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How do I verify the authenticity of land documents in Nigeria to avoid fraudulent transactions?

When it comes to buying land in Nigeria, verifying the authenticity of land documents is crucial to avoid fraudulent transactions. Unfortunately, land scams are common in Nigeria, and it’s essential to take steps to protect yourself. In this article, we’ll discuss how to verify the authenticity of land documents in Nigeria to avoid fraudulent transactions.

 

  1. Conduct a Title Search

A title search is a process that involves investigating the history of ownership of the land. It’s essential to conduct a title search to ensure that the seller has legal ownership of the land and that there are no outstanding claims or liens on the property. You can hire a lawyer to conduct a title search on your behalf.

 

  1. Verify the Survey Plan

A survey plan is a document that shows the exact boundaries of the land. It’s essential to verify the survey plan to ensure that the land you’re buying matches the description in the documents. You can hire a licensed surveyor to verify the survey plan.

 

  1. Check for Encumbrances

An encumbrance is any claim or liability on the land. It’s important to check for encumbrances such as mortgages, liens, or easements to ensure that you’re buying a clean title. You can obtain this information from the Land Registry or hire a lawyer to do it for you.

 

  1. Verify the Certificate of Occupancy

A Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) is a document that certifies that the government has granted legal ownership of the land to the owner. It’s essential to verify the authenticity of the C of O to ensure that it’s not a fake document. You can verify the C of O with the Land Registry or the state government’s Ministry of Lands.

 

  1. Use a Trusted Agent

Using a trusted agent is crucial when buying land in Nigeria. A reputable agent can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you’re buying a legitimate property. You can find a trusted agent by asking for referrals from friends and family or using reputable real estate companies.

 

Conclusion

Verifying the authenticity of land documents is crucial when buying land in Nigeria to avoid fraudulent transactions. Conducting a title search, verifying the survey plan, checking for encumbrances, verifying the C of O, and using a trusted agent are some of the steps you can take to protect yourself from land scams. It’s important to do your due diligence to ensure that you’re buying a legitimate property and avoid any legal issues or setbacks in the future.

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