Land titles In Nigeria | How to Secure your Land Against Reversing Titles in Lagos | Expert Guide 2024
A few months ago, there were rumors about the Lagos State Government enacting a law reversing land titles in Lagos Nigeria to its original owners. Did you know that if this law is passed, many will lose their properties?
As we already know, there has been panic news circulating about people losing their properties, real estate investments and lands.
Relax, be rest assured that properties bought from Korrecthomes won’t be reversed because you are non-indigene.
In this blog post, our emphasis is not in analyzing the law but giving you expert tips as a real estate firm on how to preserve your properties from reversing land titles even as a non-indigene.
What are Land Titles In Lagos Nigeria?
Land title refers to a legal document that certifies a person’s ownership of a piece of land.
In Nigeria, land titles are issued by the state government in which the land is located.
They are important because they provide legal evidence of ownership that is helpful in resolving disputes over land ownership and in obtaining loans from banks.
How to Obtain a Land Title
To obtain a land title in Lagos Nigeria, you must first apply to the state government in which the land is located.
The application process typically involves submitting a survey plan of the land, a deed of transfer from the previous owner, and a tax clearance certificate.
Once the application has been approved, the state government will issue a land title to the new owner.
Does the Government Have the Right to Reverse Land Titles In Lagos Nigeria?
Any individual who purchases a land from a real estate firm like Korrecthomes or a third party and owns a land title has complete ownership of the property.
However, there are cases where the government can reverse the land ownership.
According to lands, housing and urban development ministry, these are the reasons a land title can be canceled.
- When the land title was issued by error.
- The land title contains a wrong description
- There is an entry or endorsement on the land title written in error.
- It contains illegal or forged endorsement
Note that only the commissioner for Land Registration has the powers to revoke or cancel a land title and issue a new one without referring the matter to court.
To answer the question, yes, the government has the right to reverse Land titles.
How Does Land Title Reversal Happen?
Before a land titles in Lagos Nigeria is reversed, the commissioner sends a 21 days or more notice to the party involved stating the reason for the reversal.
He then conducts an interview with the people involved to hear their cases.
After the hearing, the Commissioner reaches a decision which he communicates to the parties involved in writing the reasons the land title will be canceled. He then recalls the land to the rightful owner.
If the title holder refuses to deliver it to the new owner, the Registry amends their copy and issues a special title to the owner.
Expert Tips to Secure your Land from Reversing Land Titles In Lagos Nigeria
These are the tips on how to Secure your Land and avoid cancellation of land titles.
Have a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O)
Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) is a legal document that certifies a person’s right to occupy a piece of land in Nigeria. It is issued by the state government in which the land is located.
C of O is a leasehold title that gives the holder the right to hold and use the land for 99 years. The holder can renew it at the elapse when he pays the required fees.
Certificate of Occupancy is one of the most important land titles that certifies your ownership of a land.
To obtain a C of O, first apply to the state government where the land is located. You will submit a survey plan of the land, development permit from the local authority, a deed of transfer from the previous owner, and a tax clearance certificate.
Once the application has been approved, the state government will issue a C of O to the new owner.
If there is a case that involves reversal of land titles, presenting an original C of O can safeguard the land.
C of Os are important because they provide legal evidence of a person’s right to occupy a piece of land. This can be helpful in resolving disputes over land ownership and in obtaining loans from banks.
Deed of Assignment/Conveyance
Deed of assignment/conveyance is the most recognized document relating to land and property sale in Nigeria.
The Deed of Assignment is a document that transfers the sale of land or property from one buyer to another.
For it to be valid, it is important for the deed of assignment to be recorded at a land registry. This poses as legal evidence to the exchange of ownership and make the government aware of such transactions.
It shows the key aspects of the transaction between the buyer and seller so that there will be no confusion after the ownership of the land or property has been exchanged.
The deed of assignment must be demanded and given to a buyer after the conclusion of a land or property transaction between the buyer and the seller.
Features of Deed of Assignment
Every deed of assignment must contain certain information, which includes the followings:
- Names of the parties to the agreement
- Address of both parties.
- History of the land that is being sold which can include how it was first bought till now it is being sold.
- Cost of the land and the actual price buyer paid
- The description and size of the land to be transferred
- Promises both parties choose to undertake to perfect the transfer of the document
- Signature of the parties to the assignment and witnesses to the transaction
- A section for the Governor’s Consent that must be signed by the Governor or any government official designated by the Governor for deed registration.
