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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.​

Are you familiar with the services offered by the Housing Office Network?

04/05/2016 - 08:55

Housing. Each district has an office offering advisory services, renovation grants, administrative support and housing pools.

The Housing Consortium of Barcelona, made up of the Generalitat and City Council, provides support and advice for citizens on all services relating to housing in the city.

José Miguel Coll, director of the Sant Martí Housing Office, explains: “The network of offices works as a one-stop-shop for all manner of enquiries and administrative procedures relating to housing”. The main services offered involve processing grants for interior and exterior renovation work, providing information and registering applications for protected housing, and managing rent subsidies and housing pools. On top of that, as José Miguel Coll asserts: “All the offices work to guarantee the dignified use of housing and because of that there is a rent mediation service and an advice service on mortgage debt”.

The housing offices are also the place to get information on City Council’s programme for giving over the use of empty flats , aimed at owners and at boosting the social housing pool. The initiative consists of securing the use of homes on the private market and giving them over to social rent, offering the owners of the flats optimum guarantees on receiving rent income, as well as offering funding for renovation work on empty flats.

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