Certificate of occupancy also known as C Of O is a legitimate document issued by the state government in Nigeria to property buyers or landowners as legal proof of land ownership in Nigeria for all purposes.
The C Of O spelled out what the land can be used for; residential, commercial, or mixed-use.
According to the Land Use Act 1978, all lands in the state are been controlled by the state government of every states in Nigeria. This act gave the state government the power to grant the statutory right of occupancy as deemed appropriate.
The C of O is only granted for a term of 99 years. What will happens after 99 years? No one knows.
A distinctive feature that separates C of O from every other land title is that no land can bear the same C of O document because it is first issued on land that has never been registered at the land registry.
This write-up will provide you with more insights that you need to know about C of O.
COMMON THINGS TO INCLUDE IN A CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY
Below are vital things to be found in a C of O
- Certificate of occupancy number
- Size of the plot
- Date issued
- Plot number
- File number
- Survey plan
- Terms and conditions
- Date issued
- Term of lease
- Purpose of land use
IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY IN NIGERIA
- It prevents the government from revoking your rights to land without compensation.
- It makes the land more valuable and expensive.
- It is acceptable as collateral to take loans from banks and other financial institutions.
- It prevents a situation where a single property is claimed by multiple owners by clearly identifying the specific owner of the land.
- It is important for mortgage transactions.
- It can be used to settle land disputes that involve ownership conflict.
REASONS FOR NEEDING A CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY
Below are few reasons why a C of O is needed
- To convert the use of a property. For instance, an industrial land can be converted to residential with the use of C of O.
- To secure building approval for a construction project.
- A new certificate of occupancy may be required when there is a change in ownership.
ELECTRONIC CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY
Former Governor of Lagos State, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode approved the release of Electronic C of O. This contains every history of the land and also every transaction that has taken place on the land.
Allottees listed in the schedule are needed to visit the land bureau at Alausa Ikeja for the collection of their C of O.
The importance of a certificate of occupancy cannot be over-emphasized. It is a legal title in land ownership. When purchasing a C of O land, it is advisable to carry out your due diligence.