You know that feeling of excitement when you just bought a piece of land or house, especially if you are buying such for the first time.
You feel so great not just because you had a good deal but you did your due diligence and you’ve made all payments. Duly signed necessary documents like the land receipt and Deed of Assignment have been received by you. In the case of a house, you have even been handed the keys and you’ve moved in.
All of a sudden, you overheard somebody say YOU HAVE TO PERFECT YOUR TITLE, and you are like, “what the hell is perfecting land title?” At this point you are curious.
You could remember vividly that you were told the Deed of Assignment already transferred ownership of the property to you. So “why on earth are you required to perfect your land title?”
Surprised by the news, you rushed online and typed “title vs deed” to know the difference.
Well, let’s save you the stress and time:
Title vs Deed
While the deed is a document that transfers ownership of the property to you, the title transfers the legal right of ownership to you. Both are just field jargons you don’t need to worry about.
The main point here is all transactions relating to the transfer of ownership of landed property in Nigeria must be approved by the governor of the state where it is located. Otherwise, the transaction is incomplete and the land title is not perfect. That is, it is an equitable title.
The Governor’s Approval earlier mentioned is what is widely called Governor’s Consent.
After you have gotten Governor’s Consent, your Deed of Assignment will be stamped by the appropriate Inland Revenue Service and registered at the Lagos Land Registry if the property is located in Lagos State.
At that point, you have fulfilled all righteousness and can be said to have a perfect or absolute title.
Here is the good news: you don’t necessarily need a solicitor to do it for you. After reading this article, you will be able to perfect land title by yourself like a professional cook preparing common noodles.
But before we proceed, let’s talk about the benefits of having a perfect land title.
3 Benefits Of Having A Perfect Land Title
Some of the major gains of having a perfect title are:
- Your interest/ownership of land or house is fully secured if the property has a perfect title.
- Your perfect home title will serve as sufficient evidence of ownership in court in case a land dispute arises.
- The government will duly compensate you if it decides to use your land as part of public utility like roads.
How To Get Your Governor’s Consent
The first step to follow to perfect land title in Lagos Nigeria is to obtain Governor’s Consent.
As earlier explained, landowners need to get the consent of the governor of the state where their property is located before they can sell them. However, most sellers don’t. Thereby, leaving the process of obtaining the consent with the buyer.
That’s why, irrespective of who the burden of getting the Governor’s Consent falls on, the seller/owner is the only legitimate person to sign the application letter for consent.
In summary, you will provide the following documents to obtain a Governor’s Consent:
- 4 copies of Deed of Assignment and survey plan each.
- 1 picture of the property.
- The original copy of the owner/seller title document.
- Tax clearance certificates of the buyer and seller.
- Administrative fees e.g. charting fee, endorsement fee, and Land Form 1C fee.
- Application letter for consent and filled Land Form 1C
Please note that this application will be submitted to the Lagos Land Registry to get the fees to be paid for Governor’s Consent. It will also be submitted to the Surveyor General’s office for charting to ensure it’s not government land and the coordinates are appropriate.
Stamping Your Land Title
Once you have obtained your Governor’s Consent, you have 30 days to pay a stamp duty of 0.5% and other fees of about 2.5% of the value of the property. The other fees are consent fee (1.5%), registration fee (0.5%) and capital gain tax (0.5%).
In total, you will pay 3% of the value of the property to the government.
Please note that you will be required to pay a penalty fee for late payment.
The essence of stamping is to make the Deed of Assignment a recognizable document in court should a dispute arise and to make the land registry accept it for registration.
Once you are done with the payment, you will submit the receipts to the land registry. They will confirm your payment and forward your Deed of Assignment to the Stamp Duties Commissioner or any other designated commissioner to grant the Governor’s Consent on behalf of the governor.
If the buyer and seller are private individuals, the Deed of Assignment will be stamped by the State Inland Revenue Service. Otherwise, it will be stamped by the Federal.
Registering Your Land Title At The Lagos Land Registry
After your Deed of Assignment has been stamped, it will be taken to the land registry for registration. All documents that back your ownership of the property will also be registered there.
Thereafter, you will go to the Land Bureau to collect all the registered documents. And that’s it! You now have a perfect land title which is also called an absolute title. This confers all rights to you, including the legal right of transferring ownership of the property at will.
Those who have been sending questions like, “how do I get a copy of my house title in Lagos Nigeria”. I hope this guide is explanatory enough to guide you.
It takes about 3 months to complete the process.
Let’s recap the process again. To perfect your land title in Lagos state, you have to get your Governor’s Consent, stamp your Deed of Assignment at the appropriate Inland Revenue and register your land documents at the Lagos Land Registry.