Why Deed Of Assignment Is Important In Every Property Purchase In Nigeria

Are you looking to purchase a property in Nigeria? If yes, besides making payments, there are a number of documentation you should possess to establish your ownership. Having all the payment-related documents is crucial, however in order to avoid legal issues with individuals as well as government authorities, it is much more important that one possesses a proof of ownership or deed of assignment. It is necessary that a deed of assignment is included in a real estate transaction in Nigeria and should not overlooked at any cost.

Failure for an investor to prepare the deed of assignment will inevitably lead to them experiencing legal issues in future. Hence, preparing the different types of legal documents in Nigeria including Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), Papers of Survey Plan, Governor’s consent, and other documents along with a deed of assignment is essential to execute any kind of property deals.

What is the deed of assignment?

The Deed Of Assignment refers to a legal document that is required at the time of land sale. This agreement establishes the ownership of a property as well as its interest and title, and can be transferred from the current owner to another person. The document features all the valid information and details of the property required to bind all parties involved in the transfer of ownership of the land. Without a well-crafted deed of assignment, no real estate deals can be properly executed. Generally, the deed of the assignment features the following information.

  • All the information of contracting parties including their names and status.
  • The address of both parties
  • The purchase price of the land or property and the seller’s willingness to accept the price.
  • All the details and description of the land and its size.
  • All the histories and background of the landed property
  • The description of the property which includes the fittings and fixtures.
  • Details of a verifiable document that the property possesses
  • Covenants or pledges both parties commit to undertake in order to fulfill the transaction
  • Survey Plan
  • Signatures of both parties and that of the witnesses of the transaction
  • Details of the Legal practitioner who prepared the deed.
  • Section for the Governor’s consent to be signed and verified.

Why is the deed of assignment important?

A deed of assignment’s primary purpose is to transfer the interest or assign the same property from the old proprietor to the new owner. However, to achieve this purpose, the deed of assignment needs to include all the details listed above. Asides from its primary purpose, the Deed of assignment provides the following benefits.

  1. Provides formality: A deed of assignment is a formal contract that is generally executed between two parties to ease the process of real estate transactions. It contains all the fundamental requirements and the specific terms of the transaction which all parties have agreed to and all transactions are based upon.
  2. Serves as a guarantee: A property lawyer needs to draft a deed of assignment that guarantees the ultimate interest of both parties. Commonly, the assignee’s lawyer assists in drafting the deed of the assignment, which is later handed to the assignor for vetting and to be executed. However, in a case where the property falls within an estate, the assignor’s lawyer may prepare the deed which will be reviewed by the assignee’s lawyer.
  3. Serves as a valid evidence of transfer: A deed of assignment serves the valid source of title to the land. It ensures the existence of solid evidence of transfer, especially, in instances where the legitimacy of the land is denied or a third party seeks to claim the ownership of the same land.

How to register a deed of assignment?

After the deed of assignment has been executed by both parties, it must be duly registered and authorized by the Governor of the state in adherence to the Land Use Act, LFN, 2004 The incorporation of the deed of assignment follows three vital steps in Lagos State or any other state  in Nigeria. These steps are as follows :

  • First of all, you have to obtain the government’s consent. Where the purchased land is already registered in the vendor’s name at the registry. The application must be made with the land form 1C which is available at the land’s registry. The form is to be signed by the purchaser and vendor.
  • After obtaining the government approval, the deed must be stamped. The applicants need to ensure that the transaction’s stamp duty is paid. It is recommended that the consent of the governor is obtained before making payment for stamp duties, as duties paid can not be recovered if the governor doesn’t give consent. Failure to pay the stamp duties may lead to consequences like cancellation of the registration of the instrument, according to section 22 of the stamp duties, the instrument will be inadmissible in the court, a penalty can be imposed.
  • The final step is the actual registration of the deed of assignment. The registration of any deed of assignment must take place within 60 days after the execution according to section 25 of the Land Instrument Registration Law in Lagos State.

In summary, the deed of assignment otherwise known as deed of conveyancing in other states in Nigeria is an important document because it serves as the main document between the owner and buyer , providing evidence that all the necessary transactions that are required to happen at the time of property purchase has been fulfilled.

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