The land verification in Lagos cut across different stages. These stages involve confirmation of survey at the office of the Surveyor-General, search at the land registry, search at the Corporate Affairs Commission and many other places as it may be applicable to a particular land transaction.
By and large, the relevant methods or means for property verification in Lagos. Are briefly discussed below.
- Confirmation at the office of Surveyor-General– The confirmation or verification of the location of land through the coordinate as contained in the survey document is one of the means for land verification in Lagos. The applicant may duly apply to the office of the Surveyor-General to confirm the status of particular land using the coordinates of the land. This type of land verification process will reveal whether the land does fall under any government acquisition or not. It will also reveal the accuracy or correctness of the survey document of the land.
- Search at the Lands Registry – The Land Instrument Registration Law of each State establishes a land registry for the State, in which documents relating to land within the territory are actually maintained, and it varies from one State to the next. It is only properties that have been duly registered with government that can be verified at the land registry. The verification at the land registry will reveal the true owner of the property. It will also indicate whether there is any form of an encumbrance such as mortgages or leasehold on the property.
- Search at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) – This is needed where the previous owner or the vendor is actually a business incorporated under the Companies and Allied Matters Act. Apart from the queries at the land registry, there ought to be an additional search at the CAC to disclose whether or maybe not there is any encumbrance at all on the property. Businesses are actually mandated to file annual returns annually with the CAC that is always accompanied by a company’s financial statement. The financial statement will disclose the company’s assets (where there are actually some) in addition to any encumbrance such as a charge on the company’s assets.
- Search at Probate registry – This is a search carried out to disclose whether or maybe not probate has been given on any estate as well as to determine the personal representatives or perhaps executors of a testator in situations of properties belonging to the estate of a deceased. Without a grant of probate and/or letters of administration, the vendors don’t possess the requisite authority to sell or transfer the property of a deceased individual.
- Traditional Investigation – This is accomplished by investigating or maybe verifying from the principal members of a family unit or perhaps from the community and heads of the town in which the property is actually subject to family members or even community ownership. It is essential to confirm that all pertinent consents have been received and that the name is actually neither void nor voidable.
- Court registry’s searches – This is a form of a search performed to determine if the property is actually subject to court litigation, and if any, the end result of the dispute; or whether the seller is actually a private representative or perhaps beneficiary in a probate dispute which entitles him to convey the property to another person.
- Physical inspection – This can be done by visiting the property in question in order to discover if there is some problem with the property, or perhaps to determine the real dimensions of the land and whether it conforms to the dimensions on the survey plan.
Besides the above, investigation of real property might have a different turn based on the property type and also the calibre of persons involved in the transaction. For example, due to the latest development of collapsing buildings in Lagos State, it is recommended for clients that want to buy high rise structures to also request for profiles of the designers of the property, certificate of structural integrity/stability and type of foundation on which the building is actually erected etc.
And for properties located in choice areas which cost a huge amount, it might not be out of place to take a look at the profile and history of the vendors to ascertain such persons are not on the watch list of agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), the ICPC or perhaps whether the property in question is not a topic of any investigation. This will stop the danger of confiscation of the property by any anti-corruption agency.
By Real Estate Law Team at Resolution Law Firm