If you wouldn’t want a land you purchased in Lagos to be reclaimed, you must know the various land documents. And of course, demand for them.

The completion of a land purchase in Lagos is signaled by the transfer of the ownership to you – the buyer. You must be careful not to get scammed here. This is particularly important when you are given a document that doesn’t match what you paid for.

We have made a list of some of the land documents to ask for after completing the payment for a property in Lagos State, Nigeria.

1. Land Purchase Receipt

Also called the receipt of purchase; this is a document stating that you have paid for the property. In the olden days, our parents bought lands and only required witnesses to confirm that such a transaction took place.

In addition to presenting a witness today, you also need a valid document to confirm your purchase. The land purchase receipt is that document. Here’s why it is relevant:

  • It is a proof that full payment has been made for the property.
  • You will likely be asked to present this document to confirm the payment as part of the conditions for registering the land.

2. Sale and Purchase Agreement

You must not confuse this to be the same as a land purchase receipt. In a case where the land receipt is waived because of the document transferring the land’s ownership; you can count on the sale and purchase agreement as a standalone document explaining your payment conclusions.

  • This agreement details the conditions, terms and conclusions between the buyer and seller.
  • The sale and purchase agreement also typically includes the final payment agreed on by both parties.

3. Survey Plan

A land that hasn’t been surveyed is not paying for. Why? The survey helps to point out the following:

  • The exact location of the land.
  • The coordinates and descriptions of the land and;
  • The exact size of the landed property.

Getting the survey plan helps you to know the location of the land, the boundaries and some of the proposed developments within the area it is located.

4. Certificate of Occupancy

Also called the C of O, the Certificate of Occupancy is one of the land documents to ask for once a property purchase is completed in Lagos.

It works best if you are the first person to acquire a piece or plot of land, following the provisions made in the Land Use Act of 1978.

The C of O empowers you in the following ways:

  • It confirms that you truly own the property in question.
  • It is a legal document, originating from the government. Hence, the authenticity is not questioned.
  • Depending on where the land is located, the rights the document confers differ. For example, if you paid for a property in the rural area, you will get the customary Right of Occupancy. The statutory Right of Occupancy pertains to properties within the urban area.

5. Deed of Assignment

Deed of assignment is an extremely important document when it comes to land or property purchase in Lagos. This is even more important if the land originally has a C of O and the owner is looking to transfer it.

Based on the provisions, the transfer of a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) from the former owner to the new owner is subject to the following conditions:

  • The tenor of 99 years on the subsisting C of O has not expired.
  • The Deed of Assignment must be obtained to enable the transfer of the legal rights to the property.

Hence, you should ask for a Deed of Assignment if the property owner has a C of O. The issuance validates the permanent transfer of the property and the rights thereof from the assignor (the seller) to you, the assignee or buyer.

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6. Building Approval Plan

It is one thing to buy a property in Lagos and another to start building on it immediately. Whether you are doing so to dissuade land-grabbers from infiltration or to put the funds to good use – it is also pertinent to follow existing blueprints.

Does the building have a Master Plan or a layout of what is to be erected? Thus, getting the Building Approval Plan is essential to the execution of the structural development of the property.

Among many other things, the plan shows the compliance to the Terms and Conditions of the Layout Approval and Building Plan.

7. Power of Attorney

This land document becomes important if you are not directly purchasing the property from the owner. For example, if the owner assigned the land to someone else to oversee the sale; the document to ask for is the Power of Attorney.

This document spells the rights the “attorney” or the person in whose custody the property was placed, has to execute the transaction.

8. Excision Document

Not all lands are free from government acquisition. Considering that the State owns all lands in the urban areas and holds the same in trust for the original owners; it makes sense to be sure of who owns the property before payment.

The excision document becomes necessary in the following scenarios:

  • When the property doesn’t have a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), but you still want to be sure the land is no longer under the government’s control.
  • If the land or property originally belonged to or was held by the government, but was later released to the original or ancestral owners. Having this document signifies that the government has “hands-offed” from laying claims of ownership to the property.

9. Deed of Mortgage

Looking to take a loan from a financial institution and leaving a collateral? If you intend to make a temporal transfer of the ownership to the mortgagee (the lender); you will need to present the Deed of Mortgage.

Likewise, if the property you are paying for has been mortgaged, you need to get this Deed from the seller so you can follow-up with the rest of the transaction.

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Getting the relevant land documents help to bolster the authenticity of the transaction and gives legal backing to your purchase. In addition to the land documents listed in this article, you may also ask for the Deed of Gift, which signifies the transfer of a property in Lagos via gifting and in extension, the permanent transfer of the interests and rights to the property to the receiver.

Would you like to buy land or house in Epe, Ajah, Lekki, Ibeju-Lekki or anywhere in Nigeria? Reach out to us on +234 806 400 3456 or send an email to support@godslandempire.com. We are ever ready to assist you on your property ownership journey in Nigeria.