A land is a piece asset that has is specific, tangible, and with value that hardly depreciates.
Many individuals have made mistakes and suffered untold hardship as a result of the failure to take certain important measures before conducting a land transaction.
There are a few factors to consider before conducting a transaction.
This post highlights some legal factors that could affect ownership after a transaction.
Intending buyers must investigate and confirm the title/root of ownership of the seller. They must insist that the seller provides the proof of his title to guarantee that he retains the right to transfer ownership. This is usually done by releasing copies of the following documents.
- Abstract of title or epitome of title,
- Approved survey plan,
- Deed of assignment,
- Purchase receipt,
- Certificate of occupancy.
Beyond the inspection of the copies, a prospective buyer should request for an opportunity to inspect original documents of title. And ask if same is registered at the land registry in the state.
If the seller claims that title has been registered, the buyer should retain the services of an experienced attorney to help conduct a search at the lands registry in order to ascertain whether there is any encumbrance on the land.
At this juncture, it is very useful to hire a lawyer who is experienced in property law practice before negotiating and conducting the land purchase. This is important because hiring a seasoned lawyer to oversee the transaction erodes the chances of the buyer being caught in legal troubles that would deprive the buyer from the peaceful possession and ownership of property.
The lawyer will, in a case where the seller is a company incorporated in Nigeria, conduct a search at the Companies registry.
Furthermore, another search may be conducted at the probate registry, this is done to reveal whether the probate has been given in relation to the land to anyone.
The lawyer can also visit the land sought to be sold to neighbors all they know about the land and the prospective seller. This visit will reveal the actual state of the land, and confirm if there are contentious issues to the knowledge of the neighbors or residents in the adjoining areas.
In addition, by virtue of our enabling laws, only a legal practitioner is able to prepare legal documents or instruments which substantiate a transfer of interest from one person to another.
In conclusion, where the steps above are followed, a purchaser is well poised to secure his interest in land ownership. A proper search in these will save you money and cost of litigation.
If you have got any comments or questions, please use the comment section.