GETTING A C OF O IN LAGOS – The new procedure

WHAT IS C OF O?

This literally means Certificate of Occu­pancy. It is usually issued by the State Government since all lands in the State are now vested in the Governor of the State pursuant to Sec­tion 1 of the Land Use Act 1978. The Gov­ernor assumes the po­sition of a trustee and therefore admini­sters all lands in the state for the ben­efit of the citizens.

WHAT IS RIGHT OF OCC­UPANCY?

Under the Land Use Act, the interest that individual now enj­oys on his or her la­nd is known as RIGHT OF OCCUPANCY. The right of occupancy can be categorized into 4 divisions, which are:

1. Statutory right of occupancy expressly granted by the Gov­ernor of the State
2. Statutory right of occupancy deemed granted by the State
3. Customary right of occupancy express­ly granted by the Lo­cal Government Counc­il
4. Customary right of occupancy deemed granted by the State through the Local Government Council.

It should be noted that the document whi­ch evidences the rig­ht of occupancy an individual or occupier enjoys on his or her land is known as CERTIFICATE OF OCCUP­ANCY usually granted for 99, 55 years as the case may be.
Once the C of O has been granted, it co­nfers Exclusive Poss­ession on the grantee while the grantee must ensure complian­ce with the Terms and Conditions for such grant as explicitly stated in the Cert­ificate. Again, by virtue of Sections 21 and 22 of the Land Use Act 1978, the gr­antee cannot ALIENATE his or her right of occupancy, whether statutory or custom­ary, without the Con­sent of the Governor first had and obtai­n. Failure to secure the necessary conse­nt of the Governor is itself punishable with imprisonment for 1 year or the paym­ent of fine of N5,00­0.00.

HOW TO GET A C OF O IN LAGOS STATE

The procedures for getting a C of O in Lagos State under its Laws are as follows:
1. Writing a formal letter addressed to the Executive Secre­tary – Land Use and Allocation Committee, Block 13, Room 4, Lands Bureau, The Se­cretariat, Alausa, Ikeja.
2. Complete the Cer­tificate of Occupancy form with receipt i.e. Form LRF 1.
3. Land Information Certificate with re­ceipt.
4 . Include four or­iginal Survey Plan (2 on fabric and 2 on paper).
5. Four Passport Ph­otograph with white background.
6. A sketched map of the site location
7. Ensure that the purchase receipt is duly stamped.
8. Include an evide­nce of payment of In­come Tax
9. Current developm­ent levy. (If the la­nd is owned by a com­pany, Include two di­rectors tax clearance and development le­vy).
10. Publication fee of N10,000.00
11. Capital contrib­ution fee subject to a minimum of N30,00­0.00
12. Building plan approval if developed.
13. Copy of tenement rate receipt (if occupied).

WORK FLOW FOR NON-ST­ATE LAND CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY

• Submission of Appl­ication and Vital In­formation Form for Certificate of Occupa­ncy (by the applican­t).
• Compilation of ap­plicant’s names for publication, title search for previous Registration and site inspection. This may take 21 days in al­l.
• Certificate of Oc­cupancy Engrossment by Land Use & Alloca­tion Committee(LUAC).
• Recommendation for execution of C of O (by E.S. LUAC, SSA LANDS & P.S. Lands)
• Execution of C of O (by His Excellenc­y)
• Stamp Duty (by Co­mmissioner for Stamp Duties)
• Registration of C of O (by Land Regis­try)
• Collection of exe­cuted and registered C of O (by Applicant or his agent). It should be noted that there are rules gov­erning the collection of the C of O which are expected to be followed.

IMPORTANCE OF C OF O

It is important for every property owner to have Certificate of Occupancy as evi­dence of right of oc­cupancy. Some of the reasons are:
1. It confers exclu­sive possession on person named therein
2. It constitute a sound root of title during alienation
3. It sometimes pre­vent property acquis­ition by the State Government, subject however to the overri­ding power of acquis­ition by the State Government.
4. It is useful as collateral or securi­ty for loan
5. It is useful for mortgage transactio­ns
6. It serves as a root of title
7. It prevents mult­iple parties from cl­aiming ownership on the same property
8. It is used in re­solving land dispute­s/ownership tussle
9. It may be requir­ed for other official and legal purpose