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.​

Five tips to save energy if you work from home

26/07/2021 - 13:55

Housing. The pandemic has resulted in an increase in teleworking and this has meant an increase in the energy costs for many homes.

A year ago, the number of companies committed to teleworking in Catalonia was very low but the healthcare crisis has changed this reality. With lockdown, many companies introduced teleworking and it seems that it is a reality that has come to stay.

Working from home has many advantages: it is sustainable because it means less movement, it enables more flexibility and reduces the energy cost of companies. However, care must be taken so the reduction in company energy costs is not in detriment of the workers. Many people who work from home have seen an increase in their electricity bill. That is why we offer five tips to prevent that from happening.

Natural light

Choose an area in your home where there is good natural light and organise your working hours to make the most of the daylight. This will stop you from having to turn on a light and you will save money in the bill.

Careful with standby consumption

If you leave electronic apparatus plugged in or on standby but not completely turned off, they continue consuming. To save energy we recommend completely turning them off and unplugging them when you finish working. It is also a good idea to unplug the laptop charger when it is not charging. This way you will avoid what is known as standby consumption.

Optimise the energy tariff

If your consumption patterns have changed with teleworking, it is possible that it will be worth your while asking for a tariff change. If you have any doubts, we can advise you at the Energy Advice Points.

More sustainable appliances

Energy efficiency is increasingly taken into account, that is why technological advances make household appliances consume less. If you need to update an electrical appliance, look at its efficiency level which is identified with this European labelling.

Your house lighting can also help you save energy and money. LED or energy-efficient light bulbs can help you save money in the long-term.

Watch the temperature

It is important to have the right temperature to work comfortably but, if you have heating or air conditioning at home, watch the thermostat temperature. If you put it on too high or too low, the energy consumption, and therefore the bill, will shoot up. Not exceeding 21-23ºC in winter and 24-25ºC in summer is recommended.