When you finally get a property you are interested in purchasing, the first thing you need to do is called a due diligence or preliminary investigation. I usually advise that you do conduct an intensive due diligence before negotiating the price of the property. This is because your findings may give you a bargaining advantage.


I will start by stating the places where the due diligence can be conducted.


1. Ministry of Lands: At the ministry of lands, you can check the validity of the registration number and the owner of the last registered title. You can also check whether there are charges or any form of encumbrance on the property.


2. Surveyor General’s Office: You can check the survey to determine the accuracy of the coordinates quoted on the title documents. This will give out the exact status of the land.


3. Corporate Affairs Commission: At the CAC, you can investigate whether there is any charge on the property. This is applicable where vendor is a corporate entity. Corporate entities are required to file their annual returns. Their annual returns must have their audit report for the year, the audit report shows the properties of the companies and charges on each property.

Where there is a charge on the property you intend to purchase, boom, there your result is…move on…….except you can purchase the property at a price so cheap that you can afford to pay off the charges on it.


4. Probate Registry: You can take a step further by visiting the probate registry to determine whether the land has been willed to someone else. Will and letters of administration can only be searched at probate registries therefore it is the only place you can determine whether the property has been transferred through this medium.

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