Governor’s Consent Form
This is another document that is important if you want to secure your land and property from reversing land titles.
Governor’s consent is a key document required to protect your land when purchasing. It is the approval that must be given by the state governor or his delegate for transactions involving transfer of ownership. This makes such transactions valid and recognizable by law.
If you purchase a land which has been previously owned, then a Governor’s consent is needed to validate the transaction since the Certificate of Occupancy (CofO) cannot be replicated or transferred to another person.
These are the steps to obtain a Governor’s Consent Form in Lagos State and other states in Nigeria.
How can I get a Governor’s Consent Form
To obtain the Governor’s consent in Lagos state, submit the application alongside the land form 1c obtainable at the lands registry.
The form should be signed by the buyer and the vendor, where the purchased land is already registered in the vendor’s name at the registry.
Submit the application form with the following documents:
- A covering letter addressed to the Director of the Department of Lands and Housing, Lagos State
- Consent fee payable after a property is inspected and valued.
- Current tax clearance certificate of the buyer and vendor. In the case of a mortgage, only that of the mortgagor is required.
- If one of the parties is a corporate body, the corporate body must supply the revenue certificate papers for its staff remitted to the government and the current tax clearance certificates for the directors.
- In the case of a developed property, provide the building plan.
- Six (6) copies of the Deed of Assignment.
- Evidence of up to date payment of ground rent and legal charges.
- Evidence of payment of development levy.
- Receipt of payment of charting fees and endorsement fees
- A Certified True Copy (CTC) of the assignor’s land document obtainable from the lands registry.
Excision and Gazette
Land excision gazette is a notice of release of a parcel of land to an individual, an entity or a community, by the government.
According to Ownahome, a Gazetted land is a recorded excision. After a while, an excised portion of a land is recorded in the government’s official journal called the gazette. This is a recognized land title.
A land excision gazette has become very important when buying land in Lagos. Therefore, we advise you to confirm that the land you are purchasing is not a government acquisition to avoid demolition.
First, use all the available information to confirm that the want has been released by the government. You do this by asking your lawyer to make an enquiry to the Land Registry in your state or in the case of Lagos State, the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Agency (LASRERA).
Approved Survey Plan
This is a land document that shows the accurate boundary measurements and description of a land.
It is the document that reveals the true ownership status in any properties’ transactions.
It also helps to reveal if such land is under the government’s acquisition or committed for future projects.
What are the benefits of having an Approved Survey Plan?
The Approved Survey Plan is a legal document that provides proof of ownership and location of a property. Generally, it is a reference for any disputes or legal issues that may arise in the future.
It accurately defines the boundaries of a property and ensures there is no overlap with a nearby property.
It is used by developers and contractors to plan and execute construction projects. It eliminates errors and ensures development is within the boundary of the property.
Property Value Assessment:
The Approved Survey plan is used to assess the value of a property. You will find information regarding the location, size, and boundaries of the property.
With a survey plan, the local authorities can make the right estimate of the property tax.
Land purchase receipt
The land purchase receipt is an important document if you purchased a land that belongs to a family.
For this, you will contact the family lawyer and request the land purchase receipt after payment.
This document is important for reasons named below.
- Evidence of Payment: it serves as an evidence to the purchase or the property.
- Proof of Ownership: A land purchase receipt is evidence that the buyer has acquired ownership of the property. This can be useful in case the buyer needs to prove their ownership to a third party.
- Legal Protection: The land purchase receipt provides legal protection for both the buyer and the seller. In case of a legal dispute, this document can be used to show that the property has been sold to the buyer and the seller is no longer responsible for it.
- Transfer of Ownership: Without this document, the transfer of ownership cannot be completed.
My property was recently demolished by the State government. Am I entitled to compensation?
You may or may not. If you have a valid Proof of Land Title, then you can seek legal redress for compensation.
However, if the land was originally a government acquisition, you can make an appeal for Land regularization. This involves paying for the land all over again.
Again, if the land is government owned originally dedicated to the public like a road, park or farming project, we are afraid your money is gone.
This is the reason you need to have land title and check the registry before purchasing any property.
Land titles in Lagos Nigeria and it’s issues have become a regular occurrence in Lagos and Nigeria generally. To avoid the government recovering your land, you need to understand how to avoid reversing land titles in nigeria.
Read this article keenly, cos all you’ll need to know has been explained to the detail. Korrecthomes cares!