Housing offices only offer face-to-face assistance by prior appointment, so check out the “Housing calls you” service here to receive the most appropriate personalised assistance. If you also need assistance in energy rights, book an appointment with an energy-advice point (PAE) by clicking here. On the other hand, if you reside in an IMHAB public dwelling you can consult our contact, management and processing channels here.​

You will find information here on all topics relating to housing in Barcelona

Accrued interest

The interest applied as a penalisation when the debtor does not comply with repayment obligations. The amount must be established in the contract.

Active supermortgage

This allows the client to choose their loan's benchmark index (MIBOR at three months, six months or a year) so that payment can benefit from lower interest rates sooner.

Adaptable instalment

Characteristic of UCI superloans that allow the borrower to not pay one instalment a year for the first three years if there are problems due to holidays, extraordinary expenses, etc.

Advanced cancellation fee

A commission arising from the financial risk involved in the advanced cancellation of an operation. The applied commission compensates the financial institution for its financial losses.


Direct state aid for paying the deposit on a property.

Affordable housing

Group of social housing or dwellings from social renovation projects that are sold or rented at below-market prices.

Affordable rent

The cost of renting these dwellings is below market prices after being included in operations concerning the rented flat pool, social renovation or social housing promotions.


Payment made to repay a loan.

Amortisation period

The duration of the loan. The contract establishes the date of the first and last payments. The longer the period, the lower the payments are, but the higher the interest. You therefore pay more in the end. The monthly instalment should not exceed 35% of your net income.


Estate agent. A qualified professional who acts as an intermediary between the two interested parties to facilitate the signing of a real estate contract, which can be a rental agreement, a sales agreement or another similar contract. They usually charge a percentage of the sales price as compensation or commission.


A citizen who makes a registration application to the Barcelona Social Housing Applicants Registry, and who represents the other members of the dwelling unit included in the application.


Annual Equivalent Rate. Effective annual cost of the mortgage in terms of interest, commissions and the repayment period. To compare loans, it is not enough to just look at the lowest APR, you also have to compare the conditions, the repayment period and the distribution of instalment payments.

Arbitri municipal de plusvàlua

Former denomination of the capital gains tax on landed property.


The value of a dwelling certified by a specialised assessment company, in accordance with the mortgage market law. This certificate not only indicates the real value of the property, it also serves as a reference for obtaining the necessary financing.


Document in which the owner authorises the tenant to carry out building work in the dwelling's interior.

Bare legal title

When an owner has rights over a property, but does not have possession, as this has been ceded by means of a right known as 'usufruct'.

Benchmark index

Used for variable-interest loans. It determines the interest rate –plus the margin– for each revision after the initial or fixed period of the loan.

Benchmark replacement rate

Indices established in variable-rate and mixed-rate mortgage deeds, only applicable if the first benchmark rate is not published for any reason.


Natural or legal person who is the holder of the right to compensation.

Binding offer

In the case of a mortgage subrogation between financial institutions, a document that the institution wishing to subrogate sends to the first financial institution, containing the new interest rate conditions for the client, if the client changes financial institution. However, for new mortgages, the binding offer is the document that financial institutions are obliged to give the client, and which must contain the loan's financial conditions. The offer's validity cannot be less than 10 working days from the date it is issued to the client. Once the mortgage loan has been studied and approved, guaranteed for a dwelling costing €150,253.03 or less, and where the holder is a natural person, financial institutions are obliged to give a binding offer.


The holder of a loan who assumes all the obligations and acquires all the rights of the contract they sign with the financial institution concerned.

Building leases

For leased properties, ownership of the building is transferred for a specific period of time, which is specified when the right is constituted, but the ownership of the land is not transferred. After the specified period is over, ownership returns to the Public Administration.

