Real Estate Law Lagos Nigeria - Nigeria Property Laws Explained

Real estate law Lagos Nigeria - Nigeria real estate law is a combination of so many laws that regulate the real estate industry in Nigeria. These laws are many as you will expect for a nation as big as Nigeria.

Obviously, we cannot consider all of these property laws here. But some important and critical ones are worth mentioning to keep you well informed so you can make the right choices, make the right investment, and make money. It also ensures you don't make the sort of mistakes that can cost you your real estate investment in the long run.

It is important to note that this is not a legal site and so the laws will be explained in simple terms so the average person can understand them.

The first law that comes to mind is the most popular of them all, "the land use act".

The land use act essentially states that all land in Nigeria belongs to the government. And that the government only lease the land to individuals or corporate bodies as appropriate for a period of 99 years.

This means that when the government issues a certificate of occupancy or C of O to you for a property purchased, the C of O is only for a period of 99 years. What happens after 99 years?

That question is still the subject of great debate among Nigerians. As it is, the first set of C of O were issued sometime in 1976 when the land use act came into effect. Let's see what happens when the first set of certificate of occupancy issued by the government expires.

This real estate law is often responsible for the question by potential real estate buyers, "what is the quality of the title on the property?" By that they mean how old is the C of O?

A new C of O has a life of 99 years before the government withdraws it or demand renewal. A property that has a C of O that is 30 years old has a life of only 69 years left.

Some people don't consider this when considering buying homes for sale in Lagos Nigeria whereas some try to negotiate a lower sale price based on the life of the C of O. This is entirely up to you.

Another real estate law or property law to consider is "the right of way".

This basically states that "the government has right of way" . . . the right to create roads as appropriate for economic development.

The government has a master plan for every area of Lagos Nigeria. In the same vein, every other state of the federation, as well as the federal government, have master plan for different locations in the country. Each location has provision for road and utilities like pipe borne water, telephone lines, underground waterway, high tension power line, oil pipeline route etc

If you build residential real estate or commercial property on any of these government development areas, the government will eventually pull down your property.

It will be very sad to lose your property, built with hard earned money, because you failed to investigate the ownership of a property as appropriate with the Lagos state government.

A third real estate law or Lagos property law to bear in mind is what I call the "distance to government road rule".

In effect, this law states that each property owner should leave a distance of at least 30 metres between the walls of his property fence and the road. (Some say its 50 metres. Please confirm from your real estate attorney ).

If you don't obey the distance to road rule, nothing may happen immediately. The government is usually slow in reacting to such violations.

However, when the government decides to expand the road, your fence will be taken down without apology if you have violated the "distance to road" rule.

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