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A Deed of Assignment is an instrument of transfer which is used in real estate transactions to transfer legal title or the ownership in a land or building from the title holder (called the assignor) to another called the assignee, usually for a consideration (money or money's worth).
The conveyance 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 purchaser after the conclusion of the sale of any real property.
This document is different from the Contract of Sale because although it is a vital document in real property sale and purchase transactions, the contract of sale alone does not convey legal interest in real estate. 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.
According to 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 a 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.
Note that if a person gifts another a real property, a Deed of Gift should be executed for this purpose.
How to use this document
The document should outline the names and addresses of the parties, a detailed description of the property being conveyed, the origin of the property, covenants and representations of the assignor.
After completing this document, the parties should sign the document. If either of the parties is an individual, the individual should sign the document and the document must be attested by one witness who will put their name, occupation, address and signature.
If either of the parties is a company, the common seal of the company should be affixed on the document and either two directors or one director and one company secretary should sign the document.
After the documents have been properly executed, either of the parties (particularly the assignee) should take steps to register the property at the ministry of lands if the property is within the purview of the state government and the federal ministry of housing and urban development if the property is within the purview of the federal government or located in the federal capital territory, Abuja.
The Assignor should deliver at least three or four signed copies of this document to the Assignee for registration at the requisite lands registry. The Assignor can also keep a signed copy of this document for their record.
The Land Use Act 1978 is applicable to this document. The Property and Conveyancing law of 1989, Lagos State Registration of Titles law, 2004 and the Registration of Titles laws of various states are also applicable to this document.
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