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.​

Agreement to eradicate energy poverty

29/03/2021 - 18:11

City Council. The accumulated debts of thousands of vulnerable families get written off and an agreement is reached to guarantee energy rights.

More progress towards guaranteeing energy rights for people. Together with the Government of Catalonia, the Barcelona Metropolitan Area and the provincial councils, an agreement has been signed with the power company Endesa to write off the debt accumulated by vulnerable families and regulate the approach to energy poverty.

The Government of Catalonia has actually signed the agreement with the electricity company to write off the debt accumulated by 35,000 vulnerable families between 2015 and 2020. At the same time, an agreement has been signed to regulate the cost of energy poverty generated from 1 January 2021, with the company to bear 50%.

The two agreements represent a step forward in guaranteeing people’s energy rights and the application of Act 24/2015, whereby a residential exclusion report makes cutting off the electricity of any vulnerable household wrongful and subject to a fine.

According to Endesa, the accumulated debt for the period from when the law was passed in 2015 and up to 31 December 2020 amounts to 38,793,524 euros. Of this, the debt generated through bills corresponding to 2019 and 2020 is 21,316,964 euros.

Agreement to write off the debts of vulnerable families

The electricity company will bear the full cost of the debt of vulnerable households for the period from when Act 24/2015 became law (6 August 2015) to 31 December 2018.

The debt for 2019 and 2020 will be shared, with the signatory administrations bearing 50% of the cost (Catalan government to bear 75% and supralocal administrations to bear 25%).

Agreement to regulate energy poverty debt

Points set out be the agreement include:

  • Gas and electricity companies to be jointly responsible for costs resulting from addressing, preventing and acting on energy poverty.
  • Creation of a solidarity support fund, with power companies to finance at least 50% and the Government of Catalonia to finance a maximum of 50%.
  • Inter-administration agreement on sharing the part corresponding to the administrations (Catalan government 75% and local administrations 25%).
  • Before cutting any household off, the power company must request a report from municipal social services. In this case, supply must be guaranteed, and the necessary established subsidies applied.
  • Endesa undertakes to guarantee the right to urgent basic access to electricity and gas supplies through the installation of a temporary meter.
  • Other commitments from supply companies include:
    • Active promotion of social discounts and their adaptation to the socio-economic situation in Catalonia.
    • Offering people at risk of residential exclusion a quality service which ensures compliance with the law and the adaptation of the service to their needs and abilities.
    • Free energy audits to improve energy efficiency in households with vulnerable people.
    • Offering clear and complete user information on consumption and contracted power ratings.

The fight against energy poverty in Barcelona

The city’s Energy Advice Points (PAE) were set up in 2016 in an effort to guarantee the application of Act 24/2015 and protect people’s energy rights. Since then, they have helped over 90,000 families and halted processes to cut people’s basic energy supply off in 65,000 cases in the city. Thanks to the agreement signed, 7,300 families will have their existing debt written off, accounting for over 6 million euros in total.