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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.​

Electricity, water and gas are basic rights, during confinement too

08/04/2020 - 17:25

Habitatge. If you have an energy emergency situation or need advice on energy saving, you can contact us by phone or online.

Electricity, water and gas are a basic right and everyone must have guaranteed access to them, especially during this confinement period that obliges us to spend more time at home. This is laid down in the law, which prohibits utility companies from cutting off the supply to vulnerable homes and obliges them to maintain the service as long as the situation of economic difficulty persists.

The Barcelona City Council usually offers the necessary information and attention so that everyone can exercise their energy rights at their Energy Advice Points, which are now closed to the public as a measure for tackling the expansion of the COVID-19 virus. However, attention for people who are in energy emergency situations or need advice on how to reduce their consumption continues to be guaranteed via two channels:

– Online, via the City Council’s website, where you can send your complaints about energy supply cuts due to non-payment or process other inquiries.

– By calling the 010 phone line, for families who do not have Internet access.

In these days of confinement, we are spending more hours at home and therefore increasing our consumption of water, electricity and gas. Here at the Barcelona City Council we continue to be at your disposal if you need advice on how to reduce this consumption and your bills or how to protect yourselves from possible supply cuts if your income is reduced.

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