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.​

Energy Advice Point inquiries increase by 10% during the health crisis

18/08/2020 - 16:37

Energy rights. The first six months of 2020 saw over 17,000 people attended to. Most inquiries were about changing the electricity wattage hired or processing rate reductions.

The first six months of 2020 saw energy advice points (EAPs), a pioneering service safeguarding utility supplies to all households, attend to 17,641 people, 10% more than in the previous year. During the state of emergency, over 8,000 people were attended to by telephone or email. 70% of inquiries were about optimising utility bills, changing the electricity wattage hired or processing rate reductions. 20% of assistance services were provided in the Nou Barris district


As regards utility supply cuts, the data are positive. The State’s ban on utility cuts during the health crisis has led to a reduction in the number of halted cuts to 7,989. A figure that is still high if we bear in mind that Act 24/2015 now guarantees electricity, water and gas supplies to vulnerable households in Catalonia, which supplier companies are not allowed to leave without utilities.

User profiles vary

The period from January to June 2020 saw a rise in number of inquiries from people with reduced mobility (71%), people renting their dwellings (9%) and unemployed people (29%). At the same time, nearly half the number of inquiries at energy advice point inquiries (47%) were made by people with minors in their care.

A consolidated service

The eleven energy advice points first came into service in 2017. Since there, there have been:

  • 88,429 people have been attended to
  • 65,054 utility cuts have been halted
  • 316,444 euros have been sabe by optimising utility bills
  • 100 people in long-term unemployment have been hired

How can you contact an EAP during the COVID-19 pandemic?

You can contact energy advice points by telephone, on 930 008 054, Mondays to Fridays, from 9 am to 2 pm.

In which cases can they give you support?

  • If you’ve received a default payment notice or your utilities have been cut.
  • If you wish to process rate reductions or an exemption from sewerage rates.
  • If you wish to improve your energy consumption or optimise your utility bills.
  • If you’ve got a self-consumption or renewable-energy project.