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Housing Glossary

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

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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.

AEDE

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.

Amortisation

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.

API

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.

Applicant

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.

APR

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.

Assessment

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.

Authorisation

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.​

Social discount datasheet

Status: ACTIVE

Recipients: People and family units that meet the established income requirements.

Administration that grants the subsidy: Government of Spain

A subsidy to protect the most vulnerable consumers

The social discount is applied to the electricity bill. It is regulated by the Government and the objective is to protect those consumers with a low income and/or other vulnerabilities.

It is a discount of either 25% or 40% depending on the consumer’s economic situation.

As a result of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a new line of this subsidy has been opened within the framework of Royal Decree 30/2020 of the new social discount.

Do you need to apply for the social discount?

In these drop-down menus we explain the necessary steps and documents you need to complete the application.

Who can request it?

The social discount must be applied for by the person named on the electricity supply contract. The contract must be with one of the energy supply companies of the regulated market. The companies that offer the social discount in Catalonia are: 

  • Energía XXI Comercialitzadora de Referencia, S.A. (Endesa Group)
  • Comercialitzadora Regulada, Gas&Power, S.A. (Naturgy Group)
  • Curenergia Comercializador de Último Recurso, S.A.U. (Iberdrola Group)
  • Baser Comercializadora de Referencia, S.A.
  • Régsiti Comercializadora Regulada, S.L.U.
  • Comercializador de Referencia Energético, S.L.U. (CHC Group)
  • Teramelcor, S.L.
  • Energía Ceuta XXI Comercializadora de Referencia, S.A.

If you are not the account holder of the electricity contract or if the contract is not with any of the companies in the regulated market, these changes can be requested when applying for the subsidy and the change will be automatic and free of charge with the application of the social discount.   In 2020, and as a result of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the subsidy has been expanded to a new collective. This includes the self-employed, unemployed, people affected by a temporary redundancy plan (ERTE), people who have had their working hours reduced for reasons of work-life balance or those in other similar circumstances that entail a substantial loss of income. 

What are the requirements?

To benefit from the social discount, the consumer must meet the following general requirements:

  • Have contracted power that is equal or lower than 10kW as a residential customer
  • Have chosen one of the tariff rates of Voluntary Price for the Small Consumer (PVPC).
  • Be registered as living in the property that receives the supply.

The income is a determining factor for declaring a situation of vulnerability and to set the amount of the discount. The reference is the IPREM, the public income indicator of multiple effects of the Spanish State. Consult the IPREM here. Depending on this indicator the person or family unit will be considered a vulnerable consumer (accessing a 25% discount), an extremely vulnerable consumer (40% discount), or a vulnerable consumer due to COVID19.  In the three cases a series of specific conditions must be met:

Vulnerable consumer: 25% discount on invoice

To be eligible for the 25% discount on invoice, the following specific requirements must be met:

Family units with no dependent minors: with an annual income equal or lower than 1.5 times the IPREM.

  • With a 33% disability: with income equal or lower than 2 times the IPREM.
  • Victims of domestic violence or terrorism: with income equal or lower than 2 times the IPREM.
  • With a II or III degree of dependence: with income equal or lower than 2 times the IPREM.

Family units with a dependent minor: with income equal or lower than 2 times the IPREM.

  • With a 33% disability: with income equal or lower than 2.5 times the IPREM.
  • Victims of domestic violence or terrorism: with income equal or lower than 2.5 times the IPREM.
  • With a II or III degree of dependence: with income equal or lower than 2.5 times the IPREM.
  • Single parent family: with income equal or lower than 2.5 times the IPREM.

Family units with two or more dependent minors: with income equal or lower than 2.5 times the IPREM.

  • With a 33% disability: with income equal or lower than 3 times the IPREM.
  • Victims of domestic violence or terrorism: with income equal or lower than 3 times the IPREM.
  • With a II or III degree of dependence: with income equal or lower than 3 times the IPREM.
  • Single parent family: with income equal or lower than 3 times the IPREM.

Large families: all without exception

Pensioners: when all the members of the family unit receive the minimum pension (retirees, people with permanent invalidity, etc.) and do not receive other income that exceeds 500 euros.

Extremely vulnerable consumer: 40% discount on invoice

To be eligible for the 40% discount on invoice, the following specific requirements must be met:

  • People or family units: with income equal or lower than 50% of that required of vulnerable consumers (25% discount).
  • Large families: with income equal or lower than 2 times the IPREM.
  • Pensioners: when all the members of the family unit receive the minimum pension (retirees, people with permanent invalidity, etc.) and do not receive other income that exceeds 500 euros, with income lower than 2 times the IPREM.

COVID-19 new beneficiaries: 25% discount on invoice

This discount for the self-employed, unemployed, people affected by a temporary redundancy plan (ERTE), people who have had their working hours reduced for reasons of work-life balance or those in other similar circumstances that entail a substantial loss of income.

