REAL ESTATE 101 - SIMPLIFYING REAL ESTATE TERMINOLOGIES & PROCESSES
In May 2018, a detailed survey was conducted in Lagos for Middle Class Working Adults within the age bracket of 30-50 years on HOME OWNERSHIP.
The RESULTS WERE SHOCKING!!!
Less than 10% lived in their own houses! 90% lived in rented apartments…, some for over 15 years!!
Less than 25% had begun any significant effort towards Future Home Ownership.
So what is responsible for this “Lacuna??? “
78% of respondents reported a lack of Clarity/Understanding on the various Terminologies & “Step by Step” Processes, covering Land Acquisition in Nigeria .
This resulted in Procrastination based on a foundation of FEAR & Lack of Accurate Information. This article tackles this all important topic, which has hindered a large majority of middle class adults from taking Decisive Steps, towards their Future Home Ownership Goals.
NOW LET’S GET STARTED…!!
The first step, will be to familiarize ourselves with the system of Land measurement in Nigeria.
In Lagos State, the standard size of a plot is 60ft x 120ft (18m x 36m i.e. 648 sqm), while in some other cities of the country, plots are measured in 50ft x 100ft.
An Acre is a standard unit of measurement used by Land sellers and it is almost equivalent to the size of a standard football field. It can also be calculated as the sum of 6 plots (each measuring 60ft x 120ft)
A hectare is the equivalent of 15 Plots OR 2.5 Acres. It can also be expressed as 100metres X 100metres (100sqm) OR 328feet X 328feet.
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 Lagos as it relates to survey issues in Lagos. A survey plan must contain the following information:
1. The name of the owner of the land surveyed 2. The Address or description of the land surveyed3. The size of the land surveyed .4. The drawn out portion of the land survey and mapped out on the survey plan document. 5. The beacon numbers .6. The surveyor who drew up the survey plan and the date it was drawn up. 7. A stamp showing the land is either free from Government acquisition or not.
All the lands in a state are under the control of the state, supervised by the State Governor, hence the name….. Global Acquisition. There are 2 types of acquisition:
- Committed acquisition –Here, the government has indicated its interest to use the land for a specific purpose in the near future…e.g. ( Public Amenities )
- Global/General Acquisition – A land under Global Acquisition is SAFE TO BUY ,because the title on the land can be perfected without issues and becomes FREE, through a process called EXCISION
Excision is the first stage of perfecting a title for an acquired land. The government recognizes that indigenes of different sections of the country have a right to existence . . . a right to the land of their birth. Hence, it is customary for state government to cede a portion of land, back to the original owners (natives) of each area. An Excision means basically taking a part from a whole (Partitioning), and that part that has been excised, will be recorded and documented in the official government Gazette of that state. It is this Excised piece of land, deemed FREE OF ACQUISITION, which becomes GAZETTED.
A Gazette is an Official record book where all special government details are spelt out, detailed and recorded
A Gazette is a very powerful instrument the community owns and can replace a Certificate of Occupancy to grant title to the Villagers. A gazette also shows the communities or villages that have been granted Excision and the number of acres or hectares of land that the government has given to them. It is within those excised acres or hectares that the traditional family is entitled to sell its lands to the public and not anything outside those hectares of land given or excised to them.
DEED OF SALE
A Deed of Sale is the main document by which a seller transfers his right on the property to the purchaser, who then acquires absolute ownership of the property. It is also referred to as the conveyance deed. The document also contains Terms & Conditions regarding the sale. It indemnifies the buyer from loss arising from negative issues as applicable to the land sale.
DEED OF ASSIGNMENT
A Deed of Assignment is an Agreement between the Seller of a Land or Property and a Buyer of that Land showing evidence that the Seller has transferred all his rights, his title, his interest and ownership of that land to that the Seller that has just bought land. It is subsequently recorded in the Land Registry as legal proof that the land has exchanged hands and the public should be aware of the transaction.
The Governor’s Consent is the next logical step after obtaining Deed of Assignment. The first person on a Virgin Land that has neither been occupied by another person nor under acquisition by the Government is entitled to get a Certificate of Occupancy on that land. If that person with the C of O decides to sell his land to another person after so many years, that person must now obtain the Consent of the Governor before that transaction can be deemed legal in the eyes of the Government. In other words, the first person on a land is the only person or group of persons entitled to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy. Every subsequent buyer of that land must get a Governor’s consent. Obtaining a Governors consent is the last step before you can obtain a building plan approval.
CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY (C of O)
A Certificate of Occupancy is an officially recognized Document for demonstrating Right to a Land. Its issuance certifies that the Lagos State Government officially leases Lagos land to you, the applicant, for 99 yrs.
GLOBAL CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY (Global C of O)
This is a certificate of occupancy, issued to an estate owner , covering the whole expanse of land. The estate owner can then issue a Deed of Assignment to individual owners of plots in the estate , signifying Transfer of Ownership.
The last 10 years have witnessed a Geometric percentage appreciation along the LEKKI – AJAH Axis. On average, a plot of land bought in 2008 has appreciated by 750% in 10 years!! Procrastination &” Pessimistic Paralysis” have been the main 2 culprits that delay/deny us the impetus to take positive action.
Do your Due Diligence…A simple search at the Lagos State Land Registry on the authenticity of your prospective land purchase could save you from a lifetime of regret.
SEEK KNOWLEDGE. And Then………………………. ACT!!………Stop making EXCUSES!!
You will be glad you did.