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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.​

Fines for property companies for having carried out evictions without offering alternatives

13/04/2016 - 12:03

Housing. The law on the housing emergency means those owning extensive pools of property must offer social rent options to vulnerable families who can’t afford to pay for their homes.

Two property companies evicted vulnerable families from their homes for non-payment without giving them the option of paying a social rent. The action breaches Law 24/2015 from 29 July, on urgent measures to tackle the housing emergency and energy poverty and may lead to fines of up to 90,000 euros.

Article 5 of the law states that before taking legal action for foreclosure or eviction for non-payment, claimants in possession of numerous properties must offer a social housing proposal to the affected family. The law applies in cases where individuals or families with no other housing alternative demonstrate they are at risk of residential exclusion. The claimant is responsible for checking the situation of the family and must request the relevant information from the family before starting any proceedings.

The two first proceedings filed by Barcelona City Council for failing to offer social housing alternatives meet with all these characteristics: no information was requested from the affected families and no offer of social housing was proposed. In both cases, legal proceedings resulted in evections. Both families affected live in the Horta-Guinardó district and City Council has taken responsibility for re-housing them. The fines may be up to 90,000 euros and will take into consideration the costs incurred by City Council for having to re-house the families in public housing and redress the situation caused by the offending property companies.

Substandard housing

The Unit to Counter Residential Exclusion (UCER), created three months ago, has identified another case where the law has been breached, on this occasion involving a serious case of substandard housing in the Nou Barris district. A company was renting out spaces of 15 square metres to a dozen families in a building which didn’t meet established habitability conditions. Some ten occupants are believed to have been living there, paying between 400 and 500 euros a month. City Council has started proceedings against the company in question and the resulting fine may be as high as 900,000 euros.


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