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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.​

“Administrations must work together to prevent evictions, not to carry them out”

14/09/2016 - 20:44

Evictions. The Mayor of Barcelona called for the prevention of cases such as the one where a mother with three children were evicted as they were unable to keep up rent payments to an owner with numerous properties.

The Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, called for co-responsibility between administrations to prevent evictions being repeated, either in Barcelona or anywhere else, such as the one on Tuesday morning in the Sants-Montjuïc district.

A mother and three young children were evicted from their flat after being unable to keep up their rent payments. Barcelona City Council, who were aware of the case, had tried to mediate with the property owner and had even offered to pay the rent to prevent an eviction order from being carried out. The property owner, according to the municipal government, owns a large pool of flats and “refused to negotiate, prioritising speculative interests above the right to housing of a mother with young children”, explained the Mayor.

Law 24/2015 on the housing emergency and energy poverty, partially suspended by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC), would have obliged the owner to offer the family an alternative home as a condition for being able to request the eviction. Ada Colau accused the TC and Mariano Rajoy’s government, which challenged the law, of being responsible for the eviction on Tuesday, which she also described as paradigmatic.

“We need this law to defend people’s life and the lives which are most vulnerable”, noted the Mayor, also calling on the Generalitat and the Catalan Parliament to speed up procedures to approve the new law substituting the suspended articles from Law 24/2015. Work on the alternative law has been under way since the decision came from the Constitutional Court.

Colau offered Barcelona City Council’s full support to work with the Generalitat to avoid reaching the extreme where evictions are carried out. The call to join forces includes negotiating with owners, as well as offering alternative homes to families obliged to leave their own, a task which currently corresponds to the local administration. The Mayor described it as an “attack on common sense” to send four police anti-riot units to evict a mother and three children, remarking that efforts should be made “not to carry out the judicial order, but rather to avoid an eviction which represents a serious breach of human rights”.

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