If you have ever encountered legal ownership claims after purchasing an asset, then you might know a thing or two about transfer of rights and why thorough background checks are vital. It gets unpleasantly intricate when the asset in question is land. You may lose everything.
Land ownership could get fiddly. One can gain, transfer, and lose ownership in several ways. To avoid disputes that would eventually lead to loss of ownership, there are some important documents you need to ask for before closing a deal.
We are happy to share some of them with you:
Approved survey plan
A survey plan is a document that measures the boundary of a parcel of land to give an accurate measurement and description of that land. From this single document, you will get all the information you need on the land to conduct a search.
Ensure to verify the plan with its unique number. Also look out for the following to determine its authenticity:
• The name of owner
• Size of land
• Plan number
• Government stamp
Excision (where applicable)
The Land Use Act, passed in 1978 vested all urban land within a state in the state governor, and all non-urban land in the local governments in which they are found. Consequently, government has the power to acquire any land for public use now or in the future.
However, portions have been and could be ceded to original owners and families. An excision fully documents what has been taken and what is left for communities. Imagine paying for a land government has already taken.
There have been situations where the government seized land, even from owners who bought lawfully from families. An excision and gazzette will protect you from this.
Deed of assignment
A deed is any legal instrument in writing which passes, affirms or confirms an interest, right, or property and that is signed, attested, delivered, and in some jurisdictions, sealed. (Wikipedia). This definition shows how important it is to have one.
It is one of the most important documents in land transactions. This is evidence of the agreement between the buyer and the seller and a proof that this property has been sold to you. Without this document, nothing holds the seller legally.
Certificate of occupancy
Certificate of occupancy is a legal document that shows ownership and purpose of land. As earlier stated, the government owns all land and will issue this document when an applicant has met all the necessary requirements.
Also known as C of O, it is believed to be the most important document in land transactions because it gives the owner sole right to the property.