Guide: I want to buy a property; five documents the property must have

Ownership of real property is to be supported by documentary evidence.  There are five documents every property in Nigeria must have. If your property does not have any of them, there is the need to discuss with a real estate consultant at your earliest convenience. They are:

  1. Purchase receipt: A purchase receipt is a written acknowledgement of the recipient of payment for a property. It may be required as an evidence of ownership or acquisition of property in certain circumstances.
  2. A registered Survey Plan: A Survey Plan is a diagram that describes the margin and precise dimension of a parcel of land. A surveyor is an expert who is concerned with the official assessment for evaluation and measurement of land. The survey is expected to be lodged (registered) at the Surveyor General’s office of the state in which the land is situated.
  3. Deed of Assignment: A Deed of Assignment is a document that shows the new legal owner of the property; i.e. the property has been transferred from the buyer to the seller. It is a contract from the seller to assign the property to the buyer.
  4. Certificate of Occupancy (C of O): The C of O is a justifiable consent from the government that the property is in your possession. It is usually issued by the land bureau of the state in which the property is situated.
  5. Approved Building Plan: This is an endorsement to proceed with the construction or reconfiguration of a particular structure in a specific place, in accordance with the approved requirement. It is very essential that you ensure that the structure of the property corresponds with what is shown on the plans.[1]


[1] Written by Ayobayo Babade and Olakunbi of Tope Babade & Co (Real Estate Consultants) as a contribution to #KnowYourRightsNigeria project