The Process for Conducting Search and Verifying Land Titles In Lagos, Nigeria

Conducting land search and verifying land title of a landed property is important for the purpose of ascertaining that the land or property has a good root of title or for detecting any defect in the title. Land searches and verifications involve carrying out due diligence at the Land Registry and other applicable places depending on the specific land transaction.

The processes involved in conducting search and verifying land titles include the following:

  1. Search at the Land Registry, Lagos State.

The Land Registry maintains all documents relating to land within the state.  A search at the Land Registry will reveal the true owner of the land as well as any encumbrances such as government acquisition, mortgages, or leasehold on the property. Only land that has been duly registered with the state government can be verified.

  1. Confirmation of survey at the office of the Surveyor-General Lagos State.

This is an important process in land verification. It involves the verification of the location of the land using the land coordinates in the survey plan. This process verifies the survey plan and reveals in the land in under acquisition.

  1. Conducting a search at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

Companies are required to be registered with the CAC before they can acquire properties. Thus, a search is conducted at the CAC to confirm whether there is an encumbrance or charge registered in CAC with regards to the company’s assets.

  • Search at the Probate Registry

A landed property may form part of a deceased estate, thus a search at the Probate Registry will verify whether probate has been given on any estate; who the administrators of the estate are; or to determine the executors of a testator in a situation of properties belonging to the estate of a deceased.

  • Traditional Investigation

The land title of a single individual vendor, can be verified by conducting a traditional search. An investigation of the vendor’s family to identify the principal members of the family, as well as the community in the town where the land is located, particularly if the land is subject to family or community ownership. It is vital to confirm that the consent of all family members, including the family head, was obtained and that the family name is not void or voidable.

  • Search at the Court’s Registry

This search will reveal if a landed property is subject to court litigation or has been litigated upon and the end result of the dispute.

  • Physical Inspection of the land site

Physical inspection is to confirm the physical condition of the land or property, to know the boundary of the land, to confirm if it corresponds with the coordinates on the survey plan, and to know whether it is in possession by any person or than the vendor.

Conducting due diligence search and verification on land titles will assist a buyer in eliminating doubt, ambiguity or confusion surrounding a property.

By Adeola Oyinlade & Co.

Note: The content of this article is anticipated to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstance.

Adeola Oyinlade & Co provides help and offer advisory to clients on conducting due diligence search and verification on land titles in Lagos, Nigeria

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