Last week I explained in detail steps to apply to verify the authenticity of a survey plan and uncover whether the parcel of land in question belongs to the government or not. I also explained how to confirm the ownership of the land at the Surveyor-General’s office.
Today, we will look into how to conduct a land title search at the land registry.
For a new or intending landowner, a land certificate might sound like rocket science. So, let’s simplify it.
A land certificate is a document that was given to the owner of the land when he registered it at the land registry.
Of course, you and I know that there are a lot of OLUWOLE documents in Nigeria.
That is why all land titles need verification.
Like I always say, you don’t do business based on trust but principles. That’s why those you don’t trust can’t dupe you.
So to stay on top of your game in real estate, you must VERIFY before you TRANSACT.
Please permit me to repeat it, “VERIFY before you TRANSACT”.
The good news is, you don’t necessarily need a title search company or a legal firm to conduct this task for you.
If you have the time and chance, you can do it yourself.
As such, learning how to conduct a land title search at the Lagos Land Registry is a life-long edge you will possess over and above others as far as real estate investing is concerned.
What You Will Learn From This Article
This copy will walk you through the step-by-step process of doing it yourself even if you’ve never owned or bought a plot of land or house before.
- First of all, it will give a brief overview of the Lagos Land Registry so you will have background knowledge of the process.
- Next, it will tell you what is involved in a property title search or a land title certificate search and
- Finally, you will learn how to conduct a title search on property yourself.
This is part of our premium consulting service but you will be getting it all for free.
I can’t tell how long I’m going to leave it here for free but enjoy it while it lasts.
A Brief Overview Of The Lagos Land Registry
The Lagos Land Registry, located at the Secretariat Alausa Ikeja, is charged with the responsibility of registering and verifying property or land title within the state.
Over the years, Lagos state has improved on its process of registering and verifying land documents to the extent that it has gone electronic.
Its electronic system is called Land Information Management System.
Before the introduction of this system, documents registered with them were filed in such an orderly manner that all documents relating to each property were contained in one file.
The Registry doesn’t just keep land title records, it verifies the records, verifies facts surrounding the records and, identifies the parties involved.
The date of the registration is an important factor here because it will assist to spot the land grabber should there be a subsequent registration of the same property with modified documents by someone else resulting in a dispute.
Subsequent transactions or happenings on the parcel of land or property involved are updated at the Land Registry. So when you go to verify land title at the Lagos Land Registry, all information needed for the property is made available with ease from one register.
What A Title Search At The Land Registry Will Reveal To You
When you go to verify land title at the Lagos Land Registry, you will be furnished with the following details:
- Dispute on the land/property.
- Mortgage on the property.
- Lease of the property.
- Description of the property.
- Location of the property.
- Details of the owner of the property.
- Restrictions of the owner’s right on the property (if any) etc.
How To Conduct Title Search On A Property Yourself
To conduct land title search at the Lagos Land Registry, a potential buyer should visit the registry and
- Pick up and fill an application form called Form 3
- Present a sworn declaration that shows you were permitted by the seller/owner to verify the land title.
- Present a copy of the land title certificate given to you by the landowner to verify.
- Pay the search fee which is just about N4,000 (less than $10).
Before now, you must have been wondering what is involved in a property title search. Now you know. Congrats!
As mentioned in my post titled 4 Costly Flaws Of A Backdated Survey Plan That Might Make You Cry, there is no free title search or online title search in Nigeria for now.
At The End Of The Land Title Search, You Will Be Given An Official Report That:
- Describes the land/property.
- Shows the history of the land as it relates to a land dispute, transactions or exchange from buyer to buyer, mortgage or lease of the land, etc.
- Based on the above, you will be able to ascertain if the land title certificate is one you can trust.
The robust nature of the Land Information Management System introduced by the Lagos Land Registry for conducting a land title search makes it so easy, cheap, and fast to do so now.
So you no longer have an excuse to throw your money away to land scams. Hurray!
Always remember the rule, “VERIFY the land title certificate before you TRANSACT”.
If you breach the rules, you will burn your fingers. Sure, it will be too late to cry when the head is off.
The most interesting thing here is that the proof of property or land title ownership provided by the Lagos Land Registry is indisputable.