So you have been informed of a hot deal of a land sale at an unbelievable price, before you go running to pay for that “hot deal” that will wipe out your savings and leave you paying unworthy debts, kindly consider a few things;-
a) Carry out a search at the Ministry of Lands Office i.e. the area Lands Registry. Obtain a certified copy of a search report which will provide details of the current registered proprietor, size of the land and any encumbrances that may be registered on the land.
b) Ensure you do serious due diligence; – visit the actual land and establish that it is dry land and not in a swamp. Furthermore, visiting the actual land is important to establish if there are any people living or utilizing the land. Establish their rights over the land and decide on a way forward. If there are squatters, eh sorry, that word was obliterated, we now say bonafide occupants, discuss compensation matters.
c) Talk and inquire from the neighbours about the land, locate the chairman of the area, talk to the residents e.g. tenants if it is a house and ensure that you have get info.
All these actions may not necessarily guarantee that they will not cheat you but at least you will have proof of a due diligence carried out and this counts a lot in fraud cases. Many court cases have resolved that sufficient circumstantial evidence, being informed of the problems on the land, failure to investigate ownership can point to the fact that the purchaser may have been aware and participated in fraud in purchasing and transferring the land.
In carrying out a due diligence there are certain things you should be trying to establish and investigate. These are discussed next.