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Legal Jargon Buster

A helping hand through the world of professional jargon

The legal world is full of confusing terminology. At KMA Solicitors we are here to provide a helping hand through this professional jargon.

If you are unclear about any legal term not listed below please contact us and we’ll be more than happy to explain, in plain English, what it all means


This is an indication of how much a bank or building society will lend. The AIP will take account of the applicant’s monthly income and out goings and is based solely on the information provided. If the relevant information is not provided accurately the lender will revise the figures when the documents are eventually provided and sometimes decline cases where detrimental information comes to light. Because of this, AIP’s have limited value and are generally used by lenders as a marketing tool.


This is the term for the legal work involved in buying a property. It is usually carried out by a solicitor or licensed conveyancer.


A binding contract between the seller and the buyer will come into existence on exchange of contracts. This is also the point when the deposit will be paid. The contract is legally binding and if either party pulls out after exchange of contracts substantial penalties will be imposed.


This occurs when the solicitors (or legal representatives) from both sides complete the transaction on behalf of the buyer and the seller. All documents, money, etc are handed over and it is at this point that the purchaser becomes the legal owner of the property. This is normally the date of moving in.


A freehold indicates that the property and land upon which it is built is completely and absolutely legally owned by the person offering the sale.


This is a survey of the structural condition of the property, undertaken by a qualified surveyor. This type of survey is normally reserved for properties of unusual construction, older properties that have been heavily extended and is generally considered to be the most comprehensive of the survey types.


Most lenders will ask for proof of income, usually three months’ pay slips and a P60, possibly three months’ bank statement. They will also occasionally write to the employer for confirmation of income, length of service and pay structure. For self employed applicants 2 years accounts will be required and very often a reference from the accountant.


This is a detailed survey that is carried out on behalf of the purchaser. This is less detailed than the structural report and is the type of survey commonly used by most purchasers, particularly for second hand properties. The report includes a property valuation which is used by the lender for assessing the mortgage. This report is paid for by the buyer.

Law Society Excellence Awards, 2020

Kem Masinbo-Amobi, KMA Solicitors is one of only two law firms to have been Highly Commended in the category of Sole Practioner of the year.

With regulatory, legislative and financial management challenges, this award celebrates passionate and pioneering sole practitioners who stay on top of the ever-changing industry.

“Kem Masinbo-Amobi is an accomplished solicitor who has shown creative approaches to running a successful business with an exceptional level of client care”