Buying or selling of landed property is a serious undertaking, which requires the services of experts, most importantly a real estate lawyer. “Prevention is better than cure” as they say. The role of a Real Estate Lawyer is to protect the interest of the parties in a property transaction (i.e. either the Purchaser or the Seller).
That being said, there are several reasons a real estate lawyer is important for every property transaction. Below, I will quickly enumerate of the importance of real estate lawyer in Cameroon for property transaction:
SEARCH FOR PROPERTY TITLE
Different types of searches must be conducted before a property’s sale can take place. The job of a real estate lawyer In property transaction in Cameroon is usually conduct these searches on behalf of clients. Some of the important searches that must be conducted include the followings:
- A title search of the property to ascertain whether there is any form of government acquisition or encumbrances that would affect the purchaser’s ownership interest.
- The Lawyer also conducts a Search to reveal whether or not there is any charge whatsoever on the property.
- The Lawyer furthermore conducts a Search at the Probate registry to reveal whether or not probate has been granted on any estate and to ascertain the personal representatives or executors of a testator in cases of properties belonging to the estate of a deceased. Without a grant of Probate and/or letters of administration, the Seller does not possess the requisite authority to sell the property of a deceased person.
INVESTIGATION OF THE ROOT TITLE
A property’s root title is usually investigated by carrying out a necessary verification from the principal members of a family or from relevant people within a community, where the property is subject to family or community ownership. It is crucial to verify that all relevant consents have been obtained and that the title is neither void nor voidable before a purchase can be made.
PHYSICAL INSPECTION OF THE PROPERTY
A lawyer may also personally visit the property to be purchased to conduct a physical inspection. This is a personal visit to the property in question in order to find out if there is any issue with the property, or to ascertain the actual size of the land and whether it conforms to the dimensions on the survey plan at the Lands registry.
DRAFTING OF NECESSARY DOCUMENTS
Lawyers prepare different types of documents for property transactions. Meanwhile, it is important to mention that quite a number of property purchasers, especially buyers of bare land, still rely on mere receipt as evidence of title to land, which is very risky and inadvisable. It is only a lawyer that may determine the type of documents that must be prepared for a specific property transaction, based on the circumstances of the property to be purchased.
PERFECTION OF TITLE TO THE NEWLY ACQUIRED PROPERTY
Lawyers may help out in the perfection of a title to the newly acquired property by payment of stamp duties and registration of Conveyance or Deed of Assignment at the Lands Registry. It is important and a requirement of Law for an owner of a property to perfect his or her title, so as to be deemed as the legitimate owner of the said property in the records of the jurisdictional government.
In conclusion, lawyers are pivotal parts of the real estate transaction and an experienced real estate lawyer will be able to lend his or her expertise to ensure that your real estate purchase is as seamless as possible.It is my recommendation that players in the real estate industry in Cameroon should get a real estate lawyer for property transaction in Cameroon.
Article by Barr. Mafany Victor Ngando
“The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances”