When buying land or properties, the seller or real estate company will often only tell you about the actual cost, consciously or unconsciously omitting the statutory fees or “hidden charges.” It’s important you know about these statutory fees when buying real estate in places like Lagos, as it enables you to avoid certain issues that may occur afterward.

Therefore, before paying for land or property, the most important question you should ask the real estate agent is, “What are the hidden charges?”

This article discusses these fees and their costs to enable you to prepare ahead of time when buying real estate properties in Lagos.

What are Statutory Fees in Real Estate?

Statutory fees in real estate are the mandatory charges and taxes that government authorities and regulatory bodies require you to pay when buying land or property. These charges ensure the seamless transfer of ownership from one party to the other. They’re often referred to as “hidden charges.” However, the truth remains that there are no hidden charges, as these fees will surely be revealed to you.

The most common statutory fees are survey, deed of assignment, and development fees. However, there are other fees that are not associated with the total cost of the land or property. These fees are also categorized as statutory fees.

Knowing these statutory fees and their importance is essential, as it enables you to avoid real estate scams, especially in places like Lagos.

Importance of Statutory Fees in Real Estate

There are many benefits you can get from paying statutory fees in the process of your land or property acquisition. Here are some of them:

  • They enable you to avoid the unnecessary fees that omoniles charge land buyers in Lagos, such as the owo foundation, owo decking, owo fencing, and owo roofing. If you’re buying land from the omoniles, these fees are unavoidable, as they’d require you to settle them and the youths for every stage of your property development process. This is one of the reasons we discourage our prospects from buying lands from Omoniles.
  • Statutory fees enable developers to provide an interlocked street and well-laid-out estate.
  • They also enable real estate developers to provide good drainage systems for the estate.
  • Land surveys are expensive when you hire surveyors. But with the statutory fees paid, your land survey can be done at a significantly discounted price.
  • Statutory fees enable the real estate company to provide electricity, streetlights, security, perimeter fencing, and lots more to enable you to have your property in a secure and well-managed environment.

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Statutory Fees to Know When Buying Real Estate in Lagos

Here are the statutory or “hidden” fees you’d pay to get full ownership rights to the property you paid for in Lagos:

Survey Fee

Survey fees are the charges to hire a licensed surveyor to survey the land or property you’re buying. A land survey is an important requirement for the seamless allocation of property in Nigeria. It’s a document that contains information on the boundaries, measurements, and description of a land or property.

Survey fees in Lagos vary, as it’s determined by the local government where the land is located and the value of the land or property. So, depending on the part of Lagos where you’re buying land or property, you might pay between N100,000 and N500,000 on a survey.

Deed of Assignment Fee

The Deed of Assignment fee is another statutory fee you’re mandated to pay if you’re buying land or property in Lagos. It is the fee paid to a legal practitioner to draft a deed of assignment for the parties involved in a land or property transaction.

A deed of assignment is a document that shows the agreement between the seller of a land or property and the buyer of the said property. It proves that the seller has transferred their ownership rights, title, and interest on the land or property to the buyer and received a specified amount of money in exchange.

The lawyer determines the deed of assignment fees. It can be a flat fee or a percentage of the property cost. In most cases, it ranges from 5% to 10% of the property cost.  

Development Fee

The development fee only applies when buying land or property in a gated community, like an estate. It is the fee you pay to the real estate company for providing infrastructure within the estate.

Real estate companies use development fees to provide perimeter fencing, motorable roads, electricity, drainage systems, and other facilities that increase the value of properties in the estate.

Development fees vary, as they’re determined by the real estate developers. However, they generally range between 5 and 10 percent of the land or property price.


Taxes, such as stamp duty and capital gains tax, are other charges for buying real estate in Lagos.

The government has requested that real estate agencies charge 6% of the total asset value for stamp duty and 10% of the gains on the property for capital gains tax.

Legal Fees

Legal fees are also part of the hidden fees you need to know when buying real estate in Lagos. They’re paid to the legal team in charge of the real estate transaction.

The legal team oversees the entire transaction, ensuring due diligence is done. They also assist in title searches, negotiations, and document preparation.

The legal fees in Lagos usually range between 5 and 7 percent of the total cost of the property.

Agency Fees

While agency fees aren’t hidden and may not necessarily be categorized as statutory fees, it’s important you know about them. Agency fees are not often included in the total cost of the land or property you’re buying.

Agency fees are the fees you pay to the real estate company or agency to help facilitate the transaction. It’s usually fixed at 10%. However, some real estate companies can charge more or less, depending on their terms of service.

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The cost of acquiring land or property in Lagos is high. Apart from the normal cost of the property, which is already high, you’d also have to pay for the survey. Other statutory fees you need to pay are development, deed of assignment, etc.

While the charges are high, knowing about them is the only way to be fully prepared. Hopefully, this article has done justice to that by revealing some of the statutory fees you need to know when buying real estate in Lagos. 

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.