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 years working for the right to housing with the Housing Discipline Unit

28/08/2020 - 12:53

Housing. Since it as set up in 2015, the unit has carried out checks on 118,587 flats, some 12% of residential housing in the city, and stopped 14 cases of property mobbing.

The City Council set up the Anti-harassment and Housing Discipline Unit in 2015 help defend housing as a basic right. Five years on, the unit has carried out checks on 118,587 flats, some 12% of residential properties in the city, and imposed fines totalling around two million euros, mostly for owners of multiple properties who were keeping flats empty. The unit has also managed to stop fourteen cases of property mobbing.

The Anti-Mobbing and Housing Discipline Unit has a team of ten workers and mainly works to detect empty flats, combat the improper use of protected housing, property mobbing, flats in poor repair and the lack of social housing for vulnerable families on the part of owners of multiple properties.

Since its creation, the unit has carried out checks on 118,587 homes and processed 926 case files. Fines given so far total 2.1 million euros in all. Some 58.2% of fines were for multiple property holders keeping flats empty, while 29.9% were for the improper use of officially protected housing.

The main goal of the unit is not to raise funds, but rather to put empty flats to use, preferably with affordable rents. In this respect, the Anti-harassment and Housing Discipline Unit has managed to increase the city’s affordable housing pool by 196 flats, detected 814 flats kept empty for more than two years by multiple property holders and worked with social organisations to stop 14 cases of property mobbing. Rents for 25 homes have also been reduced and 6 flats have been expropriated to be used as homes with affordable rents.

Municipal action has enabled a direct improvement in residential situations for 637 people.

In addition, thanks to the empty-dwelling census compiled between 2016 and 2019, 10,052 empty dwellings and 13,852 dwellings converted into offices or companies have been detected.

Anti-mobbing initiatives are being incorporated into a housing policy that includes construction and purchase of flats for extending the public rental-housing stock, rent-payment aid and renovation subsidies.