It is imperative that any individual who intends to purchase landed property must know and understand the types of documentation that governs land transactions.
It is a pity that only about 12% of land purchasers know and comprehend what land documents truly mean and the reason which they serve.
One of the most significant methods for making a claim for land ownership as well as in any landed properties’ exchanges is by having title documents that are important and recognized by different government rules and laws on such landed properties.
The introduction of any of these title documents will help make the claim of ownership or transaction become legitimate after confirmation from the fitting government offices accountable for all landed properties’ issues in Nigeria.
There are 7 Basic title documents relevant to landed property ownership in Nigeria which are:
- CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY
- DEED OF ASSIGNMENT/CONVEYANCE
- DEED OF LEASE
- DEED OF SUB-LEASE
- LAND CERTIFICATE
- DEED OF MORTGAGE
- SURVEY PLAN
1. CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY
A C of O is the officially recognized Land Document for demonstrating Right to a Land.
It is a Land Document given by the State Government which officially leases any land under the state to the applicant for 99 yrs.
As previously known, all lands belong to the Government.
2. DEED OF ASSIGNMENT/CONVEYANCE
This is a very important document that must be demanded and given to a purchaser after the conclusion of any land/property transaction between such Buyer and the Seller of the property in question.
The Deed of Assignment contains very pertinent information for a real estate transaction.
For one, it spells out the date when the ownership of the property transfers from one owner to the other.
The deed also gives a specific description of the property that is included in the transfer of ownership.
3. DEED OF LEASE
It is also known as Governor’s Consent.
This land document is obtained whenever you buy land with C of O.
It’s the land document that lets the Governor and the general public know that the land in question has changed hands.
The Deed of Lease was used to transfer property especially government properties in Ikoyi, Surulere, Victoria Island axis of Lagos state during the mid-70s and 80s after the promulgation of the Land Use Act.
These lands were mostly federal government lands and high profile lands and it was the first foray into the issuance of the certificate of occupancies for the first time to people.
4. DEED OF SUB-LEASE
This is another relevant legal document duly signed and stamped indicating land and landed property transaction between a leaseholder of land sub-leasing his/her unexpired lease term to a third party.
5. LAND CERTIFICATE
This is a document of title as to the ownership of a piece or large parcel of land.
Prior to the promulgation of the Land Use Act of 1978, it was issued by a government’s land registry for registered freehold or leasehold lands in Nigeria.
Land Certificate was usually issued to owners of landed properties when the Property Conveyancing Law of 1959 was still in effect.
6. DEED OF MORTGAGE
It is a security for a loan with an undertaken for repayment and cesser upon recovery.
The common types of mortgage transactions are; Equitable Mortgage and Legal Mortgage
Legal mortgage is a type of mortgage which transfers the legal interest one has in the property, whether leasehold or freehold in consideration for loan advancement while Equitable Mortgage transfers just an equitable interest in the property to the mortgage.
7. SURVEY PLAN
This land document shows the boundary measurements of a parcel of land to give an accurate measurement and description of that land.
It reveals the true ownership status in any properties’ transactions.
It also helps to reveal if such land is not under any government acquired or committed lands/area.
Surveyors are the people who handle survey issues and they are being regulated by the office of the Surveyor-General of the state where the property is located.
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