Building record

A document containing the main building information, whether it is used for accommodation or not. It includes the building's identification and construction data and the maintenance tasks that are carried out, any incidents that happen and any renovation work that is carried out

Building specifications

A technical document that specifies the materials used in the construction work, whether they be in the dwelling's interior or exterior elements of the building.

Built surface area

The dwelling's surface area that includes its exterior and interior walls.


Fulfilment of the debt to the bank once the loan and the interests have been paid off. This involves expenses for deed processing and registration in the Property Registry.

Cancellation (Extinció)

The finalisation of a contract due to non-compliance with its obligations by the two parties. In a rental agreement, the owner can cancel the contract when the tenant does not pay the rent, the deposit or the updated amount, sublets or transfers the dwelling without permission, causes damage or carries out work without permission, carries out annoying, dangerous or illegal activities or uses the property for other uses. The tenant can cancel the contract if the owner does not maintain the property or interferes in the agreed use.

Cancellation fee

Commission charged by the financial institution once all the principal and the interest of a mortgage have been paid.


Nominal amount of the mortgage or principal. The total amount of the debt pending payment, without including interest.

CECA active rate

Measures the evolution of personal loans and mortgages, which means it is always a little higher.

Certificate of habitability

Certificate issued by a competent technician that guarantees that the property meets the minimum standards of habitability. This is needed for obtaining the Certificate of Occupancy.

Certificate of occupancy

A document issued by the Directorate General of Housing which certifies that a dwelling complies with minimum standards of habitability.

Certificate of registered ownership

Document authenticated and issued by the Property Registry which declares whether the property has any encumbrances.


A section of a contract that contains an aspect agreed between the parties involved.


Expenses charged by financial institutions for services to clients. They must be accepted by both parties and listed in the information leaflet and the mortgage loan deed.

Commitment charge

The financial institution's costs for researching, granting and processing the loan, along with other administrative expenses arising from the mortgage.


Applied to a dwelling, a co-ownership area in a building in which all the co-owners of a building have a share. These are common features, including roofs, roof terraces, facades, land, foundations, structure, load-bearing walls, as well as patios, terraces, conduits, community installations and open spaces.

Common law couple

An unmarried, stable couple who are not registered in the Civil Union Registry.

Community agreement

Minutes of the community of the property owners meeting where approval is given for construction work.

Community of property owners

Body which controls a horizontal-property building. It consists of all the building's property owners.

Condemned building

Condemning, which is a municipal administrative action, indicates that the condition of a building is an imminent danger for people and property, making it necessary to partially or totally demolish it.

Consumer arbitration

For resolving conflicts between two parties without going to court. However, the two parties involved have to voluntarily accept the arbitration. Arbitration rulings have legal value.


Assets of the insured party, their relatives and other people living in the same dwelling, except for vehicles, valuables, furniture, household furnishings, and materials for exercising a profession.

Continuation for third parties

In rented accommodation, where the tenant does not wish to renew the contract, their spouse, or a partner with whom they have lived for two years, may continue using the property until the end of the contract. The same thing applies in cases of divorce, annulment or separation, where the dwelling is assigned to the tenant's spouse by the judge.

Contract specifications

Document containing the conditions of a contract.

Contract transfer

Document in which the rights of a contract are partially or totally transferred to third parties.


Consumer Price Index. Evaluates the increase in costs. This is the index used to update rental contracts in the first five years. After that, it is increased in accordance with the contract's specifications.


A document that declares that one or more persons contract a signed commitment, authorised by a notary public, which means it can be recorded in the corresponding registry. Producing a deed means the action has been legally formalised.


An amount that is equivalent to one month's rent, which the tenant pays to the property owner as a guarantee. It is equivalent to one month's rent in the case of a first home, and to two months in other cases, and it is deposited in the place designated by the autonomous community. It is returned when the rental agreement terminates, if the tenants leave the accommodation in the same conditions as they found it. In addition to the deposit, the owner may ask for another guarantee, such as a third-party guarantee.

