If you’re acquiring property in Lagos, you’ll want to be sure that it’s registered with the state government, and that the relevant documents are genuine.
There’s a high demand for land in Lagos. And there are lots of sellers too. But fraudsters have taken advantage of the demand for real estate and duped unsuspecting buyers. They do this with fake documents and spurious claims to ownership of real or fictitious property.
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By confirming the authenticity of the registration claims to the land you’re interested in, you’ll save yourself the embarrassment and financial cost of being sold property that isn’t genuine.
Where Is Property Registration Confirmed in Lagos?
If you want to confirm that a property is duly registered in Lagos, you should do so at the Lagos State Land Registry. It’s located in Alausa, Ikeja. The Land Registry maintains documents relating to lands within the state.
Only registered property can be found in the registry’s records. A search at the registry will also reveal the actual owner of the land. This could save you from being ‘sold’ property by a poser.
What’s more, the records there may reveal whether the property has been pre-assigned for government use. You should avoid lands that fall under this category.
Documents for Verifying Property Registration at the Lagos State Land Registry
You will need to take the following documents with you to the land registry.
- Application letter addressed to the Registrar of Titles
- A duplicate copy of the land’s Certificate of Registration
- Certificate of payment (you’ll get this after paying the search fee at the bank)
If you’re in talks with a supposed land-owner about buying their property, you can obtain a duplicate of the Certificate of Registration from them.
How to Verify the Registration Status at the Land Registry
Here are the steps to conducting a search at the land registry.
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Visit the land registry. You will be directed to pay a stipulated sum as a ‘search fee’ at a particular bank. Upon payment of the search fee, you will be issued a certificate of payment at the bank.
Be sure to make copies of the teller and certificate of payment you receive at the bank. You will be handing the photocopies to the Land Registry.
When you’re back at the registry, you’ll be asked to fill a form. Some information you’ll need to put down on the form include the applicant’s name, contact details, why you’re conducting a search, payment certificate number, and amount paid.
After this, you’ll take your documents (originals and photocopies) to the officer present. They will review the true copies, and take the photocopies.
Next, you’ll be given access to a computer, on which you can conduct an ‘e-search’ for the original Certificate of Registration and related information.
When examining details related to the land you’re interested in, you should pay attention to these things like the name and address of the owner, the root of title, land description, the year in which the grant was given, type of grant, the term of years for the grant, and possible obstacles to ownership such as mortgages, government acquisition, or leasehold.
Write down these details, and compare them with the facts as presented by the supposed owner of the property in question. If they are consistent with each other, you may go ahead with the acquisition process.
Note: If you can’t handle this process yourself, you may ask a lawyer who’s knowledgeable about real estate to do so on your behalf.
There’s a lot you need to weigh before purchasing land in Lagos (or anywhere else). The registration status of the property is one of such things. Get this right, and you’ll raise your chances of purchasing something that’s worth your time and money.
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