Land Registration Law of Lagos State 2015 was enacted on the 21st day of January 2015 to form a balance in the system of registration of titles, land instruments, and transactions in Lagos State, thereby bringing the Lagos State land sector under one uniform system.

By virtue of the Land Use Act of 1978, the consent of a state governor is required for a transfer of any registrable interest in any landed property such a state.

The Land Registration Law(LRL) explicitly repeals all existing laws relating to Land Registration in return for a uniform system of registration. Such repealed laws include;

  • Registration of Titles Law Cap R1, Laws of Lagos State 2003,
  •  Land Instruments Registration Law, Lagos Cap L58 Laws of Lagos State, 2003,
  • Electronic Management Systems Law 2007 and
  • Registration of Titles Law & Registration of Titles (Appeal) Rules Cap R4, Laws of Lagos State, 2003;

As a result, the separation that had existed between the system of registration of instruments under the Land Instruments Registration Law (LIRL), Lagos, and the Registration of Titles Law (RTL), Lagos was bridged. The purposes of the law is for the synchronization of the systems of registration of titles to land, registration of land instruments and registration of transactions and dealings relating to land in Lagos State.

The law incorporates all the systems in one single document, and thus puts in place uniform procedures, processes and systems applicable to all parts of

the State.

THE LAND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (LIMS)

Every land document must be registered using the Land Information Management System (LIMS) procedure. Land documents already registered before the commencement of the Law must be registered using the LIMS. The following registers are kept in the Registry for purpose of registration by the LIMS:

(1) Day List;

(2) Register of Mortgages;

(3) Register of Caution; and

(4) Any other register as the Registrar may prescribe.

Each of these registers must contain the names and addresses of the parties to the affected transaction, description and location of the property that is subject of the transaction, and the survey plan of the property as stipulated by the Section 20 of the Law.

All registers kept in the Land Registry before the commencement of the LRL shall now form part of the registers in the LIMS.

Upon being issued with a Letter of Accreditation after the payment of prescribed fees, any of the following persons or organisations may log on to the LIMS to conduct searches or to download information.

(1) Law Firms

(2) Financial Institutions;

(3) Corporate Organisations;

(4) Registered Estate Surveyors & Valuers.

PROCEDURE FOR CONDUCTING A SEARCH UNDER THE LAND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

  • Submission of an application in the prescribed form {Form 3} to the Registrar of Titles. See Schedule 1 of the Law.

(2) The application may be submitted online after the applicant has made the relevant payments by a Credit Card or by other permissible form of electronic payment. See Section 22 (2), (3) and (4) of the Law.

(3) The application would be considered and search will be conducted by or on the orders of the Registrar

(4) The Registrar would then issue an official Search report, See Form 4, Schedule 1 to the Law.

STEPS FOR REGISTRATION OF DOCUMENTS

(1) The time for application for registration should be within sixty (60) days after the grant of Governor’s consent, where applicable;

(2) The prescribed Forms for registration of interests covered by Certificate of Occupancy or Deeds are contained in Forms 1 and 2 in Schedule 1 of the Law

(3) The Registrar shall not register any assignment or sublease unless the land has been surveyed to the satisfaction of the office of the Surveyor-General.

REFUSAL OF REGISTRATION

By virtue of Section 7 and 9 of the Law, the Registrar may refuse registration in any of the following:

(a) Power of Attorney relating to transfer of land on which the consent of the Governor has not been endorsed;

(b) Documents declared void or in respect of which registration is prohibited under the Law; and

(c) Document that has not complied with the provisions of the Law.

EVIDENCE OF REGISTRATION

 By the provisions of Sections 6 and 11 of the Law, every document registered shall be sealed and marked by the registrar as evidence of such registration.

EFFECT OF REGISTRATION AND NON-REGISTRATION

(a) Registered document (or CTC of the same issued by or on the authority of the Registrar) shall be admissible in any court to prove that the interest/transaction is so registered.

(b) Any document or instrument registrable under the Law, but is not registered shall not be admissible in court as affecting the land to which it relates in accordance with the section 30 of the Law

(c) Late registration attracts fine. See Section 28 of the Law

(d) Registration governs priority. See Section 29 of the Law

(e) Section 4 provides that no interest is transferred or created unless and until the relevant document is registered.

In closing, the Land Registration Law of 2015 has simplified the process of land registration and documentation in Lagos State. The law provides the succinct path to conduct search and register an interest in property within Lagos State in line with the provisions of the Land Use Act, which is the principal legislation governing the alienation of land in Nigeria.

By Real Estate Law Team at Resolution Law Firm

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