For many, buying a piece of Land or Real Property is all about finding a vendor willing to sell and meeting the price of the Property. Many people fall into the mistake of dealing with vendors of properties in trust, assuming that; because they have known each other for donkey years or the fact an agent has assured them of good Title is sufficient to avoid future troubles with respect to the Land or Real Property.
Therefore it is paramount to take certain steps prior to the purchase of any Land/Property, during the course of purchase and even after purchase has being made for the sake of securing ones interest in the said Property. A willing purchaser as a matter of importance should investigate the Title of the vendor to the said Land/Property in some cases the track record of such vendor should be looked into in order to forestall any future legal issues and thus, after all the investigation on the Land/Property has been made then the Perfection of the Title Document sets in which is what we will be talking about.
First and foremost what is Perfection of Title Document? This can be referred to as the registration of one’s interest in a property with the Government of a State in any part of Nigeria where a Property bought is situated.
While a Title Document simply means phrases that introduces the topic of the entire document which should be easy to understand and address the subject of the entire documents and they are usually placed at the top of the first page on short documents or on a separate title page in longer documents.
Example of Title Documents are:
i. Bill of sale
ii. Certificate of title
iii. Title deed
iv. Bill of lading
v. Dock receipt or warehouse receipt
Why do you need to perfect your Title Document? You will find out that in Nigeria today, there have been endless litigation in Nigerian Court of Law over land or property dispute. Most people have lost their lands and houses to other people with better Title. The reason for this is not farfetched and you will simply find out that this persons failed to acquire the right documents for proper ownership of the Land/Property or failed to complete the process of acquiring a complete and perfect Title for it. And so in a bid to achieving justice, the court will rule in the favour of any of the litigants that can provide a better Title to a Land/Property.
Therefore in order not to loss any claim to your land or property it is necessary to Perfect your Title Document which is prepared by a professional, well trained and most importantly registered Solicitor and processed by an Estate Surveyor and Valuer.
Reasons for Title Document: You may be wondering “what is the reason for Title Document” well the reason is also not farfetched as it ensures you right to own the property and to sell it in the future if you wish to and It also ensures full protection of your property from those who may want to claim it in the nearest future
Many people who are oblivious to legal requirements usually think that after executing deeds of Assignment or Conveyance as the case maybe that they have done all that is required of them and continue to enjoy their newly acquired property.
However, there is still a lot more to be done to “Perfect” the title to the newly acquired Land/Property and these includes
1. Application of Governor’s Consent: According to section 22 of the Land use Act, 1978 requires that for every transfer of any property in Nigeria the Governor’s Consent is required. The Act provides that all Land in each State of the Federation is vested in the Governor of each State whose prior consent is mandatory for the legal validity of any transfers or alienation of the interest in a landed property. To this effect, the clause “Consent” is an instrument itself.
The following documents are required in obtaining the Governor’s Consent
1. Forwarding/Cover Letter (with date, address, telephone numbers, email address).
2. Chartable Survey Plan (4 copies).
3. Completed Form IC
4. Certified True Copy (CTC) of Guarantor’s Title Document.
5. Duly executed deeds (4 copies) spiral bound with Assignee’s Signatory on all pages.
6. Picture of Site with date and time showing adjoining properties.
7. Location Sketch Properly drawn
8. Charting and Endorsement/Form IC fee
9. Copy of Identification (Clear Copy)
10. Sworn Affidavit
(For more on the documents required you can send us a mail firstname.lastname@example.org)
2. Payment of Stamp Duties: The Stamp Duties Act which governs this procedures has laid down requirement and procedures for stamping your instruments and this are as follows.
i. Forward the title document to the Stamp Duties Commissioner within thirty days of execution otherwise, you will be liable to pay the penalty.
ii. Ensure that you deliver at least (2) copies.
iii. The commissioner will assess “add Valorem” (based on value). It is usually between (3.5%) of the consideration of the transaction.
iv. Payment should be made by bank draft and sometimes in the name of the State Government.
v. Upon making payments, the Commissioner will impress on the instrument the word, “Stamp Duty Paid”.
3. Registration of Conveyance or Assignment at the Lands Registry: Registration of the title is done in order to avoid fraud and problems arising from the suppression or omission of instruments when Title is deduced in the case of subsequent transactions it would show a registered interest in the said property.
Once all these is done and dusted one can then rest easy and be assured of a solid Title to any Property acquired or Land purchased.
Note; the above processes could take a long time so one has to be patient as there are no short cuts to Perfection of Title Document to Land/Real Property in general.