What to know before buying land in Nigeria.

When purchasing land or property in Nigeria, a prospective purchaser of any property (or normally his solicitor) should have two main concerns:

First, he or she must be sure that the vendor of the property is really entitled to sell it. Thus, the buyer must first insist that the vendor proves that his legal title to the land is good and that he can pass to the purchaser of the land/ property which he is offering to sell.

Secondly, the purchaser will want to know whether any third parties have rights to the land which might interfere with his intended use of it. These third-party rights might include covenants restricting usage, a right of way, tree preservation order, or even mortgages.

Concerns about these matters will lead the purchaser or his representatives, to make extensive inquiries before the purchase of the property is finally concluded.

There are however many factors one needs to consider before buying a land in Nigeria these ranges from:

  1. The size of the land
  2. The soil type
  3. The location of the land which is very important
  4. The purpose which the land will be used for
  5. Accessibility of such land i.e proximity to access road
  6. The price of the land
  7. The legal papers available in respect of the land
  8. The environment, as well as the security conditions of the area, should be well evaluated before engaging in such a transaction.

In taking cognizance to the aforementioned factors, it is advisable to involve an expert who has the background, requisite knowledge and skills in this area of a property acquisition.

Thus it is very important to have a lawyer who is grounded in property law practice before embarking on a land purchase. This is so because a lawyer would ensure you don’t run into legal troubles with land documents after purchase, and also by virtue of our enabling laws it is only a legal practitioner that are allowed to prepare legal documents (instruments) involved in these conveyance process which involves the transfer of interest from one person to another.

Furthermore, inquiries which would be relevant for the purchaser solicitor to seek before buying a land on behalf of the purchaser include;

  1. Boundaries of the property
  2. Disputes over the property
  3. Guarantees in respect of the property
  4. Services supplied on the property
  5. Planning schemes of the property
  6. Insurance provisions and policies
  7. Reversionary title or interest

When all these have been satisfied, the purchaser solicitor can now proceed with the purchase of the property

Culled from: Real Estate Law Department at Resolution Law Firm, Lagos, Nigeria.

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