Property News, Tips and Advice

Recall we wrote a while ago that a new electronic certificate of occupancy was in the offing in Lagos State. Now the deal is done.

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With the introduction of its "Homeowners Charter Program", the Ogun State government is poised to assist property owners in the State who hitherto have no valid land documents, to regularize their property/land documents. The Ogun State Ministry of Urban and Physical Planning asserts that this move will help rebuild the State by providing adequate data for the medium-term planning - provision of hospitals, roads, schools and other public infrastructures to the residents of the state. To this end, the Ogun State Government promises to waive 'all accrued penalties while fees will be discounted.

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If feelers from the Lagos State Government is anything to go by, the state is finally poised to relocate the ever popular Ikeja Computer Village to a new site, Katangowa Internet City, somewhere around Katangowa Market in Agbado, Oke-Odo area of Lagos State (Along the Abeokuta-Lagos expressway).

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We wrote in one of our previous articles that arrangements are in advanced stage by the Lagos State Government to start issuing electronic C of O's to landowners in Lagos State. This step will not only make the process transparent but it will also check the fraudulent activities of unscrupulous estate agents, surveyors and the so-called omoniles. Herein are the required documents needed to obtain the electronic C of O:

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There are several factors and considerations that determine where people buy properties from. Just like every human endeavor, location is a key factor that determines the price of a product and the possibility or otherwise of making profit. Conventional wisdom demands that One invests or buys a property from an area that Is already developed or near the city centre. A plot of land or a property in such areas are usually very expensive. I was somewhere in Ikeja sometime ago and I was told the asking price for a plot of land there was in the neighborhood of two hundred and forty Million naira i.e almost a million pounds! I think this experience made me to ask in one of my essays whether the prevailing price of real estate in Nigeria is sustainable.

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This is not the best of times for many Nigerians as far as security of lives and properties are concerned. Nigeria's Print and electronic media are continually awash with pockets of terrorism, kidnappings, armed robbery attacks, and many a times, unnecessary show of power (arrogance of power) by some ogas-at-the-top. The rules of engagement have changed: religious leaders, elderly people, children and even pregnant women are not spared in this onslaught. If the hand writing on the wall is anything to by, wanton insecurity bedeviling Nigeria may not abate anytime soon. My postulation and inference is that the aforementioned societal ills will increase as unemployment spirals out of control. On the other hand, a flurry of negative activities will ensue as the 2015 general elections inch closer.

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The wanton incidents of prospective property, land buyers been duped of their hard earned money can be attributed to the paucity of doing a due diligence investigation prior to paying for the envisaged property or parcel of land. This is because many survey plans, deeds of assignment, certificates of occupancy, government allocation letters, and government gazettes bandied about by fraudulent property sellers out there, are forged. It takes an expert to figure this out. There are nasty tales of people falling prey to the whims and caprices of desperate and unscrupulous so-called land sellers, omoniles, and quack surveyors. Prospective land buyers are strongly advised in their own interest to stringently investigate the genuineness, validity or otherwise of a property before parting with their money.

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I am sure you are wondering what 'PPP' stands for and how it is the panacea to Nigeria's Housing problems. PPP stands for "Private-Public-Partnership". It is a type of business relationship between a government agency and a private-sector establishment geared towards conceptualizing and completing projects that will benefit the public such as Low Cost Housing Estates, public transportation networks amongst others.

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To update our memories and for the interest of those that are not quite conversant with the dictates of the Lagos Tenancy Law 2011, the aforesaid law came into effect in August 2011. It effectively repealed the hitherto Rent Tribunals (Abolition and Transfer of functions) Law 2007. Essentially, this law is aimed at inter-alia, "regulating rights and obligations under tenancy agreements and the relationship between the landlord and the tenant including the procedure for the recovery of premises and for other connected purposes in Lagos state".

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If feelers from the Lagos State Government is anything to go by, the State is poised to launch a state-of-the-art Geographic Information System (GIS) which it believes will facilitate issuance of Land titles such as Land Information Certificate's, Consent Letter's, Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) amongst others.

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