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How To Identify A Genuine Landed Property Before Buying


A buyer needs to have proper understanding of at least three basic requirements of a genuine land.

(1) Land Classification (2) Deed of assignment (title documents) (3) Survey plan.

(1) Land Classification
A parcel of land can be classified as either free or acquired. If the government has not indicated any interest whatsoever in that land, then the parcel of land is considered free. Such land is safe to buy because the title on the land can be perfected without issues.

In most cases, such lands will either have a gazette, a C of O or a governor’s consent. All lands that fall within areas that are designated as ‘urban areas’ are under government acquisition until deemed committed or free. There are two types of acquisition: (I) Committed Acquisition (ii) Global or general acquisition.

(i) Committed Acquisition
A parcel of land is said to be under committed acquisition when the government has indicated an intention to use that land for a specific purpose such as provision of amenities. Such lands belong to the government and can never be available for use by individuals. If you purchase land that is under committed acquisition, it will be impossible for you to perfect your land title and you’ll only be occupying the land until the government comes to kick you out.

(ii) Global or General Acquisition
Lands that are under “general acquisition” or “global acquisition” can later be confirmed ‘free’ or ‘committed’ as the case may be. A land under general acquisition can become free by a process called excision.

“Excision is a process whereby the government releases a portion of an expanse of land that is not committed” If a parcel of land that was formerly under acquisition becomes excised; it is then considered free and becomes gazetted. The gazette then becomes the title on the land and such land is safe to buy because a proper title can be processed on the land.

A second case where lands under general acquisition can be released is if an individual purchased a land that was under acquisition without going through an excision process. Such lands can go through another process called “ratification” or “regularisation” in which the land owner pays for the land to be ratified or regularised. The only conditions in this case are that the land in question must not fall within a committed area and that the purpose for which the land was bought does not disrupt the original plan of the state. Conditions for ratification may differ from state to state.

(2) Deed of Assignments
A Deed of assignment is one of the documents for transaction drawn up by a real estate attorney between the current title holder for a particular property and the new buyer.

In real property transactions, a deed of assignment is a legal document that transfers the interest of the owner of that interest to the person to whom it is assigned, the assignee. When ownership is transferred, the deed of assignment shows the new legal owner of the property.

The deed contains very pertinent information for a real estate transaction. 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.

It is very compulsory and mandatory for a deed of assignment document to be recorded at the appropriate land registry to show legal evidence as to the exchange of ownership in any land/landed property transaction in order to make the general public and government aware of such exchange or transaction.

Any recorded deed of assignment at the appropriate land registry will be authenticated in form of either a governor’s consent or registered conveyance after it has been stamped at the stamp duties office.

It is important to note that the deed of assignment document is not the only document indicating transfer of ownership, the following documents are usually involved when a purchase is made:
(i) The purchase receipt (ii) The contract of sale (iii) The deed of assignment (iv) The survey plan (v) The building plan for housing investment (vi) Any other title document that may apply. Each of these documents can come at separate times in the transaction process. The seller signs all documents when the transaction is complete and hands over the documents to the buyer.


(3) Survey plan
A Survey plan is a document that measures the boundary of a parcel of land to give an accurate measurement and description of that land. The people that handle survey issues are Surveyors and they are regulated by the office of the Surveyor general in a state as it relates to survey issues in that state. A survey plan must contain the following information:

(i) The name of the owner of the land surveyed (ii) The Address or description of the land surveyed (iii) The size of the land surveyed (iv) The drawn out portion of the land survey and mapped out on the survey plan document (v) The beacon numbers (vi) The surveyor who drew up the survey plan and the date it was drawn up (vii) A stamp showing the land is either free from Government acquisition or not.
For more information or enquires concerning landed properties, you can contact us through email or mobile phone. Email: or call us on +234 09044906390 or +234 08167518241

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