ROOT OF TITLE


This is a document of title which is sufficient in itself without any extrinsic evidence to establish the title to the landThis shows if the vendor has a valid right to sell the land and if it is unencumbered.

 

CONDITIONS - s.63 CA; s.88 PCL

The conditions to be satisfied for a document to be a good root of title are as follows: 

1. It must transfer both the legal and equitable interest in the property  
2. It must clearly describe the property and extent of interest being conveyed 
3. It must clearly state the owner of the property 
4. It must not be subject to any higher interest over the property 
5. Nothing on the face of the title should cast doubt on its authenticity AKINDURO V. ALAYA

 

 

EXAMPLES OF DOCUMENTS CONSTITUTING GOOD ROOT OF TITLE

1. Deed of  gift; since a gift of land is permanent 
2. Duly perfected Deed of  Assignmenttransfers unexpired term 
3. Deed of legal mortgage; transfer legal interest 
4. Land certificate-Title acquired by a subsequent purchaser of registered estate under the RTL
5. Certificate of purchase; certifies sale of land pursuant to a court process. 
6. Assent(PCL)and probate

 

EXAMPLES OF DOCUMENTSCONSTITUTING BAD ROOT OF TITLE

a. Lease: because it transfers only possession  not title 
b. Licence
c. Will
d. Power of Attorney 
e. Unregistered deed of assignment.
f. An equitable mortgage, does not covey the legal interest 
g. Certificate of occupancy; (is alone not sufficient evidence of title because it can displaced-OGUNLEYE V.ONI

 

WHEN IS A CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY A GOOD ROOT OF TITLE

However a Certificate of Occupancy may be a good root of title if the following exist: 

1. It is granted in respect of a statutory or customary grant of a right of occupancy pursuant to S.5 and 6 of the land use act
2. There is any corroborative to prove title e.g. long possession 
3. When it is a state grant    OLOJUNDE V ADEYOJU

 

STATUS OF C OF O

➢ A certificate of occupancy is issued as evidence of a grant of title to a person in a piece of land
➢ Raises presumption that holder is in exclusive possession
➢ It is not Conclusive; can be rebutted by a person with better title-OGUNLEYE V. ONI.
➢ It would not be a good root of title with respect to a deemed grant under S.34 and 36 of the act

 

HOW CAN A SOLICITOR SATISFY HIMSELF OF VENDORS TITLE

1. Raising requisitions (done by pruchaser’ssolicitor)
2. Searches in the land registry
3. Investigating court judgments
4. Inspecting original title documents
5. Investigating traditional tile if needed
6. Physical inspection of property-IDUMDUN V.OKUMAGBA

 

 

 

INVESTIGATION/SEARCH ON TITLE

• This is the process of conforming the title of the vendor deduced by him.
• The purchaser’s solicitor must investigate the vendor’s it in order to see whether any defect exists in the title deduced by the vendor. 
• Investigation of title is usually done by way of search conducted in all places and offices where there may be particular or details of the property. 

 

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