Deposit (Arres)

Money that is the equivalent of part of the accommodation's price, which the future buyer gives to the seller as a guarantee of purchasing the property within a specified period of time. If the deadline expires, the buyer loses the deposit. If the seller does not respect the agreed period and sells the property to someone else, they then have to pay back double the amount given as the deposit. If the operation is successfully closed, the deposit is considered to be a payment on account.

Development land

Land that is not considered to be urban or non-development land, but which may become urban land, when provided with minimum urban services, so that it can be built on.


The percentage added to the benchmark index for each interest rate modification on variable-interest loans.

Documented legal act

A legal document to which a tax is applied.


Property ownership.

Dwelling unit

Any group of people who can prove that they live in the same home or make a commitment to do so, whether they are related to each other or not. This can be a single person or made up of various people: future dwelling units, married couples and unmarried couples registered in the municipal registry, etc.

Early cancellation

Advanced repayment of the agreed amounts for repaying the loan. This can be total or partial repayment. The financial institution usually charges a percentage of the amount repaid in advance to compensate for the financial loss involved in altering the agreed repayment schedule. In the case of variable-interest loans, the legal maximum percentage is 1%.

Early repayment

The possibility of repaying the loan, either totally or partially, before the agreed time. You need to know if the financial institution recognises this possibility and under what conditions, if there is a minimum amount and what commission is charged. In general, a percentage of the amount repaid in advance is usually charged, to compensate for the financial loss involved in altering the agreed repayment schedule.

Emancipated minor

A person between the ages of 16 and 18 who can make decisions about their life and possessions as if they were adults. Emancipation is awarded through a public deed, witnessed by a notary public, and must be recorded in the Civil Registry.


Limitations to ownership of a property or linked to the payment of an obligation. It has to be recorded in the Property Registry.


Referring to housing, each time data is recorded in the Property Registry referring to the life of a dwelling.

ESAL Agreement

Agreement signed by the Barcelona City Council, the Association of Social Housing Policy Managers of Catalonia (GHS) and various representative entities of the sector (Cohabitac, FCHC and the XES) with the aim of expanding the public housing stock in one thousand flats, which will be used for social rent and affordable cooperative housing.


The Euro Interbank Offer Rate, a daily index that measures the evolution of the European interbank market. It is the most recommendable index. However, it must be said that it reflects the rises and falls in the rate in a very abrupt manner. A differential is always added to it, but it is not advisable for the rate to go above 1.25%.


Applied to a dwelling, installation or feature belonging to a private property of a particular owner. It is the opposite of the "common" concept, which refers to an installation or feature that belongs to the community of property owners.

Fee simple

When you have absolute rights over a property or the corresponding part of the property

Final completion certificate

Certificate issued by a competent technician and/or promoter of the works, which declares its completion and approval of the work carried out.

Financial institution

A legal person with whom a mortgage loan is contracted – mortgage bank, official financial institutions, savings banks, postal savings bank, regulated bodies, co-operative banks and building societies.


The amount of money loaned and which is usually between 70 and 80% of the value of the property being purchased.

Fire insurance

This is obligatory for a mortgaged property, in accordance with current legislation. When a mortgage is acquired, a tailor-made fire insurance policy is facilitated, and the new dwelling is covered for fire, lightning, explosions, disengagement, measures adopted by the authorities, extraordinary risks and catastrophes, etc.

First Occupancy Licence

A permit awarded by the City Council to the promoter once the building is completed so that it can be occupied.

Fixed instalment loan

The interest rate is variable, but the amount paid in each instalment remains the same, which means the repayment period varies.

Fixed interest rate loan

A loan agreed with a financial institution where the interest rate remains the same throughout the duration of the loan. As the interest rate does not vary, the APR is fixed.

Free of any encumbrances

This is said of a property that has no limitations on its dominion, i.e. there are no mortgages, taxes, cancellation clauses, usufruct or any other limitations.

