Overtime, Lekki has become a respectable commercial hub and residential area of Lagos, thereby making the area very important in the real estate industry in Nigeria. Apart from serving as the home for people buying properties in this area, buying land in Lekki Lagos also serves as a credible investment alternative for people seeking to invest in real estate in Lagos. Buying a house in Lekki has also reported yielding good returns in rents for owners. Lekki is one of the largest areas in Lagos State with various vacant lands for development. Also, there are tens of thousands of properties developed or developing in Lekki that are being marketed and sold to prospective buyers.
BEST PLACES TO BUY LAND IN LEKK LAGOS NIGERIA
Lekki still remains the best areas to buy lands in Lagos due to the fast development of the areas and good returns it provides for real estate investors. For buying a property in Lekki, a prospective can target fast-growing areas such as Ibeju Lekki, Lakowe, Abijo, Awoyaya, Sangotedo, Ajah, Lekki Phase 2, Ikota and other suburbs within the Lekki Peninsula.
However, most of the lands in Lekki's axis are under one government acquisition or the other; they may be released by way of excision which, is thereafter gazette and perfected, but the ones under committed government acquisition may never be released at all, hence the need for every prospective buyer to be wary before the purchase of any property in the Lekki area.
To buy a house or land in Lekki, it is essential that due diligence and proper checks are conducted. After the proposed property to be purchased has been duly verified, appropriate documents must be prepared to evidence agreement between parties and transfer title.
HOW TO INVESTIGATE BEFORE BUYING A LAND IN LEKKI LAGOS
Generally, it is advised that before contracting to purchase a property that a buyer show great care, attention and diligence. The guidance of a property lawyer should be sought to conduct a property search before proceeding with any purchase of land or house in Lekki due to the huge risk involved in such a transaction. Below are places where investigation of property title can be conducted before purchase.
- Lands Registry
There is no state in Nigeria without a land registry, which is often under the Ministry of Land.
- Surveyor General Office
It is essential to conduct a charting of landed property at Surveyor General Office, especially where such a property is not yet registered. Charting of a property is very crucial in Lekki because so many lands in this area are under one form of government acquisition or land. Charting at Surveyor General office will reveal whether a property proposed to be purchased has been acquired by the government for any purpose.
- Corporate Affairs Commission
The C.A.C keeps a record of all charges on limited liability company in Nigeria. Investigating in the commission will help disclose whether there are any registered charges on the property of a company. The search at CAC is only relevant where the owner of the property to be purchased is a corporate entity.
- Physical Inspection
Conducting a physical inspection on the proposed property to be purchased before such a purchase is very important. A physical inspection will reveal things that cannot be found in the search of any government archives. A physical may reveal whether the proposed seller of the land has a possessory right on the property himself. It may also reveal defects such as proximity to a proposed road or even ocean.
CONTRACT OF SALE OF LAND
Contract of sale of land is an important aspect of property law in Nigeria because the interest in a property is transferred from one party to another. The contract stipulates the terms and conditions needed for the sale and purchase of a property. This document protects parties in a contract and where there is any occurrence of non-performance by any party, such party will be liable for a breach of contract.
STAGES INVOLVED IN SALE OF PROPERTY
There are various stages involved in buying a property in Lekki Lagos, these stages will be summarized below.
- Pre-Contract Stage:
It is expedient that before buying a property in Lekki, a preliminary meeting with the property owner is done. This will allow one to delve into the nature of title on the land, easements, fixtures, restrictive covenants, nature of the transaction, reversionary interests etc. Occasionally, there are properties available in Lekki for purchase even before they have been constructed. These properties are known as Off-Plan Properties. Buying off-plan can be extremely risky and at the same time highly profitable. The success of buying such properties depends on the measures taken by the buyer. This stage is just to elicit special knowledge of properties which will help reveal any encumbrances. Also, the parties can negotiate and deliberate on the price, mode of payment, whether payments would be made outrightly or in instalments.
- Contract Stage:
This is the stage where the parties execute the contract of sale agreement. Here, the parties have agreed to transfer interest in the property but are yet to be satisfied. For this stage to be valid there must be offer, acceptance, consideration, intention to create a legal relation etc.
- Post Contract Stage:
Here, the buyer is expected to make a thorough investigation of the root of title. This is the basis for the completion stage. Then, a deed of transfer is prepared by the buyer's solicitor with copies sent to the vendor's solicitor.
- Completion Stage:
As the name implies, it is where both the vendor and seller perfect their transaction, subject to payment of full purchase price and delivery of the property to the buyer with the original title and documents of the property purchased.
- The Post- Completion Stage- Perfection of Title:
It is well known that a land transaction is yet to be finalized and legal until the consent of the Governor of the state has been gotten in respect of the transaction. All that vest a legal title on the buyer is the Governor's consent, Stamping and Registration of document. Hence, it is advised that a buyer obtains the application for the Governor's consent through the State's Ministry of Lands. Thereafter, the payment of stamp duties on the approved deed of transfer is made. Stamp duties must be paid within 30 days of the execution of the deed of transfer. The final stage of this perfection is the registration of the deed of assignment. The three stages of perfection of the title are to be done simultaneously.
Finally, buying a land or house in Lekki can serve as a good investment option or opportunity to secure a befitting accommodation, however, it is important that every prospective buyer conducts due diligence by engaging a property lawyer who can verify and ensure seamless transfer of title before jumping into any property purchase. This is very critical for three main reasons: first, to detect and avoid buying property under any form of acquisition; to facilitate a seamless transfer of property title; lastly to avoid some deliberate property fraudsters who often try to reap off unwary buyers.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.