In today’s world, it’s much easier to find out all the stories on a property with a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), Governor’s consent, or any other such registered titles. All you need do is consult a property lawyer to carry out a search on the property at the Land Registry.
The next question on your mind might then be, how do you conduct a search on a property with no Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), Governor’s consent, or any other form of registered title? The truth is that it is impossible to conduct a search on it at the Land Registry because nothing of their existence is documented there but it is however not impossible to conduct a search on it.
Today, I highlight two non-negotiable steps you MUST follow to conduct a search or find out the stories on a property with no Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), Governor’s consent, or any other form of registered title.
STEP 1: Pay a visit to the location of the property and carefully ask questions from residents of the area to confirm the ownership claim of the family or individual selling, with proper questioning you will find one or two persons who will confirm or refute the claims of ownership. Do not restrict your questioning to residents alone, extend it to road-side mechanics, artisans, sellers, barbers, etc you will be shocked out how resourceful these people are with garnering information on the true owners of the property that will save you from falling a victim to fraudsters posing as the rightful owners.
STEP 2: If your search confirms you are dealing with the rightful owners of the property, then and only then can you move on to step 2 which has to do with land charting. The essence of a chart is to verify whether the property belongs to the government or not and the surest way to do that is through a land chart. This involves having the coordinates of the property taken by a competent registered surveyor and with it confirming if it is a government property or not.
Many have skipped these two very important steps only to discover they had paid for a property that is still a subject of court litigation or paid to someone posing as a member of the real owners who were not even aware or consented to the sale of their land.
As you embark on the journey to becoming a property owner, follow these non-negotiable steps and you are on the right path to saving yourself from joining the long list of victims who paid for a property that never became theirs.