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.​

How the new index regulate rents in Barcelona?

29/02/2024 - 12:39

Housing. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Agenda has detailed the operation of the index, which has been in force in stressed market areas since March 16, 2024. So far, only Catalonia has requested to apply it.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Agenda has published the details of the new rental price reference index, which will be applied uniformly throughout the country from 16 March 2024, following its publication in the Official State Gazette (BOE). The new reference system is a basic tool for the development of the State Housing Law and makes it possible to establish a range that determines the minimum and maximum price of each house.

Compliance with this index is mandatory for all buildings of owners of multiple properties – owners with five or more flats – located in stressed market areas. It also serves as a reference for the rest of the region. It also applies to new dwellings in these stressed areas that enter the rental market after being out of it for at least five years.

Autonomous Communities are responsible for declaring stressed market areas, and so far only Catalonia has taken this step. In this case, 140 municipalities are affected, including the city of Barcelona.

What are the implications for Barcelona as a stressed market area?

In terms of rent regulation in the city of Barcelona, the new index benefits around 200,000 households and is expected to provide long-term stability and legal and economic security for both tenants and owners.

The maximum prices vary according to the neighbourhood in which the census section is located. Thus, the cheapest maximum rent is an average of 478 euros in a census section of the Torre Baró neighbourhood, while the most expensive is an average of 3,020 euros in a census section of the Pedralbes neighbourhood. The map of census sections can be found here.

Once a stressed market area has been declared, the owner is obliged to renew the rental contract under the same initial conditions. The tenant must request the renewal, which can be done annually for a maximum of three years.

Contracts signed before the entry into force of the new law continue to be governed by the law applicable to them. This does not prevent the two parties from agreeing on the application of the new regime.

Methodology of the new index

In order to determine the range of maximum and minimum prices, the Ministry takes into account the following characteristics:

  • Income tax return data
  • Census section
  • Location of the dwelling
  • Floor space of the dwelling
  • Condition of the dwelling
  • Whether it has a lift or not
  • Whether it has a parking space or not
  • Year of construction
  • Whether it is furnished or not
  • Height of the home
  • Energy certification
  • Whether it has communal areas or not
  • If it has a pool or not
  • If it has a concierge or not
  • If it has special views

The Ministry has set this range so there is room for negotiation between the owner and the tenant, since if there was only one indicator, the price of lower quality homes could increase. The Ministry has also defended the fact that the range is below private offers and property portals.

The rental price reference system can be found on the website for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Agenda.