its present owner/ agent who intends to sell it. With the names of the original family known, you can then proceed to the court or Alausa to determine if there’s an ongoing dispute about the land. This document is  used in land transactions to permanently transfer ownership from the seller(assignor) to the buyer(assignee)

Either of the two parties could draft the deed of assignment, but  However, it must be recorded at the Land Registry for proper documentation after signing it.The vital information in the deed of assignment includes:

a.       The names and addresses of the buyer and seller

b.      The history of the land, how it was first obtained and how it’s been transferred over the years

c.       The cost of the land and the seller’s willingness to accept the offer.

d.      The description and land size.

e.       The oath of promise by both parties to engage in the transaction

f.       The signature of both parties and witnesses of the land transfer.

g.      A section for the Governor’s consent. This would either be signed by the Governor or any official appointed by the Governor for such purpose.

Certificate of occupancy, Government allocation, Governor’s consent

This is one of the most important documents you need to have before making a purchase for any land in Lagos. It is so important because a lot of people fall for these land scams in many form. Some “real estate companies” are not even left out of this scam. They present fake certificate of occupancy (C of O) , government allocation letters and government consent to unsuspecting victims, they even go as far as encouraging you to check with the government about the genuineity of the land and then you take their word for it.

Some agents may tell you they can’t release this document due to security reasons, just ask them to  give you the number  and you’ll handle the rest.When you buy a land in Lagos with an existing C of O, you would not need to get a new C of O. Instead you need a deed of assignment with the Governor’s consent.

Grant Of Probate

In the event of a landowner’s demise without property transfer, related documents become invalid due to lack of authorization.

If the land owner wrote a will, the probate registry could transfer the land to the beneficiaries listed. The executor of the deceased’s will be responsible for proving the will’s validity before the probate registry.

When this is done successfully , the probate registry grants the property owned by the deceased to beneficiaries of the will. Then  a “grant of probate”  is issued confirming beneficiary ownership.

Land Purchase Receipt

The importance of a land purchase receipt cannot be understated.This document stands as an offical acknowlegment of  the funds received for acquisition of the land. Like any other payment receipts, it contains thel seller’s name, the buyer’s name, the amount paid and the seller’s signature.

 Before you buy Land in Lagos, ensure to see the receipt issued by the seller at the time of purchase. However, it’s essential to note that while the land purchase receipt carries weight, it does not constitute ultimate proof of land ownership.

Letter of Aministration

A letter of administration is similar to a grant of probate. However, these two documents are different. Unlike the grant of probate, which is relevant to cases where a valid will exists, the letter of administration pertains to scenarios where the deceased landowner did not create a will.

Consequently, the law designates eligible individuals to act on behalf of the deceased’s estate. These eligible individuals must then apply for the letter of administration, a request subject to scrutiny and approval by the court of Law.

Steps to Buying Land in Lagos

steps to buy land in lagos by seun cyrus

1. Decide on a Budget and Location: Start by setting a clear budget for your land purchase and identifying the location that suits your needs. Consider factors like accessibility, amenities, and future development prospects.

2. Begin Your Search: Initiate your search for suitable land through both online platforms and offline sources. You can explore real estate websites, social media, and also engage with local agents who have insights into the market.

3. Investigate the Seller: Before proceeding, ensure you research the credibility of the seller. Verify their identity and reputation in the real estate community to ensure a secure transaction.

4. Inspect the Land: Physical inspection is crucial. Visit the land to assess its condition, surroundings, and suitability for your intended use. This step helps prevent any surprises later on.

5. Investigate Ownership Validity: Confirm the legitimacy of the land’s ownership. Request legal documents that prove the seller’s ownership rights to avoid future disputes.

6. Negotiation: Engage in a constructive negotiation with the seller. Discuss the price, terms, and any conditions that need clarification or adjustment.

7. Documentation: Once a mutual agreement is reached, ensure all legal documents are in order. This includes the sale agreement, title documents, and any relevant permits. Engage a legal professional to review the paperwork before finalizing the deal.

 8.Fence it : Lastly, fence your plot to secure it from threats or unforeseen occurrence.

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