SIGNS OF A PIECE OF LAND UNDER DISPUTE

There might be no document and where one exists, it may be difficult to understand it.

  • Negative report and advise to be cautious from people close to the land/property who are familiar with the area.
  • The agent or landowner will usually urge you to make payment immediately before other people on the queue take over.
  • There might be signs of physical development such as corner piece, foundation, survey beacons, presence of some building material such as sand, gravel or blocks.
  • Except the vendor was the former purchaser, any offer to purchase such a piece of land from the ‘Omoniles’ should be an indication that something is wrong with that transaction. My advice will be to look for another land elsewhere.
  • The vendor usually would insist on immediate and even hasty cash payment.

7 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD NOT BUY A PIECE OF LAND UNDER DISPUTE

  1. Such disputes will waste your time.
  2. Hard-earned money would also be wasted in such disputes.
  3. You may never win such land disputes.
  4. Beginning with a dispute would distract you and may even discourage you.
  5. Your adversaries/scorners may use it as an occasion to laugh at you.
  6. The other person may have a superior claim and you will be seen as trying to oppress him because of your money.
  7. Some people have died as a result of land disputes.

TIPS FOR NEGOTIATING THE PURCHASE PRICE

–        The major guidance is the ruling land rate within the area. Here comes the benefit of asking questions (see Step three).

  • The size of the piece of land will also influence the price.
  • The shape of the piece of land is also important. A piece of land with irregular shape is cheaper.
  • The location of the piece of land within the area. Corner piece or parcel of land on a major street may cost slightly more than others.
  • Closeness of the land to any major roads makes the land much more valuable. The level of development in the area. Parcels of land within developed/occupied areas may cost more than those located where development is not much. Where possible, negotiate directly with the land-owner and engage the assistance of someone familiar with the area and who has been involved in land purchase

NEGOTIATING OTHER FEES PAYABLE

  • There might be agency-fee where an agent is involved. The maximum is 10 percent of the cost of the land but it can be negotiated downward.
  • There might be payment to the original land owners known as ‘Omoniles’ in Lagos and other South-West States.
  • During foundation and roofing stages in some areas, some payment might be demanded. They can’ constitute a great nuisance. So, use wisdom and gather fact to handle them and involve someone known to them.
  • Development fees are usually payable to the community to aid development. Confirm from someone already building within the area.

It is advisable to get to know about these fees ahead of time to avoid people ripping you off and causing embarrassment when you want to take physical possession of your piece of land.

METHODS OF PAYMENT

  • The best method is to pay by cheque or bank draft so that payment and receipt of such funds cannot be easily denied.
  • Cash payments should be in exceptional cases
  • In both cash payments and payments by cheque/draft, ensure due acknowledgment.
  • The vendor will issue you a receipt. This is the first document relating to the land transaction.

WITNESSES TO THE PAYMENT AND PAYMENT TRANSACTION

  • Ensure you have a witness or two from your side and at least two witnesses from the vendor’s side. (Some honest transactions may not require so many witnesses).
  • The issue of witnesses is so important and should not be ignored. For instance, what a friend did in his own case was to bring a camera/video man to take snap shots during the exchange of the cash payment. Do you blame him?