Purchasing a land can be a thing of great joy, but if you are not careful, it could be a living nightmare!
The following are safeguards when purchasing a land.
1.Let a Lawyer be with you at the beginning of the Transaction. It makes the Land Speculators to do the right thing, from the beginning, knowing that a good Lawyer will detect fraud or discrepancies from the start.
2. Never make payments and sign documents later, most times after making payments, the Vendors become evasive and elusive, knowing there is nothing to look on to.
3. Never pay cash for land purchases, do a bank transfer, issue a cheque or raise a draft, this is to ensure a trail of transaction !
4.Investigate title and ownership before purchase, don’t believe every information given to you by the Vendor, there a lot fake and forged land documents out there !
5. If they said the Vendor was abroad, insist on a Power of Attorney from the Vendor to a person here in Nigeria and go on line to verify the authenticity of the fact, by using social media channels to reach the Vendor.
6.Let the person who introduced you to the transaction sign as a witness for you and ensure the phone numbers of the vendor and witnesses are on the land just as you should capture the signing of the land documents in still and motion picture !
7.Always put dates in your Deeds of Transfer or Assignment, an undated document has no probative value-as per a ratio by the Supreme Court .
8 .If the land document is registered, conduct a search at the Lands Registry to ascertain, if there had been a Transfer, if there was a charge, mortgage, caveat or any kind of encumbrance whatsoever, if it was not registered, do territorial search alone with out the Vendor .
9.If the Owner of the land is dead, demand for a document conferring ownership on the Vendor, like Letters of Administration, Document of Sharing or Order from the Customary or High Court .
10.Take your documentation seriously, do not patronize quacks or business centres, be guided that according to the Land Instrument Preparation Law every document relating to land must be prepared by a Legal Practitioner, failure of which, what you have will be a worthless sheet of paper!
11. If you were not sure of the genuineness of the Land, pay Instalmentally, do some work to ascertain encumbrance or otherwise .
12.Do not allow the Vendor to rush you, to make payments while doing a land transaction, being rushed is a red flag, that the land may not be genuine .
13.Always insist on a receipt for every payment made and insist on a separate receipt and indemnity for the land apart from the Deed.
.13.Do a Survey Plan immediately after purchasing a land, and lodge it in the Lands Registry and if possible process your C of O or Governor’s Consent
14.Do not buy a land and leave it to fallow, it is likely to be encroached on and make sure you have contact details of people around to alert you against any Trespass.
15.Make sure you have pictures and videos of the signing of the Land Documents, children of the Vendor may feign ignorance of your transaction, if for any reason the Vendor dies.
16.Do not allow the Vendor to get a Lawyer for you, get your Lawyer that will protect your interest .
17. Make sure the Community Leaders are aware of your purchase of land in their community, it makes fraud less likely .
18.Read through before signing a Land Document, dont sign what you dont under stand .
19.You may require the Vendor to swear to an Affidavit of ownership and indemnity!!!
20. Buying a Land from an individual that is ascertained to be the Owner of the land, is likely to be more authentic than buying from the Community!!! Be more thorough, when buying from the Community!
21.Immediately you buy the land, start building, do not buy a land, when you are not ready to build, else you may lose your land and your money!!!!
ANTHONY .O. IBEAWUCHI