DON’T BE A VICTIM; INVESTIGATE EVERY PROPERTY BEFORE YOU PAY!
BEFORE YOU BUY ANY PROPERTY READ THIS
Buying legitimate and trouble-free properties in Lagos and its environs is a herculean task as it one who knows his/her way around it to get to the end of the transaction without losing one’s hard earned cash. This is as a result of so many hidden troubles that the agents and “omoniles”won’t tell you till you commit your money and then it’s from frying pan to fire.
For the avoidance of doubt for First Time Property/Land Buyers who don’t know what a property search is, it means before you buy any land or property whatsoever in any form or shape where ever, you have to know the validity of it.
Lagos in particular is so notorious when it comes to sale of property or land that have so many fraudulent defects surrounding that land/ property that youwon’t even know until you start construction. These set of people are known as the Omoniles, land grabbers or land touts which the Lagos state government has pencilled down as the next target to eliminate or reduce their activities.
Omoniles naturally should mean owners of the original land which includes the original family that truthfully inherited the property from their fore fathers that has passed down to them. But the real problem comes when there are so many members of the family that are divided in terms of claiming ownership of the lands and how the land truthfully devolved to them. Before you know it, a property that is meant to be shared by a family of 3 to claim ownership is now being contested by the brother in law, the aunty, the great grand uncle relatives etc. and that is when they begin to employ touts going around to masquerade as the original owners with the right to sell and after you fall victim of their sweet tongues and coercion, you realise that you bought from the wrong family or the wrong set of people who have no right to sell the land to you and you would be confronted by the original owners when you have started building half way then only two options are available; either you are forced to cough out another payment to the real owners or be thrown out of the land. Trust me this scourge is very real and 65% of lands in Lagos have this problem one way or the other.
The other way you are being deceived is by telling you the authenticity of the property comes from a set of documents. Those set of documents include either a survey plan, a deed of assignment, a certificate of occupancy, government allocation letter, government gazette or governors consent.
They will show you all manners of papers to make you believe them instantly and start pointing to different houses around there that has been built by one commissioner or one Minister or one big man and that their houses are still standing without any government “wahala”. What they want you to do is to instantly believe them and pay money to them immediately. One thing you can be rest assured is that, once you pay money to an Omonile, you will never get a refund of that money. It is gone and in some cases it is in your presence they will start sharing the money.
Don’t ever fall for that trick. Always demand for whatever documents they have. I will point out the importance of each document to know the relevance of it and why it shouldn’t be taken for granted.
- Survey Plan:
This is the most important document you must ask for from the very beginning either from the agent or family that intends to sell the land/property to you. This survey plan is what would enable you go to the Land Bureau and do a geographical search.
One thing worthy of note is that the survey plan must be authentic and certified valid. No matter how cheap or beautiful or strategically located a land or property is, once that property has been discovered to be designated for Government use in future, there is no point going any futher to purchase it(except through strategic moves- www.fkr.ng). It will be a very foolish risk to attempt to defile the government and say nothing would happen, at least there are so many houses around or so many people have bought their own and nothing has happened.
Once your property is within that area that has being designated for Future Government use, no matter how long, the plan must be carried out accordingly and your property will go down without any form of compensation because you failed to do the right thing by throwing caution to the wind. Examples include the eight Lane Dual Carriage Way in Badagry that all the houses that were on that land were demolished, All the houses in Alimosho local Government that were near pipe lines were also demolished, Idiroko and ijegun were not exceptions. Recently, lots of houses on more than 1,500 hectares of land in Ibeju-Lekki (oko-olomi) area of Lagos state.
Also in Lekki-Ajah, it is even worse because there are some areas that have been specially acquired by the government for over 20 years and it is just now that the government is trying to recover its lands. These areas are what is known as COMMITTED LANDS. That is where they commit the area for Road expansion, future government estates or Government Reserved areas for Major Developments. As long as that Property is designated as Committed or under acquisition, it is only the Government of the day that can revoke it and anybody buying into those areas are buying at their own risk. Don’t for once look at the houses around there as your guide to mean the government cannot demolish those houses, you would be shocked that the owners have 4 or 5 houses and can do away with that one.
EXCEPTIONS TO COMMITTED LAND
The government can be influenced to release a committed land through the process of ratification. Ratification in this sense means paying the government the full price and taxes it so determines to be the cost of that property and its non negotiable. So imagine you bought the land in 2010 for N2Million in a committed area and in 2016, you now have to pay ratification also known as “Rat” at the cost of N10Million to the Government. Does that make any financial sense to you? Imagine all the fears, rumours, prayers that you would be going through so that those caterpillars don’t come your way and when they decide not to demolish, they now ask you to pay Ratification, triple or quadruple the amount you bought it and remember the Omonile or Agent you bought it from is nowhere to be found and if found, would never refund or assist you in any way.