Free price dwelling

A property that has no limits on the price it is sold for.

Home equity loan

A contract through which a financial institution opens a line of credit so that loan holders can receive amounts according to their needs. The holder is obliged to repay the amounts received under the terms and conditions agreed between the two parties. In the case of non-compliance by the loan's beneficiary, the financial institution has the mortgage guarantee and becomes the owner of the property. The loan is formalised in a public deed for registration in the Property Registry.

Horizontal division

Function documented in a public deed which divides a building into various independently registered properties, assigning each one a co-ownership coefficient or share in the building as a whole. It is recorded in the Property Registry.

Horizontal property

A building divided into flats and/or commercial establishments with independent access to the street or to a common element. The flat owners share common services and installations. Its functions are regulated by statutes and internal regulations, which determine the use of the dwellings and establishments, the common elements and costs, the governing bodies for the community, the owners' obligations for maintaining the property and regulations for community life and use of common services.

Housing co-operative

An association that brings people together for the common project of building dwellings to house its members. It is formally constituted with its articles of association, registration in the Co-operative Societies Registry and the democratic election of its regulating body. It looks for building sites, drafts projects, negotiates with financial institutions, finds an architect, drafts membership and adjudication agreements, etc.

Housing need

Essential for registering in the Barcelona Social Housing Applicants Registry. This status is not given when the applicant has a social housing property; an adequate unsubsidised dwelling whose price is more than 60% of the value of a 70 m2 dwelling up for general sale in Barcelona; or who has assets whose value exceeds the price of a 70 m2 dwelling up for general sale in Barcelona.

Housing outside urban-planning regulation

Housing that contradicts urban planning regulations, a law, a regulation, a general plan, etc. This may be because of a change in circumstances, due to a change in municipal planning or other regulations, or it could be due to an illegal action.

Housing plan

A municipal plan through which the administration establishes the basic regulations for access to and financing for social housing: the conditions and the maximum prices, the income of beneficiaries and the funding system. It is valid for four years and is complemented by the plans of each autonomous community, which receive state financing assigned through agreements. It also establishes the mechanism for setting interest rates and favours the signing of agreements with financial institutions for conceding loans.

HPO (Habitatge de Protecció Oficial)

"Officially protected" or social housing. Housing where the administration regulates the type, the size, and the price, as a condition for the buyers to enjoy certain economic and tax advantages. The buyers have to meet the established conditions, in terms of home ownership, family income, etc.

IAJD (Impost d'Actes Jurídics Documentats)

Stamp Duty. A tax on actions formalised in public deeds, such as notarised deeds. For mortgages, the basis for calculating this is the total mortgage responsibility, and not just the loan's principal, except for the exceptions established in the law on mortgage subrogation and modification. This is paid to the Provincial Tax Office.

IBI (Impost de Béns Immobles)

Property Tax. A tax on the value of the property. This is collected by the competent city council. It is paid every year according to the property's assigned rateable value.

ICIO (Impost sobre Construccions, Instal·lacions i Obres)

Construction, Installation and Works Tax. This is applicable when one of these actions is carried out and needs a permit. It is paid by the owner of the dwelling or the land on which it is built.

Industrialised housing

A building system that uses innovative techniques and processes and in which structural components are manufactured in a workshop, transported to the final location, and assembled there. This type of construction allows the automation of design and production processes.


A mortgage payment, usually monthly, which includes part of the principal and part of the interest. It may be constant (always paying the same because the interest is reduced in proportion to the amortisation of the principal), increasing (more principal is amortised every year so that the interest decreases) or decreasing (the same amount of the principal is amortised every year, the interest decreases progressively and the total decreases).

Interest rate

The percentage applied to the outstanding principal of a loan to calculate the amount of interest that has to be paid.

Interest-only period

Period of the mortgage when only interest is paid off, not the principal. This usually lasts for two years and is optional for the client.

