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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.​

Energy advice points, one of the best initiatives to combat the climate emergency

02/10/2019 - 10:40

Energy rights. The C40 global network of cities has selected 100 projects from around the world which are leading the fight against global warming.

The city’s energy advice points first appeared in 2017 to defend energy rights and cut the number of people at risk of energy poverty. So far, the service has attended to over 80,000 people and stopped supplies of water, gas and electricity being cut off in 37,240 cases. The C40 global network of cities has recognised the project as one of the best initiatives against the climate emergency, described in the report ‘Cities 100’.

Some 170,000 people were suffering from or susceptible to energy poverty in Barcelona in 2017, with problems paying for their water, gas or electricity bills. In an effort to tackle the situation, Barcelona City Council opened an Energy Advice Point (PAE) in each district to provide information and raise awareness, empowering people in relation to their energy rights and measures geared towards cutting the cost of utility bills. The eleven advice points have helped 80,951 people to date, the majority of them women (67%), and prevented water, gas and electricity supplies being cut off in 37,240 cases.

International recognition

In recognition of the fight to eliminate energy poverty from the city, the C40 global network of cities, the Danish association Realdania and consultancy Nordic Sustainability have selected the energy advice points as one of the hundred most ambitious climate initiatives in the world. The project is included in the report Cities 100, which is to be presented at the global city summit being held in Copenhagen from 9 to 12 October.

See the Cities 100 report at: https://www.cities100report.com/.

What services do energy advice points offer?

The main causes of energy poverty are the cost of basic supplies, the architectural quality of housing and people’s socio-economic situations. The advice points offer the information, support and assistance needed so that people can exercise their energy rights and utility companies don’t deny them access to basic services. Specifically, they offer the following services:

The service offered by the PAEs has been rated as excellent (9.5 out of 10) in terms of citizen satisfaction. A third of the staff at PAEs are people at risk of labour exclusion and in some cases also use the service.

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