Land Documents – Before a man dies, one of the most important accomplishments he can make is to possess a house or at the very least a few plots of land. This is due to the fact that this type of investment frequently outlasts the investor. When you buy a piece of property, you’ve already given your children and grandkids a foundation to build on, as well as a type of investment that will pay off handsomely when you’re gone.
However, given the world’s rising population, it is clear that not every human being on the planet will be able to possess a portion of these huge but insufficient resources.
As a result, if you are fortunate enough to possess a plot of land, you must take great care to ensure that you do the correct thing in order to avoid being fooled out of your hard-earned money.
Aside from the risk of losing money due to land or property sale fraud, there’s also the chance of future land disputes, which might result in you losing possession if you’re not careful.
Genuine and accurate documentation is one of the most important ways to ensure ownership of land and properties. These are known as title documents, and they are the paperwork that give you the right to possess the land or property. The majority of individuals are unaware of the significance, meaning, and distinctions between these papers.
These are some of the documents required to claim land and property ownership in Nigeria.
1. Certificate Of Occupancy (C/O)
When it comes to property ownership in Nigeria, this is one of the most crucial, if not the most important, title documents a landowner should possess. It is a legal document showing that the executive governor of the state where the land is located has awarded an owner of land a statutory right of possession.
2. Right Of Occupation
In Nigeria, the Right of Occupancy is derived from sections 5 and 6 of the Property Use Decree of 1978, and if granted, it renders all existing rights on the land null and void, with the exception of the governor. In rural regions, the local government grants a customary right of occupation, which is the right of a person or community to legitimately use or occupy land in accordance with customary regulations.
3. Deed Of Assignment/Conveyance
The deed of assignment essentially states that the previous owner has transferred his title to the new owner for a financial benefit (or at a price), which the new owner has paid in full, and that all of his interests (and those of his heirs and assigns) in the aforementioned property have ceased as of the date the contract was signed.
4. Deed Of Lease
After the enactment of the Land Use Act in 1978, using a deed of lease for the sale of property, particularly government houses in the Ikoyi, Surulere, and Victoria Island axis of Lagos state during the mid-70s and 80s became extremely common. These were federal government holdings and high-profile areas, and it was the first excursion into issuing certificates of occupancy to humans.
5. Deed Sub-Lease
This Title Document is supplied by a Certificate of Occupancy holder who decides to excise a portion of the property and the new holder proceeds to perfect (register) it at Lands in the State Registry for effect.
The Deed of Sub-lease is valid for the remainder of the certificate of occupancy’s term and is renewable on terms if the certificate of occupancy (which is the source document) is renewed.
6. Land Certificate
Before the introduction of the Land Use Act of 1978, this was a document of title pertaining to the ownership of a piece or big parcel of land issued by a government’s land registry for registered freehold or leasehold property in Nigeria. When the Property Conveyancing Law of 1959 was still in place, Land Certificates were frequently granted to land and landed property owners.
7. Survey Plan
Another vital title document that aids in the discovery of genuine ownership status in land and landed property transactions. It also aids in determining whether the property is part of any government-owned or committed lands/area.
If the land to be purchased by the prospective buyer is just bare land with no improvements or structures on it, the buyer must conduct a thorough examination of the land survey plan at the appropriate survey ministry or agency to determine who is the rightful owner of the land and whether it falls under any known government acquired or committed land.