Acquiring a property is a significant milestone. It is almost like achieving a major life goal for many. However, amidst the excitement of this, it is important to ensure that all the necessary documents are in place. This will prevent any potential legal issues.

The importance of this document is further emphasized by the recent surge in demolitions across Lagos state. The ongoing demolitions in the state emphasize the need for documentation in the real estate market.

While the process of property ownership is undoubtedly thrilling, it’s essential to be equipped with the right documents to mitigate legal risks. Among these essential documents, the land survey stands out as a crucial requirement in property transactions.

Therefore, conducting a comprehensive land survey is indispensable in the property acquisition process. It provides invaluable insights and safeguards for both buyers and sellers alike.

In this article, we will explore the importance of conducting a land survey when buying or selling property in Lagos.

What is a Land Survey?

A land survey is a detailed inspection of a property’s boundaries and topography. It involves precise measurements to determine the exact size, shape, and relative location of a property. Surveyors also investigate  encumbrances or easements on the land. They identify discrepancies with property descriptions, and confirm details that are critical, such as zoning laws and land use regulations.

Features of survey plan in Lagos State

Below are the contents in a land survey document:

  • Name of the landowner
  • Address of the land, including community name, local government, and state
  • Total area covered by the land
  • Origin
  • SURCON (Surveyors Council of Nigeria) seal carrying the surveyor’s name and registration number
  • Surveyor’s signature and certification date
  • Pillar Number (unique numbers assigned to each landowner)
  • Plan number (file number used for reference in the ministry and for land title)
  • UTM coordinate of a point on the survey (local origin on the land)
  • Distance of lines around the land’s boundaries connecting pillars or corners
  • Bearing of each transverse line

Importance of land survey when buying or selling property in Lagos

Boundary Verification

A land survey confirms the property’s exact boundaries, ensuring that both buyers and sellers understand the land’s size and shape.

And in Lagos, where land disputes are common, this document provides legal documentation. This prevents costly and time-consuming boundary disputes between parties, protecting both buyers and sellers.


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Legal protection

A land survey verifies the accuracy of property descriptions and boundaries listed in property documents. This reduces the risk of potential litigation and ensures that property rights are safeguarded.

Additionally, In Lagos, adherence to specific land laws and regulations is essential. So, this document ensures compliance with these laws and protects both buyers and sellers from legal complications and potential fines.

Zoning and land use compliance

This document is also used to determine compliance with local zoning laws. This will inform buyers/sellers of the permissible land use and development options.

For sellers, understanding zoning restrictions allows for effective marketing of the property’s development potential. And for buyers, it informs future development plans, ensuring that any improvements are legal and permissible.

Easement and encroachment identification

By carrying out a land survey on a property, easements on the properties will be easily identified. Easements such as; rights of way or utility easements, which can affect property development and use, are identified.

The survey also identifies encroachments on the property, such as neighboring structures or fences that cross-property lines. This information can affect the property’s value and usability and as such, it requires legal resolution before purchase or sale.

Financial security

The land survey protects the financial investment of both buyers and sellers. By ensuring that the property’s boundaries and features match the agreed-upon terms, it prevents potential disputes.

Informed decision-making

A land survey also provides detailed and accurate information about the property. This allows both buyers and sellers to make informed decisions without the worry of hidden issues.

Knowing that the property has been thoroughly surveyed and verified builds trust between the parties involved in the transaction. This enhances the credibility of the sale and reduces potential conflicts.

Planning and development

This document also plays a crucial role in aiding buyers and sellers to recover key information about the land. This includes the property’s topography and features. By providing insights into these aspects, it enables both parties to estimate development costs accurately.

Additionally, expenses such as site preparation, construction, and landscaping can also be determined through this survey. Overall, this facilitates informed decision-making throughout the property transaction process.

Mortgage approval

Prior to approving a mortgage, many lenders require a land survey to evaluate the property’s value and ensure it meets their lending standards. This includes verifying accurate measurements, boundaries, and legal compliance.

Also, providing a recent land survey can expedite the mortgage approval process for buyers and provide assurance to lenders. This reduces delays and uncertainties associated with property financing.

Insurance purposes

Accurate survey data serves as proof of the property’s boundaries, which is a crucial requirement for obtaining property insurance coverage. Additionally, this document aids in determining the appropriate amount of insurance needed based on factors such as size, location, and features.

Negotiation leverage

The survey document offers factual data to both buyers and sellers. It provides information on the property’s value. It also facilitates any necessary adjustment to the purchase price based on precise measurements and boundary information.

With the survey document, buyers and sellers can negotiate more effectively. They can leverage any discrepancies or issues identified in the survey to secure a fairer price or favorable terms.

A land survey is an important process in the property buying and selling process in Lagos. It provides invaluable information, legal protection, and peace of mind for both buyers and sellers. It also ensures transparency, accuracy, and compliance with local regulations.

Investing in a professional land survey is a wise decision that safeguards property rights, financial investments, and the overall success of real estate transactions in Lagos state.