In Nigeria as a whole there are various land documents, affecting the transfer of land ownership and legal interest in a property.
A prospective purchaser of land must be acquainted with appropriate land documents relevant to the property to be purchased. All documents are not mandatory or relevant to a single property, an appropriate document for any proposed property transaction will be determined by the nature or circumstances of the property to be purchased. Below, are some of the relevant documents for land or property transaction in Nigeria.
- LAND PURCHASE RECEIPT
A land purchase receipt is a normal receipt or document reflecting the receipt of payment for a particular property or land. It is a normal tradition in property transactions that a vendor issues a receipt to the buyer upon the sale of a property.
- CONTRACT OF SALE OF LAND
The contract of sale of land is used by parties to agree on some terms before the finalization of the transaction. It is relevant when any property is to be purchased by anyone. It is not a registrable instrument and must be preceded with other document transferring title in the applicable property.
- SURVEY PLAN
A survey plan is used to identify the exact location and size of the landed property. With the descriptions and coordinates on the survey document, it is easier to check or search from the office of the Surveyor-General whether the land is actually under any government acquisition or not.
- DEED OF ASSIGNMENT
Deed of Assignment or Deed of Conveyance is used in sales transactions to permanently transfer a landed property from the seller (also known as assignor) to the buyer (also refers to as assignee). It may be drafted by the assignor and reviewed by the assignee or vice versa.
- CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY(C Of O)
C of O is usually issued by the state government, indicating that a person owns a parcel of land or property. Governments issues it to the allottees of the government’s land. An Individual who subsequently takes over land by way of sale does not require a new certificate of occupancy but rather a deed of assignment with the governor’s consent.
- GRANT OF PROBATE
A grant of probate is a document derived after proving the will of a deceased person through inheritance in the probate registry. The document vests all the assets contained in the will into the executors of the estate, who are now recognized legal owners (beneficiaries) of the property in law. After the owner of any property has become late, all the property’s documents of such person are no longer valid to transfer any interest in the assets left behind by him or her. The Probate will now be the only recognized legal documents to prove the title to such property.
- LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION
The letter of administration also vests the property left behind by a deceased person into the administrators of a specific estate. It is usually granted to the personal representatives of a deceased person where the deceased left no will before death or where the will has become invalid for any reason.
Assent is a legal document used to vest an interest in a specific estate into the beneficiaries of an estate or any third-party buyer by the executors or the administrators of the estate. It is always accompanied by a copy of a grant of probate or letter of administration.