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Nigerian Real Estate 101: Know Your Land Titles & Documents

Updated: Nov 12, 2021

Land titles are legal documents or certificates that serve as evidence of land ownership.

A land title proves a person's ownership or authority over a parcel of land. There are different types of land titles, and they carry different weights in terms of their perceived worth or how valued they are.

The C of O (certificate of occupancy) is perhaps the most commonly known land title in Nigeria with literally everybody mentioning it including people who may not own any land yet or even know how the real estate industry works.

While C of O is very popular and absolutely valid in every sense of the word, and it perhaps carries the highest weight among land titles here in Nigeria, it is not the only recognized and valid land title document.

There are other types of land documents that are also recognized and accepted as legal proof of ownership or right over a piece of land.

Below are some other recognized land documents in Nigeria;

⦁ Governor's Consent

⦁ Gazette

⦁ Excision

⦁ Deed of Assignment

⦁ Right of Ownership

⦁ Registered Survey, etc.

When buying land in Nigeria, it is most common that a single land doesn't come with all of the above-listed land title documents. It is more common to see the land advertised with just one or two titles.

Some land documents are must-haves. This means you need to collect those, plus one or more other valid land titles. When buying land, it is important to ask which land title comes with the land and what other documents you will be getting asides from the land title.

Must-Have Land Documents;

⦁ Deed of Assignment

⦁ Receipt

⦁ Survey plan

⦁ Letter of Allocation

When you buy land from a corporate entity such as a real estate firm that is legally registered as a company, the process is usually more organized and streamlined with all the necessary information and documents, and it is safer compared to buying from an Omo-Onile. Meanwhile, you should do your due diligence of confirming that the firm is indeed registered to avoid being defrauded.

In our next blog, we will discuss more each of these land titles and documents.

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