Ownership of real property is to be supported by documentary evidence. There are five documents every property must have. If you do not have any of them, there is a need to discuss with a real estate consultant at your earliest convenience. They are:
1. PURCHASE RECEIPT: A purchase receipt is a written acknowledgement of the recipient of payment for a property. It may be required as an evidence of ownership or acquisition of property in certain circumstances.
2. A REGISTERED SURVEY PLAN: A survey plan is a diagram that describes the margin and precise dimension of a parcel of land. A surveyor is an expert who is concerned with the official assessment for evaluation and measurement of land. The survey is expected to be lodged (registered) at the Surveyor General’s office of the State in which the land is situated.
3. DEED OF ASSIGNMENT: A Deed of Assignment is a document that shows the new legal owner of the property; i.e. the property has been transferred from the seller to the buyer. It is a contract from the seller to assign his/her rights in the property to the buyer.
4. CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY (C of O)/ REGISTERED GOVERNMENT TITLE: The C of O is a document evidencing your ownership of a particular portion of land for a specified period of time (usually 99 years for residential land). It is issued by the Governor of the State in which the property is situated.
5. APPROVED BUILDING PLAN: This is an endorsement to proceed with the construction or reconfiguration of a particular structure in a specific place, in accordance with the approved requirement. It is very essential that you ensure that the structure of the property corresponds with what is shown on the plans.
If your property does not have any of the documents listed above, it is pertinent to discuss with your Surveyor Consultant or Advisor as soon as possible.