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Important land documents you need to know before buying a land in Nigeria

Important land documents you need to know before buying a land in Nigeria

Hello Toplanders, our topic today will be on a very important subject involved in the process of property acquisition. It is important that any individual who intends to purchase a landed property must know and fully understand the various types of documentation that governs land transactions. It is a known fact that fewer than 12% of first time land purchasers fully understand what land documents truly represents and why you must have them.


The most important thing about these documents is the fact that they are the only way that you can truly claim ownership of any landed property. So you must ensure that these documents at the point of being handed over to you are verified and recognized by the relevant government agencies.


So if at any point there’s any dispute about any property, all you might have to do to prove genuine ownership is to present the documents. As our laws recognize the individual who is in possession of these documents (in their name also) as the legitimate owner of the property.


Below are 7 Basic title documents which are relevant to landed property ownership in Nigeria;


Certificate Of Occupancy (C of O)

Deed Of Assignment/Conveyance

Deed Of Mortgage

Survey Plan

Land Certificate

Deed of Lease

Deed Of Sub-Lease


1.Certificate Of Occupancy (C of O)

A C of O is primarily known as the officially recognized Land Document for demonstrating Right to a Land/property. It is a Land Document issued by the State Government which officially leases any land under the state to the applicant for 99 yrs. As previously known, all lands belong to the Government.


  1. Deed Of Assignment/Conveyance

This is another important document that must be demanded and given to a purchaser after the conclusion of any land/property transaction between such Buyer and the Seller of the property in question.


The Deed of Assignment contains very important information for every real estate transaction. For example, it spells out the date when the ownership of the property transfers from one owner to the other. The deed also gives a specific description of the property that is included in the transfer of ownership.


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  1. Deed Of Mortgage

This document is seen by law as a security for a loan with an undertaken for repayment . The common types of mortgage transactions are; Equitable Mortgage and Legal Mortgage


Legal mortgage is known as a type of mortgage which transfers the legal interest one has in the property, whether leasehold or freehold in consideration for loan advancement while Equitable Mortgage transfers just an equitable interest in the property to the mortgage.


  1. Survey Plan

This piece of document helps to clearly show the boundary measurements of a parcel of land and also gives an accurate measurement and description of that land. It reveals the true ownership status in any properties’ transactions. It also helps to reveal if such land is not under any government acquired or committed lands/area.


Professionally trained Surveyors are the people who handle survey plans and they are also regulated by the office of the Surveyor-General of the state where the property is located.


  1. Land Certificate

This is a document of title as to the ownership of a piece or large parcel of land. Prior to the promulgation of the Land Use Act of 1978, it was usually issued by a government’s land registry for registered freehold or leasehold lands in Nigeria. Land Certificates were issued to owners of landed properties when the Property Conveyance Law of 1959 was still in effect.


  1. Deed of Lease

It is also known to many people as Governor’s Consent.  This land document is obtained whenever you buy a land with C of O. It’s the land document that lets the office of the Governor and the general public; know that the land in question has changed ownership.


The Deed of Lease was majorly used to transfer property especially government properties in Ikoyi, Surulere, Victoria Island axis of Lagos state during the mid-70s and 80s after the promulgation of the Land Use Act. These lands were mostly federal government lands at the time and also high profile lands.  It was also the first foray into the issuance of the certificate of occupancies for the first time to people.


  1. Deed Of Sub-Lease

This is another important legal document duly signed and stamped indicating land and landed property transaction between a leaseholder of land sub-leasing his/her unexpired lease term to a third party.


Are you interested in buying or selling any property in Lagos or any other part of Nigeria? We @ Topland Realties Limited are expert Real Estate Advisors. We have many years of experience in the brokering of Real Estate deals involving both residential and commercial properties.

We have lands and other property types for sale/lease scattered across Lagos State and we’re always more than happy to take you on a site inspection.

To get started Contact us today Call or Whatsapp- +234 811 443 1525


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