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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.​

Defending tenants’ rights

02/02/2018 - 18:30

Housing. Property owners will have to guarantee temporary accommodation and the return of tenants in order to get planning permission for building renovation work.

New measures to but the brakes on gentrification in the city’s neighbourhoods and prevent tenants being forced out of their homes. Once the new regulations are approved, owners will have to guarantee alternative housing and the return of tenants. The regulations also make the installation of solar panels easier and the auscultation of subsoil obligatory to prevent damage.

“With housing, not everything goes. We have to put tenants’ rights before everything else. Our obligation is to guarantee the law is complied with. The weakest part needs protecting from operations being carried out in our city and we’re aware of them because residents denounce them”, noted the Deputy Mayor for Ecology, Urban Planning and Mobility, Janet Sanz.

Spanish legislation (Land and Urban Renewal Act) and Catalan legislation (Right to Housing Act and Territory Act), currently going through the legislative process, recognise the right to provisional accommodation and the return of tenants whenever possible. Those conditions will now be guaranteed and work will be done to enforce them at a municipal level.

To obtain planning permission, owners will have to include a declaration of responsibility expressly making a commitment to rehouse and return tenants where they have the right. This commitment is in keeping with the current legal framework and a rehousing protocol detailing which homes are affected and who the legal occupants are.

The declaration will be imperative for processing permits and notifications for renovation work, conservation work or the demolition of housing. It will also mean possible infringements can be detected, permits denied and disciplinary action taken where necessary.

Boosting solar energy

The modification to the by-law also makes it easier for people to install small solar panels, now only requiring the signature of the installer, instead of the complete executive project as was the case until now. The modification will apply to solar heating installations, the heating of safe water and solar panelling for the generation of electricity.

The modification is consistent with the municipal strategy of backing self-production and incentivising the voluntary installation of panels on terraces and rooftops, as set out in the programme to boost the generation of solar power in Barcelona.

Subsoil safety

Lastly, the modification to the regulations obliges major projects to define a plan for the auscultation of subsoil to prevent movement which could damage the structures of buildings in the vicinity.

Some construction projects in Barcelona can have an impact on the subsoil and affect the state of land which supports infrastructures and buildings. In order to control the effects and prevent any variations, depending on the extent of the work involved, the auscultation of subsoil is a necessary tool.


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