Land Documents you need to know Before making your purchases:
A Survey plan is a document that measures the boundary of a parcel of land to give an accurate measurement and description of that land. The people that handle survey issues are Surveyors and they are regulated by the office of the Surveyor general in Lagos as it relates to survey issues in Lagos. A survey plan must contain the following information:
1. The name of the owner of the land surveyed
2. The Address or description of the land surveyed
3. The size of the land surveyed
4. The drawn out portion of the land survey and mapped out on the survey plan document
5. The beacon numbers
6. The surveyor who drew up the survey plan and the date it was drawn up
7. A stamp showing the land is either free from Government acquisition or not
Land Use Decree on the 28th of March, 1978 that vested all lands in every state of the Federation under the control of the State Governors. The Land Use Act coupled with other laws made it possible for the Governor who was now the owner of all lands in the state to actually have the power to Acquire more lands compulsorily for its own public purpose to provide amenities for the greater good of the citizens.
Fortunately, the government recognizes that indigenes of different sections of the country have a right to existence . . . a right to the land of their birth. Hence, it is customary for state government to cede a portion of land to the original owners (natives) of each area.
An Excision means basically taking a part from a whole and that part that has been excised, will be recorded and documented in the official government gazette of that state.
DEED OF ASSIGNMENT
A Deed of Assignment is an Agreement between the Seller of a Land or Property and a Buyer of that Land or property showing evidence that the Seller has transferred all his rights, his title, his interest and ownership of that land to that the Seller that has just bought land.
The Deed of Assignment has been exchanged between both parties, it has to be recorded in the land registry to show legal proof that the land has exchanged hands and the public should be aware of the transaction. Such recorded Deed of Assignment come in the form of either a _*Governor’s Consent*_ or _*Registered Conveyance*_.
A Gazette is an Official record book where all special government details are spelt out, detailed and recorded
A gazette will show the communities or villages that have been granted excision and the number of acres or hectares of land that the government has given to them. It is within those excised acres or hectares that the traditional family is entitled to sell its lands to the public and not anything outside those hectares of land given or excised to them.
A Gazette is a very powerful instrument the community owns and can replace a Certificate of Occupancy to grant title to the Villagers. A community owning a gazette can only sell lands to an individual within those lands that have been excised to them and the community or family head of that land has the right to sign your documents for you if you purchase lands within those excised acres or hectares of land.
CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY
A Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) issued by the Lagos State Government officially leases Lagos land to you, the applicant, for 99 yrs. As already indicated above, all lands belong to the Government.
A C of O however is the officially recognized Document for demonstrating Right to a Land.
What happens after 99 years? That question is still subject of debate among experts. Most have adopted a wait-and-see attitude. Others postulate that as the new owner of the land, you the buyer, can renew the certificate of occupancy when it expires. That makes sense, but for now is largely a case of “We shall see when we get there”.
*CONTRACT OF SALE*
A contract of sale is one of the important documents involved in real estate transactions. However, before I explain what a contract of sale (as regards land/property transactions) is, we need to first understand what the word ‘contract’ means.
*A contract can be defined as a voluntary, deliberate and legally binding transaction between 2 or more competent parties.* The word ‘competent’ in this definition means in law that the parties involved are expected to be of sound minds and are mature/old enough to understand the terms and conditions of the contract. Examples of incompetent parties in law are insane people and also minors. Contracts are usually written, but may also be spoken or implied.
A contractual relationship is evidenced by;
1) *An offer*
2) *An acceptance of the offer*
3) *Valid (legal and valuable) consideration*
It should however be noted that some contracts (such as sale of land/property) must be in writing to be legally binding and enforceable.
*A contract of sale in real estate can thus be defined as a written, legally binding agreement between 2 competent parties (buyer and seller) concerning the terms of purchase of land/property.*
*Difference between Contract of sale and deed of assignment*
I believe its imperative for me to explain the difference between the two in this article as I have come to realise that people often confuse the two and erroneously believe they are similar.
*A contract of sale in real estate outlines the obligations of both parties (buyer and seller) entering into an agreement to buy/sell/transfer land/property. A deed of assignment on the other hand represents the actual transfer of the land/property from the seller to the buyer, usually when full payment has been made.*
*CONTENTS OF CONTRACT OF SALE*
*Name of the owner of the land/property (known as the Vendor)
*Name of the prospective buyer (known as the purchaser)
*Address of the land/property in question including the local government area
*Specific description of the land/property intended for sale
*Name and address of the solicitor who prepared the contract of sale
Terms and conditions in which the owner is offering the land/property for sale to the buyer. E.g. The buyer must contribute his/her proportionate share of the infrastructure being proposed to be done in an estate scheme.
*Vendor and purchaser covenants
*Signature of the Vendor and purchaser which indicates mutual agreement to the contract of sale and thus, making it legally binding to both parties
*Names and signatures of witnesses to the contract of sale from both parties.
*In summary, a contract of sale is an important document needed in real estate transactions. It outlines the obligations, terms and conditions of the proposed sale of land/property between the seller (vendor) and buyer (purchaser) and it has to be in writing to be legally binding and enforceable in law.
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