By Yinka Kolawole, with agency report
Ordinarily knowing your land status saves you from several heartaches that come with land hassles. Many people have got themselves into trouble by buying land without doing their due diligence. Mr. Debo Adejana, CEO of Realty Point Ltd. gives an insight into what you should know about different land status.
Free or acquired
It is essential that if you are buying land you must know your land status before sealing the transaction. Your land can either be free or acquired. Usually, a land is considered as free if the government has not registered any interest whatsoever in that land. You can buy such land from the sources you are buying it from; either the Omo onile or someone that has already bought the land so has some form of documentation on it.
In addition, you can perfect the title on such landed property without any problem but when a land is not free there may be other things to check. A land may be acquired, in this instance there are usually two types of acquisition – Committed Acquisition and General Acquisition.
This simply means that government has decided to reserve the land for specific projects, such as constructing a railway, building a bridge or even a standard stadium. Invariably, there is always a use attached to a land that is under Committed Acquisition and it is usually stated from the onset such that it is difficult for such land to later become free and be available for other uses. When the land status indicates that the land is committed, don’t deal. It’s always difficult to do anything about it. Be wary dealing in such land.
Land under General Acquisition is subject to ratification. Here, you are asked to pay for the ratification and then you can use it for the purpose it has been stated for with the town planning authority. Once that is what you are buying it for then you get it ratified, you can move on with your transaction and then plan it for use as designated by the town planning authority.
There are also instances whereby an acquired land is gazetted. The gazette is published. This gives enough title for the land; it allows you to process every other thing you want to process with the land. Also when you are buying land, pick the coordinates. You will also need to employ the services of a surveyor to help you with that.
Send the information obtained to the Surveyor General’s office or you go there yourself to get details of the land. If it is free then you are free, albeit if it is acquired then you find out whether it is Committed or General. General meaning that it can be ratified, Committed meaning that it is a no-go area. If it can be ratified, you will have to find out the process of ratification in your state and how to go about doing that.
If a family comes forth to disclose that they are planning excision on a land, you may want to find out if it is a land that can be excised at all. Lawyers do help some families to fight the case with the government to have their land excised. The proof of excision of such property is that it is gazette as excised. You can deal with such property and be “safe and sound”.