Property law in Nigeria is made to regulate the procedure of enjoyment, acquisition, and disposal of properties. The property law is dynamic; it includes interest transfer land or real properties. These properties include an outright sale of a property, power donation, charge, lease, assent, mortgages. We have several laws that can be applied to property transactions Laws that are applicable for the real estate property transaction
- Customary laws
Customary laws are applied to ownership, properties transfer under the native laws and customs. It shows the pluralistic nature of Nigeria. It includes ethnicity, religion, and says that the religious law paradigm creates difficulties. This law is considered valid when there are evidence and witness of the payment of the purchase price. It only considers evidence and witnesses as the only documentary evidence of property transactions. It doesn’t include deeds as documentary evidence. It is based on oral transaction-based.
- Case laws
In case of disputes over properties, judicial decisions of the Supreme Court of Nigeria are considered and accepted in property law practice in Nigeria. Case law is nothing but depends upon the judicial decisions and not on the laws written in their conditions, statutes, or regulation. These court statements have held importance and form the main part in decision making. For example, in one such situation of Ogunleye v. Oni, the Nigerian Supreme court declared that the Certificate of Occupancy (CofO) is the incomplete title to land and as it is weak it cannot become strong by the issuance of Certificate of Occupancy.
- Received English Laws
Nigeria was colonized by Britain and it is quite natural that there will be some reflection of British Law on the Nigerian legal system. Things that are found in English law are rules of common law, statutes of General Application, and doctrines of equity. And these are also found in the Nigerian legal system. English law influences the Nigerian legal system to a great extent. These laws are backed up by
Ø Interpretation Act
Ø Supreme Court Ordinance
Importance of Real Estate and Property Lawyer in Nigeria
One of the most important transactions is the selling and buying of properties that need guidance from experts. Here when the importance of the Real Estate and Property Lawyers comes into the picture. Property lawyers of Nigeria protect the interest of the parties in any transaction of properties. That can be either the seller or the buyer. Real Estate or Property Lawyers are important for many things.
- Property searches
Many types of research should be done before you decide to buy a property. Real estate and property lawyers are there to do all the searches on behalf of their clients. The researches that the layers do
A title search of the property
Ø Unpaid taxes
Ø outstanding mortgages on the property
Ø Certain easements or restrictive covenants
Ø Acquisition by the government for overriding public interest
Ø Construction linens on the property
Ø Court judgment
- Root title investigation
The property’s root title is investigated by a verification of the principal family members and if there is none, then the verification can also be done from the relevant people within the community.
- Documents drafting
Different types of documents are drafted by the Real Estate lawyers for the transaction of properties.
- Title perfection is the newly acquired property
Title perfection is done by applying for the consent of the Governor, payment of stamp duty, and deed registration of assignment at the Lands Registry. The owner must perfect her or his title according to Land Use Act.
Real Estate and Property Lawyer plays a crucial role in the property transaction. If you have any questions, feel free o contact us.