A piece of land regardless of its size is a valuable asset a person could have. Unlike other assets, it’s value doesn’t depreciate that’s why it’s an asset worth keeping. That’s why most people would want to purchase a land where they can build their homes.
However, if you’re just about to buy a land paying attention to the authenticity of the land title is significant. Knowing how to identify fake titles will spare you from fraudulent land sellers and dealers.
The Land Registration Authority has published helpful information and guidelines that can help future land buyers.
- The Judicial Forms for titles are accountable forms and each form has a unique serial number assigned. These forms were distributed by LRA to different Registries of Deeds. The serial number in the original copy is printed in red while black in the duplicate copy. The year in which the form was printed or revised can be found at the bottom of the Judicial Form number.
- There should be dark red seal affixed on the lower left corner of the Judicial Form and it should not stain or blot when wet.
- The Judicial Form was produced by the Central Bank that’s why it is printed on security paper with security features. There should be the LRA watermark and tiny dots and fibers are noticeable. The paper of the old title is light yellow while the e-Title is pale straw.
- All entries of the e-Titles are computer encoded and printed, while the old titles were type-written. If you hold an Original Certificate of Title, the Judicial Form No. 108-D should be indicated at the top. For a Transfer Certificate of Title, “Judicial Form No. 109-D” must be present.
- Check the signatures. For Judicial OCT, the signature of the Registrar or Administrator must be present. For TCT, the Registrar’s signature must be present. For Administrative titles, there should be two signatures, from the registrar and from a CENRO or PENRO officer.
Purchasing a land involves big amount of money that’s why buyers should be extra careful in dealing with land dealers particularly if you don’t know the person well.