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Documents You Need for a Smooth Property Transfer in Nigeria

Buying a property in Nigeria is a significant investment, and ensuring a smooth transfer of ownership is crucial. Beyond just making payments, you'll need to secure several documents to finalize the process. These documents act as proof of ownership and protect both the buyer and seller in case of any disputes.


Documents Property

Here's a breakdown of the key documents required for property transfer in Nigeria:


  • Certificate of Occupancy (C of O): This is the most important land document in Nigeria. It essentially certifies the legal ownership status of a piece of land.  Issued by either the State Governor (Statutory Right of Occupancy) or the Local Government Chairman (Customary Right of Occupancy), the C of O verifies your legal right to occupy the land.

  • Right of Occupancy (R of O): Introduced by the Land Use Act, the R of O grants individuals or organizations the right to use and occupy a designated plot of land for a specific period.  This right typically lasts up to 99 years for residential purposes and 35-70 years for other uses.

  • Deed of Assignment: This agreement formalizes the transfer of ownership between the seller (assignor) and the buyer (assignee) of a property.  It outlines the details of the transaction, including the transfer date, property description, and agreed purchase price.  The Deed of Assignment serves as a vital record of ownership history and helps resolve any potential disputes.

  • Deed of Lease (Commercial Properties):  For commercial properties, a Deed of Lease serves as the formal contract between the landlord and tenant.  This document is typically prepared based on the terms agreed upon in a prior Lease Agreement.

  • Deed of Sub-Lease:  If a leaseholder wishes to sublet their remaining lease term to a third party, a Deed of Sub-Lease is required.  This signed and stamped document formalizes the subletting agreement.

  • Deed of Mortgage:  In cases where a property is used as loan security, a Deed of Mortgage is necessary.  This document outlines the transfer of an interest in the land as collateral for the debt, with the option for redemption upon full repayment.

  • Survey Plan:  A survey plan provides a visual representation of the property's boundaries and dimensions.  It helps verify that the land is not part of any government acquisition or committed area.  A thorough survey, especially for vacant land, is crucial to avoid any ownership conflicts.


By securing these documents, you can ensure a smooth and secure property transfer process in Nigeria. Remember,  it's always wise to consult with a legal professional to ensure all legal aspects of the transaction are addressed.

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