…Before Buying Properties In LAGOS
There are many things buyers must watch out for when buying landed property, especially in Lagos. Some of these factors are deliberately adopted by real estate firms to quickly sell their landed property. Many of these real estate firms are desperate to sell off their land, hence, they use many tricks to lure buyers into buying from them.
There were several reports by many Nigerians here and abroad of their ugly experiences when they bought a landed property in Lagos from a family or community.
There have been developments in many locations in Lagos since the boom in the real estate sector, from the year 2009 to be precise. And a lot of real estate firms have also sprung up and this has provided a more transparent and accountable process of investing and buying real estate in Lagos, and transforming places like Epe, Ibeju-Lekki, Sangotedo. While other estates started springing up in places like Simawa, Mowe, and Magboro
These companies started as property developers, estate developers, builders, etc, thereby saturating the real estate sector with a lack of strict regulatory body that will provide guidelines for the operations of these private companies.
Though there are still reputable property companies in Lagos that have created a trademark for prompt delivery, property security, and transparency, to save a lot of Nigerians, particularly those in the diaspora from falling into the wrong hands, we will be sharing 5 common ways and techniques fraudulent property companies in Lagos now use to scam people this week.
DOCUMENT IN VIEW OR IN PROCESS
Many real estate companies in Lagos are selling with a “document in view or in process”. Although this has been banned by the Lagos State government, many firms are still engaging in it. It is always in their advert fliers and write-ups. You will see something like C of O in view, Excision in process, etc.
Though the land documentation process in Lagos is not easy, processing land titles in the Ministry of Land, Alausa, Ikeja can take weeks or years. Many estate companies in Lagos truly applied for this document and are in the process as advertised.
However, this has also become a scam opportunity for some Lagos real estate companies. Some companies don’t apply at all, or just start the initial application only, then abandon the application. An incomplete land title application in Lagos is a big risk and it might be the innocent buyers of this land that will take the brunt .
This might sound a bit strange, but some estate companies in Lagos, in the name of selling land in an estate, sell more than what is available. For example, when a real estate company launches a new estate with a given name and price, the land is divided by an estate surveyor into 500sqm/600sqm for full plots and 250sqm/300sqm for half plots, respectively. But because of greediness, some companies continue selling even when all these plots of land are fully bought. So, if they have sold beyond what they have, how do their customers get their land? It’s simple, the estate companies usually solve this, at times by launching a phase 2 and delaying allocation.
UNVERIFIED/FAKE TITLE DOCUMENTS
Fake papers are a common scam in Nigeria, so it’s unsurprising and it has trickled into the real estate industry too. It is important to perform a search when you want to buy any land in Lagos.
It has become widespread, for some fraudulent property companies, to share fake coordinates of their estate just to deceive buyers.
Some of these lands or estates do not have titles but they were advertised with titles like. C of O, Approved Excision, Gazette, Surveyetc. What some of these fraudulent property companies in Lagos do is to find a coordinate around the same location where their estate is situated.
The coordinate which belongs to another property with a good title, will be shared and given out to buyers to verify. Unknown to many, Nigerians will fall for it and buy this property, only to realize years later, they have been scammed.
The solution to this problem is to buy from reputable property companies in Nigeria only, don’t buy from just about any company without a solid brand reputation. Ask for how long the real estate company has been in operation and the number of estates they have.
Some people avoid buying estate properties in Lagos because of the other fees they will have to pay. Some investors feel these fees are too high. However, these other fees known as statutory fees, are applicable whether you buy inside an estate or not. Survey and Legal fees apply to all land transactions, either you buy from Omonile or in an estate. Apart from the usual statutory fees of the survey, legal, and so on, property companies in Lagos still include some scary default charges in their contracts. Some developers charge very high administrative fees for a refund.
Several estates in Lagos are advertised with “instant allocation”, meaning when you pay, you’ll be shown your land instantly. But, estate developers would require you to pay the Llegal and survey fees before they allocate you. There is no reason why a property should be allocated when it’s not yet legally yours. Despite paying for the survey and legal fees, some real estate companies in Lagos, still delay allocation.