Deed of Assignment: Importance & How to Obtain it

August 19, 2021
4 mins read
deed of assignment in nigeria

Just so you know, handshakes and pinky swears don’t work when it comes to real estate.

Lol, the thought itself is laughable.

When it comes to Nigerian real estate, locking down ownership requires a Deed of Assignment!

This legal document is your official ticket to your dream property.

So, buckle up, future homeowner (or landlord!), because we’re about to dive into all you need to know about a deed of assignment in Nigeria!

What is a Deed of Assignment?

A deed of assignment is a legal document used in Nigeria to formally transfer ownership of real property (land) from a seller (assignor) to a buyer (assignee).

It acts as a permanent record of this transfer, specifying the date ownership changes hands.

In essence, it’s a critical piece of documentation you’ll receive upon finalizing a property purchase or sale in Nigeria.

After you finish buying or selling a property in Nigeria, a good real estate company will give you this document.

A deed of assignment does an important job: it moves property ownership from a seller (called an assignor) to a new buyer (known as the assignee).

There has to be an agreement between a buyer and seller for a transaction to be completed.

The process is different from an agreement between a landlord and a tenant.

Sample of deed of assignment
A sample of a deed of assignment in Nigeria

What’s Included in a Deed of Assignment

Here’s a list of things you would find in a typical deed of assignment in Nigeria:

  • Particulars of the transaction’s participants (names, address, status).
  • Day on which they transferred the property from the vendor to the buyer.
  • The nature of the assignor’s (vendors’) title.
  • Entire description/ specifications, including any fittings and fixtures of the property.
  • The history of the property being transferred from the time it was initially obtained to the current moment of sale, including all preceding documentation.
  • Details about a verifiable document the property bears.
  • The amount of money paid in a property transaction (buy price) and the vendor’s readiness to accept the price paid for the property.
  • The nature of the transaction and the assignor’s capacity (vendor).
  • The parties’ signatures, as well as the signatures of the witnesses to the transaction, are necessary.
  • Plan for the survey.
  • Information about the lawyer who prepared the deed.
  • The Governor’s assent must be signed and validated in this section.

Importance/ Benefits of Having a Deed of Assignment

Here are reasons why a deed of assignment is important:

1. To transfer land to the other party

A real estate lawyer makes sure that a deed of assignment includes the important details agreed upon by everyone involved in the deal.

This legal document is created by the person receiving the property (assignee’s lawyer) and then reviewed and signed by the person selling it (assignor or vendor).

If the property is part of an estate, the seller’s lawyer might prepare the deed for the buyer’s lawyer to check.

2. It acts as a legal root of title to the property

A deed of assignment is also important since it serves as a valid root of title to the land.

If people argue about who owns the land or if someone else says they own it, this document can be proof that the land was transferred properly.

Cost of Deed of Assignment in Nigeria

The cost of obtaining a Deed of Assignment in Nigeria typically varies depending on the property value and the lawyer’s experience.

Lawyers generally charge between 5% and 10% of the property’s sale price to prepare the deed of assignment and other necessary documents.

For example, if the property you’re purchasing costs N40,000,000, you can expect to pay a lawyer between N2,000,000 (5%) and N4,000,000 (10%) for their services.

Here are some additional factors that may influence the cost:

  • Complexity of the transaction

  • Lawyer’s location and reputation

  • Negotiation with the lawyer

Note: It’s recommended to discuss the fees upfront with your chosen lawyer before proceeding.

How To Obtain a Deed of Assignment in Nigeria

Obtaining a Deed of Assignment in Nigeria typically involves the following steps:

  1. Consult a Lawyer: A qualified real estate lawyer can ensure your Deed of Assignment is comprehensive and legally sound. They can also guide you through the entire process.

  2. Gather Necessary Documents: Your lawyer will advise on the specific documents needed, but these might include:

    • Proof of ownership for the seller (assignor)

    • Sale agreement between buyer (assignee) and seller

    • Property Details and Survey Plan

    • Identity documents for all parties involved

  3. Lawyer Drafts the Deed: The lawyer will draft the Deed of Assignment based on the agreed-upon terms and the provided documents.

  4. Review and Signature: Both buyer and seller, along with their lawyers and witnesses, will carefully review the Deed of Assignment before signing.

  5. Governor’s Consent: Once signed by all parties, the Deed of Assignment requires the Governor’s consent for final approval. This process may involve additional fees.

  6. Registration: After obtaining the Governor’s consent, the Deed is registered with the relevant land registry office.

Final Thoughts

In Nigeria, when you buy or sell land, a deed of assignment is really important. It’s the main document between the seller and the buyer.

This paper says they finished all talks, checks, and other important steps. Also, it proves they paid the price and met all the needed conditions.

Note: The land-use legislation states that the registration of a land title must start with the governor’s approval.

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