The summary is that the Survey Plan Search saves you alot of head ache at first before you even move ahead. And once you meet an Omonile or Agent who is extremely difficult with you in terms of not providing the survey plan on demand for search please walk away. The signs are already there for you to know your about to be scammed.
A survey plan is a public document and not a private cheque book, so you shouldn’t be bamboozled by people who tell you that the owner doesn’t want to release it because of security reasons. Trust me there is no reason. For further enquiries call the hotlines on www.fkr.ng
2.The Deed of Assignment or Conveyance:
This is the second most important document you need to do a personal search. A deed of conveyance or assignment traces the history of how the property or land has reached the present owner till date. It relates all the information in respect of the true owners of the land before it was passed to Mr A and How MR A sold it to Mr B and How Mr B intend to sell it to you. With that document, you can trace in most respect the original families to find out if there is any dispute as to the ownership of the land how it has been transferred. It is extremely important to trace the original source of the land because it’s there you know if the land actually has been duly transferred to the present owner. It is here you get to know of if there is any family dispute and some families are still quarrelling over the true ownership of the land. It is there you tend to get the family names to go and do a thorough search in court or Alausa to know of any lingering dispute.
Never fall for this trick. Ask for a copy of the deed if they have one and hand it over to your lawyer for a thorough search on the family. To be honest this is the most difficult search of them all and it takes the special grace of God to make sure you come out unscathed.
Ways the present owner can deceive you includes:
- Presenting a false person to assume the identity of the Original family so as to pretend that he or she sold it to the family some years ago
- Telling you that the family is non-existent anymore or they have moved away from that vicinity
- Telling you all the family members have died.
- Coercing you that you donot need to meet the family because since it has been sold to him, he is the rightful person to sell to you.
For proper and safe background check, consult First Kingdom Realtors Limited (www.fkr.ng) or call the Hotlines to book an appointment.
Bottom line, the deed of assignment is a major search instrument to know the how, why and when of the property you buying and it is very stressful.
- Certificate of Occupancy, Government Allocation, Governors Consent:
These are the dream lands or properties you can buy from with no stress or wahala. Any property that has any of these three is a very good property to buy and to search them in Alausa is very easy because the records are there. In most situations, we will encourage you to look for properties that have a Global Certificate of Occupancy, Private Certificate of Occupancy, Government Allocation or Governors Consent. It is so easy to perfect your papers in Future and you are most likely in most situations going to get compensated from the Government in case anything goes wrong if they attempt to acquire it or query it.
The only problem we have seen is that most properties or lands with a C/O, Government consent or Government allocation letter are quite expensive because of the paper work that has been done thoroughly by the present seller and it almost eliminates omonile from the transaction in most cases. So because the owners know that they have correct papers, they market and selltheir properties quite high because they are selling you gold. But then again you need your lawyer to help you negotiate favourably to make sure the property becomes yours.
The second problem is the issue of fake C/Os, Government Allocation Letters and Governors Consent. In our experience as a property firm, we have seen more than enough fake documents and these agents or omoniles would be so bold enough to dare you to go and check it in Alausa. They will so brain wash you and brag about its validity that you might be tempted to take their words for it but when you decide to go and search it in Alausa, you will find out that it doesnot exist and when you go back to challenge them, you hear new cock and bull stories.
Always demand for the Document to do the search. Donot listen to their stories. If they go as far as saying they will not release the C/O or Governors consent due to security risks, ask them for the number alone and the rest will be investigated. Donot compromise and get scammed.
- Government Gazette:
This is a document that records and states the areas the government has willingly given to the family and community to sell and that the government will not acquire it for what so ever reason except it duly notifies the world. The major characteristics of a gazette are:
- The Area e.g., Ibeju lekki, Ikorodu etc.
- The coordinatese.g. the Beacon Numbers that separates where the Land given to the family starts and stops. This is Known as an Excision. That means in a whole portion of land let us say ten plots, Government has excised four plots to the family and has taken six plots for its own use. Those four Plots will now be documented in a book form known as a Gazette. It is the Coordinates you will get to know where the four plots start and ends.
Now the danger of the Gazette that we have seen in our many years’ experience is that people who see the gazette, jump up and down and accept it whole line and sinker and proceed to pay to the family because that area is listed in the gazette and they believe that area is free. That is very wrong and dangerous.
It is only an Alausa Surveyor that can come to that gazetted area, map out the coordinates and tell you precisely whether your property falls inside the gazette or not. We have seen places where people purchased the lands that are outside the gazetted excision and still believe they are inside the gazetted excision coordinates. We have seen lazy lawyers and surveyors who will not take that time and patience to verify this one particular issue. There is fake gazette with fake coordinates and worst of all people pay hard earned cash for those places that are most certainly going to be demolished.
Never ever play with a Government Gazette. They know why they documented it for you to see and if you refuse to follow those rules, you will heavily dealt with.
Anyway FIRST KNGDOM REALTORS LIMITED have decided to assist people more this year to make housing and property available at very affordable prices.
Call Marketing: 08026945483