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Importance of Deed of Assignment in Nigerian Real Estate

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The Nigerian real estate market has been experiencing significant growth in recent years, attracting both local and international investors. 

However, navigating the complexities of property transactions in Nigeria requires a comprehensive understanding of the legal framework and documentation involved. 

One crucial document that plays a vital role in real estate transactions is the Deed of Assignment. 

In this article, we will explore the importance of the Deed of Assignment in Nigerian real estate, its significance in property transfers, and the key elements that should be included in this document.

What is the Deed of Assignment?

The Deed of Assignment is a legal document that transfers the ownership rights of a property from one party (the assignor) to another party (the assignee). 

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It serves as proof of the transfer of ownership and provides legal protection for both the buyer and the seller. 

In Nigerian real estate, the Deed of Assignment is executed after the initial sale and purchase agreement or the Deed of Conveyance, in the case of government-acquired land.

Importance of the Deed of Assignment

 1. Legal Protection

The Deed of Assignment provides legal protection to both the buyer and the seller in a real estate transaction. It clearly outlines the terms and conditions of the property transfer and ensures that all parties involved fulfill their obligations. 

By having a legally binding document, both the buyer and the seller can enforce their rights and seek legal remedies in case of any breach or dispute.

2. Proof of Ownership

One of the primary purposes of the Deed of Assignment is to establish the transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer. 

This document serves as conclusive evidence that the assignor has transferred all rights, title, and interest in the property to the assignee. 

It protects the buyer’s investment by providing a clear and indisputable record of ownership.

3. Title Regularization

In Nigeria, land ownership can be complex, with issues such as multiple ownership claims and overlapping interests. The Deed of Assignment plays a crucial role in regularizing the title of the property. 

It helps to establish a clear chain of ownership and ensures that the buyer obtains a valid and marketable title. This is particularly important when dealing with family-owned land or land acquired from traditional authorities.

4. Securing Financing

When purchasing a property through financing, such as a mortgage, banks and other financial institutions require a Deed of Assignment as part of the loan documentation. 

The Deed of Assignment provides assurance to the lender that the property is legally transferred to the borrower, and it can be used as collateral for the loan. 

Without a valid Deed of Assignment, securing financing for a real estate investment can be challenging.

5. Transfer of Rights and Liabilities

The Deed of Assignment outlines the rights and liabilities associated with the property being transferred. It ensures that all obligations, such as payment of outstanding charges, taxes, and levies, are properly transferred to the buyer. 

Additionally, any rights, such as easements or usage restrictions, are also transferred to the buyer through the Deed of Assignment. This document helps avoid future disputes and ensures a smooth transfer of ownership.

Key Elements of the Deed of Assignment

To ensure the validity and effectiveness of the Deed of Assignment in Nigerian real estate transactions, certain key elements should be included:

Parties Involved

The Deed of Assignment should clearly identify the parties involved in the transaction, including the assignor (seller) and the assignee (buyer). Their full names, addresses, and other relevant details should be stated in the document.

Property Description

A detailed description of the property being transferred is essential. This includes the location, size, boundaries, and any other relevant details that accurately identify the property.


The consideration refers to the monetary value or any other form of payment given in exchange for the property. It should be clearly stated in the Deed of Assignment to ensure transparency and avoid any future disputes regarding the purchase price.

Covenants and Agreements

The Deed of Assignment should outline the covenants and agreements between the parties involved. 

This includes the obligations of the assignor and the assignee, such as payment of outstanding charges, taxes, and levies, as well as any other conditions agreed upon.

Signatures and Witnesses

To make the Deed of Assignment legally binding, it should be signed by both the assignor and the assignee. Additionally, the signatures should be witnessed by at least two independent witnesses who are not parties to the transaction.


The Deed of Assignment holds immense importance in Nigerian real estate transactions. 

It provides legal protection, establishes proof of ownership, regularizes property titles, enables financing, and facilitates the transfer of rights and liabilities. 

Buyers and sellers in the Nigerian real estate market must understand the significance of the Deed of Assignment and ensure that they include all key elements in this crucial document. 

By doing so, they can avoid potential legal disputes and ensure a smooth transfer of ownership. 

It is advisable to consult with a qualified legal professional when drafting or executing a Deed of Assignment to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

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