Internal profitability of public debt

Biannual profitability average in secondary trading for public debt with an expiry date of between two and six years.


Public Index of Multiple Purpose Income (IPREM) is the Spanish benchmark index for calculating the threshold of multiple purpose income (subsidies for housing, grants, unemployment benefits, etc.). It was introduced on 1 July 2004, to replace the Minimum Inter-professional Salary (SMI), whose use was restricted to the sphere of employment. The income limit for access to social and dotational housing is calculated in multiples of the annual IPREM, including extra payments.

IRPH (Índex de Referència de Préstecs Hipotecaris)

Referenced Index for Mortgages. This is comprised of three indexes: one for banks, one for savings banks and one for financial institutions in general. They measure the average of operations begun or renewed during the previous month by each group of organisations. They provide a true picture of how much financing a property costs.

IRSC (Indicador de Renda de Suficiència de Catalunya)

Catalan Income Sufficiency Indicator. Created to replace the state-wide 'IPREM ', this is an index for the benefits and services provided by the Generalitat, the regional government of Catalonia.

ITP (Impost Sobre Transmissions Patrimonials)

Property Transfer Tax. Among other things, this taxes the sale and purchase of dwellings. It is normally paid by the seller. The current rate for most of Spain is 6%, although there are some exceptions.

IVT (Impost sobre l'Increment del Valor dels Terrenys)

Increased Land Value Tax. This taxes the increased value of urban land. By law, the seller is the subject of this tax, except where there is an agreement to the contrary, which must be set out in the public deed of sale. The amount depends on how many years have passed since the last payment, the municipality and the location of the property in that municipality.


Owner, person who lets a flat.

Large family

This consists of the father and/or mother, and three or more children under the age of 25, whether or not they are the children of both parents. Other situations that are treated in the same way as large families include families with two children where one of the family members is disabled or is incapacitated for work; or where the father and mother with three or more children are separated or divorced, although they live in different family units, provided that they are economically dependent.

LAU (Llei d'arrendaments urbans)

Urban leasing law.

Legal person

A regime held by organisations with rights and obligations that are similar to those of natural persons –companies, financial institutions, etc.

Legal system of the building

Set of regulations used to govern the building.


The contract whereby a person –landlord, owner, usufructuary– is obliged to give another person –leaseholder, tenant, renter– the use of a property for a specified time in exchange for a specified price: the rent.


A charge affecting an immovable or movable property in favour of a third party.


Characteristic of UCI supermortgages that protects the instalments from variable-interest rates.

Loan with capped interest rate

Variable interest rate mortgage loan where maximum and/or minimum interest rates, to be applied after revision, have been agreed.

Major construction work permit

A qualified technical expert must be contracted to draft the project and supervise the work. Once the project has been examined and approved, and with a document certifying that the technical expert will be responsible for carrying out the work, the major construction work permit can be applied for.

Maximum income

In order to qualify for the adjudication of social housing, you must earn less than the maximum income limits established in the regulations. The income of a dwelling unit corresponds to the sum of the incomes received by all the people in the dwelling unit. Consult the income table for Barcelona

Member of a co-operative

Membership defines the status of a co-operative, although any person who needs housing can be a member (adult or minor with representation). In the case of social housing, member admission must be adapted to legal requirements.


This is no longer an official index, which is why it is hardly ever used. It mostly affects operations that were contracted a long time ago.

Minimum interprofessional salary

This is set every year by central government. In theory, it is the minimum wage you need to live and, therefore, what everyone should be able to earn.

Minor construction work permit

For building work that affects less than 9 m2 de of surface area and which does not modify the architectural layout or structure of the building. The minor construction work permit is issued by the City Council and you have to pay the fixed charges. It is necessary to present a small sketch and a budget for the work. The project need not be drafted by a qualified technical expert.

Mixed interest rate loan

This combines a period of time at a fixed interest rate and another period at a variable rate which changes according to the market.