To be eligible for the 25% discount on invoice, the following specific requirements must be met:

Family units with no dependent minors: with an annual income equal or lower than 1.5 times the IPREM.

  • With a 33% disability: with income equal or lower than 2 times the IPREM.
  • Victims of domestic violence or terrorism: with income equal or lower than 2 times the IPREM.
  • With a II or III degree of dependence: with income equal or lower than 2 times the IPREM.

Family units with a dependent minor: with income equal or lower than 2 times the IPREM.

  • With a 33% disability: with income equal or lower than 2.5 times the IPREM.
  • Victims of domestic violence or terrorism: with income equal or lower than 2.5 times the IPREM.
  • With a II or III degree of dependence: with income equal or lower than 2.5 times the IPREM.
  • Single parent family: with income equal or lower than 2.5 times the IPREM.

Family units with two or more dependent minors: with income equal or lower than 2.5 times the IPREM.

  • With a 33% disability: with income equal or lower than 3 times the IPREM.
  • Victims of domestic violence or terrorism: with income equal or lower than 3 times the IPREM.
  • With a II or III degree of dependence: with income equal or lower than 3 times the IPREM.
  • Single parent family: with income equal or lower than 3 times the IPREM.

 

This collective may request the social discount, exceptionally and temporarily, until 30 June 2021. During this period, the Ministry will NOT be consulted about economic levels. This will be accredited with the documentation that is to be presented and the Declaration of Responsibility included in the application, and the situation of the previous month and not the year before will be taken into account. The Administration may request the documentation at any time.

How can the application be processed?

The social discount application process can be done directly with the energy supply company of reference and can be completed in various ways:

  • Online, filling in the necessary online forms.
  • Via e-mail, attaching a copy of the application and required documentation.
  • In person, completing the application and presenting all the required documentation at the nearest branch.
  • By post, completing a hard copy of the form and sending it with the requested documentation to the energy supply company’s address.

You may consult the energy supply companies of the regulated market in Catalonia that offer the social discount and their contact information and link to the form by clicking here.

What documentation must be presented?

  • Completed social discount application form: available at company offices or on the website (see table). It must be signed by all the members of the family unit over 14 years old.
  • Electricity bill.
  • Account holder identity document.
  • Identity documents of all the members of the family over 14 years old, if applicable.
  • The Family Book (if available) or failing that a Proof of Identity and Life and Civil Status Certificate for every member of the Family Unit: a copy of this Certificate can be requested from the Civil Registry Office. An appointment is not necessary.
    If the interested party cannot go to the Civil Registry Office, another person can do the application. This person must accredit their identity with the relevant document (identity document, foreigner’s identity document or passport) and must provide the original and copy of the identity document of the interested party and a medical certificate issued within the previous 72 hours that accredits the person is alive but cannot visit the office in person.
  • Large family status card, if applicable.
  • Account holder registration certificate. If the account holder is part of a family unit, the joint or individual certificate(s) of all the members of the family unit must be presented. The document or registration can be requested at the Citizens’ Services Offices. Book an appointment by calling 010 or via Internet by clicking here.
  • Certificate of special circumstances, if applicable. This can be requested from the Energy Advice Point in your district.
    • Special circumstances are understood to be when the consumer or one of the members of the family unit has a recognised disability equal or greater than 33%; the condition of being a victim of domestic violence is accredited; they are a victim of terrorism; they are in a situation of recognised dependence of degree II or III.
  • For those collectives affected by the COVID-19 crisis, the following documentation must also be provided:
    • In a legal situation of unemployment, a certificate issued by the entity that manages the benefits.
    • In the event of the self-employed ceasing trading, a certificate issued by the State Tax Authority Agency or the relevant body of the Autonomous Community, in this case, based on the declaration of cessation of trading declared by the interested person. The cessation Certificate can be requested through the website of the Tax Agency.

How long is the social discount valid for?

The social discount is included on the first bill after applying for it, or if the bill arrives within 15 days of the application, the subsidy will be immediately applied to the next. It lasts for two years, as long as the requirements continue to be met during this period. Once the two years have passed, it must be renewed.

Regarding the subsidy for collectives affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the company must respond within 5 working days. The discount expires on 30 June 2021.

How is the social discount renewed?

Normally the company notifies the expiry date of the rate subsidy and it recommends starting the renewal one month before it expires, gathering again all the documentation as if you were applying for it for the first time. The expiry date of the social discount appears at the top of the invoice.

More information

Electricity, water and gas are a basic right which everyone enjoys guaranteed access to. This is stated in the Act, which bans companies from cutting off supplies to vulnerable households and obliges them to maintain their services for as long as the situation of financial difficulties lasts. If you can’t afford to keep a comfortable temperature at home or to use running water, contact an Energy Advising Points, a Barcelona City Council service.

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