There are numerous advantages for property owners to register their land. However, over 90% of properties in Nigeria are unregistered. Why is that you might ask? Well, when property owners think about registering their properties they are faced with many structural barriers of the legal framework. The process of registering properties is seen as extremely costly, time consuming, and lacking transparency. In recent years, we have seen the Nigerian government try to make this process a more user friendly experience for estate owners. And even more recently, we have seen emerging startups such as HouseAfrica promoting safer and user friendly ways to register lands through the use of technology. Users can gain access to lawyers and accredited valuers without leaving their homes. This ensures a safely stored database which will provide maximum transparency between all parties. Stated below are reasons why HouseAfrica believes it is almost crucial as well as beneficial for estate owners to register their properties, unlocking their assets to become live capital.
The first reason to register any property is to obtain Proof of Ownership for that said property. If for any reason the property is missing a name or title, then the registered title is the proof of ownership. This makes it easier for an individual to market their property, as in order to sell a land all a person needs is to show the buyer a registered title for the property. This is also beneficial for the buyer as they do not have to ensure any complex legal documents proving your ownership of the property.
Another appealing reason to register your property is Government Compensation. An unregistered land will in no way be able to achieve coverage from the government if for some reason there was a compulsory purchase of the land for overriding public interest. Only properties with registered title deeds will receive compensation from the government upon presentation.
The third reason an individual should consider registering their property is the benefits of Security. An unregistered land or property is at risk of fraudulent sale and infraction, whereas, having a registered land you have insurance against forged sales and any form of trespassing. The registered title of a property acts as a shield, offering a sense of security to the owner whether in possession of the land or residing abroad. With a simple search at the Lands Registry, buyers will have knowledge of who the land belongs to. And if the owner comes to sell the property, all buyers will rest assured that no contrary claims will be made over the land as you are the registered owner.
To be continued… Stay Tuned for next week’s blog post!