REAL ESTATE LAWYERS IN NIGERIA: PERFECTION OF TITLE TO LAND/PROPERTY IN NIGERIA
After paying the purchase price of land and signing relevant documents with the land vendor, it is mandatory by law that you “perfect” the title to the land (what in layman terms is “ownership of land”). “Land” is used here to mean buildings, real estate, real property and undeveloped land.
To perfect your title to the land, you need a solicitor to assist you through the process of perfection of title after producing the following documents:
Vendor’s/grantor’s title document.
Four copies of the Instrument of transfer of title e.g. Deed of Assignment, Deed of Partition or Power of Attorney.
Four approved survey plans.
Building plan and a photograph of property.
The solicitor will file for perfection through a written application to the office of the Surveyor General for charting, accompanying same with Completed Form 1c sworn to before a Magistrate or Notary Public and a letter for consent by the Governor.
Why Is Perfection of Title to Land Required by Law?
Where your land remains unperfected and unregistered, your interest is in equity only and not legal. Non-registration renders your title documents inadmissible in evidence to prove your title. You are not entitled to receive compensation from the government if the land is compulsorily acquired for overriding public interest. Perfection prevents fraud and problems arising from the suppression or omission of instruments when the title is deduced, in case of subsequent transactions it would show your registered interest in the said property.
Registration/Perfection gives an indication that the land is encumbered by you and any subsequent purchaser would be duly notified upon investigating the title at the Lands Registry. Perfection raises a presumption of land ownership in your favour against every other person who lacks a better title. Perfection passes a legal estate in the land. Your registered instrument rank in priority according to the order of registration (1st in time is stronger in law). Your title documents must be registered otherwise they are void in law.
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Because of the associated problems and procedural complexities involved in the perfection of title to land, the information provided herein is for general informational purposes only and must not be construed as a substitute for legal guidance. If you want to perfect your title to land; seek proper legal guidance from real estate lawyers. You can request consultations at 08187019206, 08039795959 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: www.lexartifexllp.com.
EDOABASI UDO is a Barrister, Solicitor and Transaction Adviser at Lex Artifex, LLP.
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