Tanca Tanca

Housing Glossary

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.

Close glossary

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.​

If you can’t afford your bills, contact the Energy Advising Points.

  • Your energy rights are guaranteed by Law 24/2015

    Light, water and gas are a basic right and everyone is guaranteed access.

    This is stated in the Law 24/2015, which prohibits utility companies from cutting off supplies to vulnerable households and obliges them to maintain service throughout the economic difficulties.

    The state energy model, difficulties paying bills due to economic and work-related reasons, problems derived from poor insulation, and situations of energy dependence are present all year round, and so are their effects on people’s health. That is why we have to defend energy rights in both winter and summer.

    If you can’t afford to keep a comfortable temperature at home or to use running water, contact an Energy Advising Points. They are a Barcelona City Council service that offers the information, attention and intervention necessary for people to exercise their energy rights and stop companies from denying them access to basic utilities.

    Want to understand your electricity bill? We can help you!

    We offer you a small guide to understanding your electricity bill. In this capsule we explain, in five steps, a way to lower your household electricity bill:

    1. Find the contracted power (in kW) on your electricity bill.
    2. Find your maximum consumption (also called maximum power demanded).
    3. Look up the CUPS (Universal Supply Point Code).
    4. If necessary, call your utility company.
    5. Ask them to lower your power.  

    For more information to understand the electricity bill, please check this link.

    Want to understand your gas bill? We can help you!

    We offer you the opportunity to better understand your gas bill and reduce your expenses. To a large extent, by switching to the regulated market through four steps:

    1. Determine the type of contract you have (whether it’s in the free market or the regulated market).
    2. Find your CUPS (Universal Supply Point Code).
    3. If necessary, call your company and request the switch to the regulated market.
    4. Verify that there are no automatic contract renewals or binding periods.

    For more information to understand the gas bill, please check this link.

    Do you want to understand your water bill? We’re here to help!

    Here is a guide to helping you understand your water bill, explaining each concept, what information it provides, and what benefits it provides for those in vulnerable situations:
    1. Social tariff.
    2. Social tariff of the water canon.
    3. Discount or exemption from the waste collection tax.
    4. Exemption from the sewerage tax.
    For more information on understanding the water bill, please check this link.


    Do you want to understand your water bill? We’re here to help!

    22/01/2024 - 16:40

    Housing. It is essential to know and understand the key concepts of the water bill to determine if what we are paying corresponds to...

    Want to understand your gas bill? We can help you!

    09/10/2023 - 11:59

    Housing. Understanding the key concepts on the bill and knowing whether we are in the regulated or free market helps us reduce our...

    Want to understand your electricity bill? We can help you!

    22/03/2023 - 16:24

    Housing. In this informative capsule, we explain, in five steps, how to lower your household electricity costs.

    La Balma

    Five Barcelona Housing projects are awarded by the Spanish Association of Housing and Land Public Managers

    12/07/2022 - 14:08

    Housing. La Balma and APROP, among the winners for best new construction and best R&D project, respectively