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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.​

Common front by all Catalan administrations to stand up for energy rights

19/01/2017 - 16:02

Social rights. Provincial councils, municipalities and the Government of Catalonia all coincide on a single agreement obliging companies to bear half the cost of energy poverty.

All spheres of the Catalan public administration, the Government of Catalonia, the four provincial councils and municipalities, via the two entities which represent them, are acting to back energy rights for citizens and ensure supply companies comply with law 24/2015 to combat energy poverty. Between them they have agreed a protocol for action to achieve this objective via a single agreement. One of the main features is to stipulate that companies must cover a minimum of 50% of costs generated by energy poverty, with measures such as social pricing and the writing off of debt for vulnerable families.

“We have a good tool. It’s a mechanism which comes from a citizen initiative and we must see that it is complied with”, explained the Mayor, Ada Colau, referring to law 24/2015 by the Parliament of Catalonia to combat energy poverty.

The Mayor also pointed out that today’s act at the Palau de la Generalitat represents “a common front by Catalan administrations so there are no excuses and so energy companies comply with the law and assume their coresponsibility on energy poverty”.

The agreement, which is intended to legally safeguard those who are most vulnerable, establishes that companies must approach municipal social services before cutting anybody off.

It also obliges energy supply companies to conduct free energy audits, provide users with full and clear information about their consumption and options available to improve it, and set up a one-stop window for procedures such as changes to the power contracted, supply issues and invoicing problems.

The common protocol means supply companies will have to cover a minimum of 50% of the costs generated by energy poverty, with social pricing, writing off debts and direct financial support.


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