A real right that guarantees compliance with obligations contracted with a third party – loans, bank drafts, etc. Along with payment of the principal, it guarantees payment of ordinary interest, default interest, costs and expenses arising for an eventual legal claim in the case of non-payment.

Mortgage default penalty

A fixed amount charged when an instalment is not paid.

Mortgage liability

The sum of the concepts guaranteed by the mortgage: the capital loaned (principal), normal interest and default interest, legal costs, expenses, etc. The expenses for formalising a mortgage are calculated using this quantity.

Multi-risk insurance policy

Guarantees cover for damages that affect the property.

Multifamily dwellings

Housing that is part of a property with more than one dwelling.

Municipal Added Value Tax

Former denomination of the capital gains tax on landed property.

New construction

A public deed that declares the existence of a building or the construction of a new one. Recording it in the Property Registry represents the creation of a registered property due to the disappearance of the original property.

New home

A newly constructed dwelling.

Non-development land

Land protected by some kind of special protection regime (landscape, historic, environmental) which means it cannot be built on.

Notary public

A civil servant who is authorised to witness, advise and certify private legal business with their signature. They charge according to the amount of the document and the rates established by the government, and applicants may choose one that operates in the municipality where the mortgaged property is located or in the applicant's fiscal residence. A notary public's costs are considered to be those that are produced for conceding mortgage loan deeds. The tax base for these tariffs is known as 'mortgage responsibility', and a legally established percentage tariff is applied to this base, along with the amount for the flows used and the copies issued, also legally established.

Novation or modification of the loan

Renegotiation of the loan with the financial institution with the aim of lowering the interest rate or changing the benchmark index. This is an agreement to apply a lower interest rate or change the rules for calculating the interest. In addition to improving the interest conditions, an alteration to the amortisation period can be agreed. This solution is the most advantageous, as it involves minimum costs.

Obligatory extension

The right of a rental contract holder to demand that the owner is legally obliged to extend the duration of the contract.

Obligatory guarantee

A guarantee that must be given in order to process or formalise an agreement or contract.

Official confirmation

Official authorisation used by some civil servants to guarantee the authenticity of a document and the veracity of its content.

Official fee

Payment for an administrative service or activity imposed by the state, autonomous communities or city councils.


A legal or natural person who has the property rights of an asset. The person who has the right of ownership.


The Energy Advice Points are a service of the Barcelona City Council that offers the information, care and intervention necessary so that people can exercise their energy rights and companies do not deny them access to basic supplies.

PAU (Programa d'Actuació Urbanística)

Urban Development Plan. This aims to convert non-programmed urbanisable land, not defined by the PGOU, into land for the construction of housing, at least 50% of which will be some kind of social housing.

Payable base

Figure used for calculating the amounts to be paid.

Percentage owned

The percentage applied to the value of the building's land and common elements for horizontal property buildings (community of property owners), according to which costs are distributed.


Frequency with which the loan instalments are paid. This should coincide with the periodicity of income.

Permanent residency

People with the right to permanent residency include citizens of other European Union states or citizens of a member state of the European Economic Area Agreement, and the members of families who are not from these states but who have legally resided in Spain for a continuous period of five years.

PGOU (Pla General d'Ordenació Urbana)

General Plan for Urban Zoning. Contains information on possible building sites in a municipality, lists the types of land and the town planning regulations that affect them, as well as planned facilities, infrastructures and development for the municipality. Every city council has an urban planning department where information on a specific building site can be obtained.

Planning project

A work project produced by a technician who is qualified to do so.

Power of attorney

Authorisation given, in the presence of a notary public, to a third party to carry out a specified action.

Pre-emptive rights or acquisition

A tenant's preferential right to buy the dwelling he or she is renting. If the dwelling is sold without taking the tenant's pre-emptive rights into consideration, the tenant can buy it by exercising the retrospective right of first refusal.


A dwelling's construction elements and fixed installations.

