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Deed of Assignment

Last revision Last revision 11/03/2024
Formats FormatsWord and PDF
Size Size4 to 5 pages
4.5 - 19 votes
Fill out the template

Last revisionLast revision: 11/03/2024

FormatsAvailable formats: Word and PDF

SizeSize: 4 to 5 pages

Rating: 4.5 - 19 votes

Fill out the template

What is a deed of assignment?

A Deed of Assignment is an instrument of transfer which is used in real estate transactions to transfer legal title or the ownership of a land or building from the title holder (called the assignor) to another person (called the assignee), usually for a consideration (money or money's worth).

In a contract of sale of real property, the title transfer is done in writing, signed, sealed and delivered by the parties to the transaction.

This is a very important document that should be delivered to the purchaser after the conclusion of the sale of any real property.


What is the difference between a contract of sale of land and a deed of assignment?

The contract of sale and a deed of assignment are vital documents in real property sale and purchase transactions.

However, a contract of sale alone does not transfer ownership or interest in real property. On the other hand, a registered deed of assignment not only transfers legal interest in real property but also serves as the assignee's root of title. This means that a registered deed of assignment serves as proof of ownership of real property.


Is it mandatory to have a deed of assignment?

Yes, a deed of assignment is required as it typically needs to be registered with the Land Registry.


What must a deed of assignment contain?

The following are the essential components of a deed of assignment:

  • Information about the parties: The deed of assignment should specify the full names, addresses, and other relevant information about the assignor and assignee.

  • Description of the real property: A deed of assignment should contain a detailed description of the property the assignor is transferring to the assignee, such as the size, location, and registration number of the real property.

  • Transfer of real property: The deed should contain a clear statement indicating that the assignor intends to transfer their ownership or title in the real property to the assignee.

  • Consideration: A deed of assignment should include consideration, which is the amount the assignee paid the assignor for the property.


Who is involved in a deed of assignment?

The parties to a deed of assignment are the assignor and the assignee. The assignor is the party that owns title to the property they are transferring to the assignee. The assignee, on the other hand, becomes the new title holder of the property transferred under the deed of assignment.


Who cannot be a party to a deed of assignment?

Generally, minors (persons who are below the age of 18 years) cannot validly enter a binding contract, including a deed of assignment.

If the assignee is a minor, the legal guardian of the minor should sign the deed of assignment on behalf of the minor.

 

What should be done once the deed of assignment is ready?

After signing the four copies of the deed of assignment:

  • Both the assignor and assignee should sign the deed of assignment. If either of the parties is a company, the common seal of the company, and one company director and one secretary should sign the deed of assignment. If either of the parties is an organization other than a company, one authorized representative (for example, a manager, director, or senior officer of the organization) of the organization should sign the deed of assignment.
  • After signing, the four copies of the deed of assignment should be notarized.

After signing and notarization:

  • The assignee should deliver at least 4 (four) signed copies of the deed of assignment for registration along with the attached document at the requisite Land Registry.
  • After this, the deed of assignment requires the governor's consent for approval.
  • After obtaining the governor's consent and paying the requisite stamp duty fees, the deed of assignment should be registered within weeks.

Which documents should be attached to the deed of assignment?

The following should be attached to a deed of assignment for registration at the Land Registry:

  • receipt of purchase of property;
  • title documents of the real property, such as the assignor's certificate of occupancy, deed of assignment, etc.;
  • survey plan of property;
  • copies of a valid means of identification of the assignee, such as an international passport, driver's licence, or national ID card; and
  • evidence of payment of registration fees.


Is it necessary to notarize a deed of assignment for it to be valid?

Yes, all original copies of the deed of assignment should be notarized before registration.

Notarization happens when a notary public certifies the authenticity of a document by placing a seal and signing the document.


Is it necessary to register the deed of assignment?

Yes, it is necessary to register the deed of assignment at the requisite Land Registry, as registration serves as evidence of ownership of title.

 

Is it necessary to have witnesses for the deed of assignment?

Yes, the deed of assignment needs to be witnessed to be valid. After the parties have signed, the deed of assignment should be witnessed by at least one person. The witness is required to hand fill in their names, addresses, and occupations and also sign the deed of assignment.

What are the costs involved in the finalization of the deed of assignment?

The cost of finalizing a deed of assignment varies, particularly a deed of assignment intended for the transfer of real property, as it includes the cost of notarization, registration, the requisite taxes, and attorney fees.

It is important to consult the Land Registry for updated details of the cost.


What happens after the deed of assignment is registered?

After registration of the deed of assignment, the title of the real property is transferred to the assignee. However, the assignee is not necessarily referred to as the owner but the title holder.

This is because under the Land Use Act, all state and federal lands are vested in the governor of each state and the federal government respectively, who hold the lands as trustees for Nigerians. Consequently, a person who acquires ownership of land in Nigeria is granted a certain term of years (usually 99 years) and is not referred to as the owner but the holder of a term of years and can assign the remainder of such term to another under a deed of assignment.

Which laws apply to a deed of assignment?

The Land Use Act of 1978 applies to the deed of assignment. The Property and Conveyancing Law of 1959, Lagos State Registration of Titles Law 2004 and the Registration of Titles laws of various states are also applicable to the deed of assignment.


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