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 Points: five years preventing utilities from being cut off

09/06/2022 - 11:58

Housing. Since its launch in 2017, the service has handled enquiries from nearly 155,500 people, corresponding to 60,500 Barcelona households.

Since they were launched in 2017, Barcelona’s Energy Advice Points (PAE) have prevented households from getting their power, water or gas supplies cut off in 107,960 cases. The points have also handled enquiries from 155,500 people, from as many as 60,500 different households.

In terms of data for 2021, the volume of support provided grew by 55% compared to when the service was launched, with 33,600 people approaching the municipal energy advice points. As many as 3,817 families received warnings as they were unable to pay for basic utilities, and during the year 517 households had services cut off: 57% of them electricity (297 cases), 29% water (148) and 14% gas (72).

Compared to 2020, the number of cases increased by 334%. This explains the activation of Royal Decree 11/2020 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, prohibiting companies from cutting off basic utilities while the state of emergency was in place.

Women hit hardest

The figures show that the structural financial inequalities suffered by women are a telling factor when it comes to energy poverty. Women represent 65% of those who approached the energy points, with 13% single-mother households and 45% single people.

In terms of areas, the districts where the volume of support is the highest are Nou Barris (21%), Ciutat Vella (13%) and Sant Martí (13%). Nearly 70% of people who approached PAEs in 2021 were referred from Social Services Centres or Housing Offices, while 14% came after somebody recommended the service to them and 7% through various social organisations.

Over 700,000 euros in savings linked to energy advice

The increase in the price of electricity at the end of 2021 and early in 2022 has also had a big impact for families using the PAEs. Three out of four enquiries were linked to the supply of electricity. Of all these enquiries, over half were requests for advice on getting power bills down through optimisation or applications for the social discount. During the first quarter of 2022, this type of query continued to grow every month.

This advice is estimated to have led to an overall saving of 26,395 euros (28,37 euros per family receiving advice). Over 200,000 euros of this saving corresponds to families who only had electricity at home. In the case of families who also had gas, the saving was 56,640,67 euros (19,29 euros per family).

The total amount of savings associated with energy advice since the PAE service was set up in 2017 is 721,572,11 euros (VAT included).

A service to tackle energy poverty

Energy Advice Points are a service offered by the City Council, providing information, support and action needed for people to exercise their energy rights and to guarantee their access to basic utilities such as electricity, gas and water. Since the service was created in 2017, the initiative has become consolidated and is recognised by the European Commission’s Energy Poverty Observatory as one of the 24 best services for tackling this phenomenon.

Full information at: habitatge.barcelona/ca/serveis-ajuts/drets-energetics.