Private document

Regarding a legal, mercantile or administrative action, it contains the wishes of the author. If it is a sales and purchasing document, it contains the wish of the parties involved to transfer the ownership of a property.


Jurisdiction over an asset, giving the holder the capacity to dispose of it as they wish, with no limitations other than those established by law.

Property (Finca)

Term used in the Property Registry to designate a dwelling. Each dwelling is a registered property.

Property administrator

The person responsible for the administration work of the property, both for communities of property owners and property belonging to a single owner that is leased.

Property registration status

The result of the registration data for a property, which records the encumbrances and owners.

Property Registry

Public office that records the changes affecting the ownership of property, their rights and obligations, and title holders.

Provisional classification certificate

Resolution that provisionally provides certain benefits for promoting housing. In order to get access to grants and to classify the dwellings as social housing, definitive classification must be obtained.


Partial amounts of the total loan amount that have been requested and which are used as the term of the loan progresses.

Public debt

Depends on the performance of public debt on secondary trading. Hardly any financial institutions use this.

Public deed

A deed signed and ratified by a notary public who registers it in the Property Registry.

Public document

Regarding a legal, mercantile or administrative action, this is a document authorised by a notary public, allowing its registration in the Property Register. It is commonly known as a 'deed', and some of the most common examples are those referring to mortgages, sales, new buildings and horizontal division.

Public stock

Social housing properties subject to subsidies from city councils or the Generalitat of Catalonia.

Qualified loan

Given by financial institutions that have an agreement with the administration where the interest rate is below the fixed market rate.

Rateable value

Assigned value in a dwelling's cadastral certificate.

Recorded release

Elimination of the loan on a property and which is recorded in the Property Registry. A mortgage may be paid, but it may still be recorded in the Registry. In order to erase it, you must sign a mortgage-cancellation deed, pay the tax on legal documents and then record it in the Registry, which then cancels the loan referred to.

Registration data of the property

The data for the dwelling that is recorded in the Property Registry.

Registry verification

Confirming the situation of the property in the Property Registry. This can be carried out by a direct examination of the books, with an informative note, or with a registry certificate.


The monthly amount that the tenant pays the owner for renting a flat, which is agreed between the two parties before signing the contract.

Rental agreement

An agreement between the owner and the tenant for the renting of a dwelling in exchange for a rent freely agreed between the two parties.


Renting out a property to the person who signs the rental contract and the people who live with that person.

Repayment insurance

Designed for mortgage holders, this guarantees amortisation in the case of the holder's death or disability. It is not obligatory, but it is advisable to get this when the mortgage is signed.

Repricing time period

Periodicity with which the interest rates for variable-interest loans are modified.

Requested housing system

There are different types: ownership, leasing or renting, for 10, 25 or 30 years, with an option to buy, for senior citizens (for family or dwelling units with a maximum of two members and over the age of 65) or for young people (under the age of 35 and made up of a family or dwelling unit with a maximum of two people or, in exceptional cases, three members, if one is a minor.

Returned emigrants

Emigrants who are originally from Barcelona or who lived here in the two years prior to their emigration from the country, and who have applied for recognition as a returnee, in accordance with the Act concerning support measures for the return of Catalan emigrants and their descendants. This is applicable, for example, to Spanish citizens residing abroad whose last administrative place of residence was Catalonia; or people born in Catalonia who are residents abroad, but who were evacuated or became exiles for political reasons.

Right of first refusal

A tenant's right to enforce their pre-emptive or acquisition right, rendering the sale of the property invalid.

Right of occupancy

Gives its holder the right to occupy the part of a property needed by the holder and their family, in order to satisfy their housing needs.

Right of use

The right to have and use a dwelling in accordance with the needs of the user and, where appropriate, their family.

Rights limitations

Limitations to the owner's rights for a property in favour of a third party - right of way, lights, view, etc.

Second-hand home

Dwelling that has had at least one previous owner.

