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.​

Defending housing as a right

02/04/2016 - 16:44

Municipal plan. Over a hundred city residents took part in the debate on housing and put forward proposals.

The Cotxeres de Sants civic centre provided the scene for the Municipal Action Plan debate on housing in the city on Saturday, with over a hundred residents putting forth proposals. Those who took part were organised into groups to tackle four areas: the housing emergency, how to make social housing effective, affordable housing and renovation.

Supporting housing cooperatives for usage rights, reducing difficulties for people with disabilities in accessing housing, controlling rents, subsidising affordable housing schemes, increasing inspections and fines for financial entities which don’t make their pools of vacant housing available for social rent, improving access to housing for the elderly who live alone and more. Many suggestions were made during the debate, all of which will be outlined on the decidim.barcelona website.

The majority of those attending coincided in calling for an increase in the pool of public housing for rent, quicker response times in housing emergency cases, more widely available information for citizens on grants offered by public administrations for renovating or accessing housing, and for prices in the private sector to be more affordable. One of the formulas put forth involved support for housing cooperatives and co-housing initiatives.

The Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, who attended the debate and took part in one of the work groups, asserted: “We need to get away from the commercialisation of housing”. She added: “The time has come to treat housing as a right”. For his part, the Councillor for Housing, Josep Maria Montaner, defended the need to seek “new ways of having homes” as an alternative to ownership.

Proposals put forth at this and other debates, along with ongoing suggestions from city residents, can be found on the decidim.barcelona website.


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