Secured insurance policy

Guarantees cover of the agreed amount in the rental agreement, during the time stipulated in the insurance contract.

Self builder

A person who builds their own dwelling because they are the owner of a residential building site. They have to comply with some requirements: hiring an architect to draft the planning project and supervise the work; apply for a building permit from the City Council; pay the corresponding taxes; sign a works contract with a contractor which includes deadlines, materials and prices; sign, in the presence of a notary public, the property deed when the construction is completed; and, lastly, register the property in the Property Registry.


Seize assets to guarantee payment of a debt. Undertaken by the competent authority.


Pay off a debt.

Single-parent family

A family unit in which the children live with only one of the two parents.

Social housing (HPO) classification

Makes it possible for both the buyer and the builder or promoter to receive benefits in exchange for being subject to certain legal conditions during the time that the property is classified as social housing (HPO). For example, the builder cannot sell the dwelling for more than the fixed maximum price, and the buyer has to abide by the conditions for use and sale.

Special contribution

Extraordinary expenses.


Where the tenant partially or totally rents the property to third parties.


A legal situation in which a person acquires the rights and obligations of another. Changing a mortgage to another financial institution or to a third person. When the operation is between financial institutions, it means maintaining the conditions of the initial mortgage, accepting the new interest rate, and paying a commission for cancelling the loan. In the case of the sale of a mortgaged property, this means that the buyer takes over the mortgage, with the same financial institution and under the same conditions.


The amount of a mortgage payment that is received from the Administration in the form of a subsidy.

Tax base

Sum of the income subject to tax, from which, after deductions, the payable base is calculated.

Tax deduction

Deduction from the amount of income tax (IRPF) to be paid in a natural person's tax declaration.

Taxable action

An action which is subject to taxation.


The person who signs the rental agreement and occupies the rented accommodation. The person who rents a property.

Tense Housing Market Area

These are municipalities, neighborhoods or districts that do not have affordable rental housing for the entire population because of one of the following traditions: the rental price grows steadily, it represents a burden of more than 30 % of family income or, in the last 5 years, it has grown more than 3 points above the Catalan CPI.

Third party guarantee

A guarantee from a third party that ensures payment of the loan if the loan holder does not do so. This is a personal guarantee, linked to the personal relationship between the guarantor and the loan holder. If it is rental accommodation, the owner may ask for a guarantee in addition to a deposit.

Title deed

A deed that certifies the ownership of a property and which contains the date and the way in which it was acquired, as well as its main characteristics.


Insuring a property for a value that is below its real value. In order to eliminate this, an amount is agreed with the insurance company that is not dependent on the value known as "prime risk".

Urban land

Land which has access for wheeled vehicles, running water, a sewer system and electricity. In other words, land that is ready to be built on.

Urban planning classification

Defines permitted land uses.

Urban zoning

The set of regulations that regulates the permitted uses of land.

Useful surface area

The dwelling's surface area that is the sum of all the clear floor surfaces of all the rooms in the property.


The right to enjoy someone else's property with the obligation to maintain it.

Value as new

The value of an object that is insured as if you were to buy it new. The market value according to the age of the object is known as "real value".

Variable interest rate loan

The interest rate remains fixed for a time, often for between six months and a year, and then it is reviewed according to the variation in the benchmark index, published every month in the official gazette (BOE), which varies according to market oscillations. They usually provide the best conditions, but they vary according to the APR. You never know how much you will be paying during the following period.


Value Added Tax. Taxes the consumption of goods and services. It is paid by the co-operative member who is adjudicated the dwelling.


Confirmation by the Property Registry to determine if the property is free of encumbrances or not.

Vertical property

A building containing more than one dwelling, the property of one or more people –natural or legal– in which an exclusive dwelling has not been adjudicated to each owner.

Weighted family income

The income of all the members of a family unit, taking into account the number of persons, family members with disabilities and those over the age of 65.