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.​

Message from the City Council to Endesa to assume energy poverty debt

30/09/2019 - 18:07

Energy rights. Institutional declaration for the electricity company to comply with the law.

Since the approval of Act 24/2015 on energy poverty, companies have been prevented from cutting off people’s electricity, water or gas supplies in Barcelona in more than 63,000 cases. Before cutting off services, utility companies are obliged to request a preceptive report from municipal social service to determine if the family in question is at risk of vulnerability. The full council meeting in September approved an institutional declaration urging the electricity company Endesa to write off the complete debt of families at risk of energy poverty.

VIDEO. Ada Colau: “Besides not accepting services being cut off and these threats, we’ll apply the law and, if necessary, we’ll fine Endesa as many times as we need to.”

Following September’s full council meeting, the municipal groups BComú, ERC, PSC, JxCat and the PP read out an institutional declaration, along with representatives from entities making up the Alliance against Energy Poverty, urging water, gas and electricity distributors to comply with Act 24/2015 and write off the entire debt generated by families at risk of energy poverty.

Before utility companies can cut off any household’s gas, water or electricity supply, Catalonia’s Act 24/2015 on energy poverty obliges them to seek a preceptive report from municipal social services to establish if the family is at risk. If they fail to do this and cut off utility services to vulnerable households, administrations such as Barcelona City Council will activate social and legal measures to defend people’s energy rights.

Barcelona City Council has so far completed nine proceedings to penalise companies supplying water, gas or electricity, with fines of 30,000 euros each. A further 19 proceedings are under way. The law sets out fines of between 10,001 and 100,000 euros for serious infringements.

Services to defend energy rights

Municipal services have put energy poverty detection protocols in place in recent years, as has the Barcelona Fire Service. Eleven energy advice points have also been opened to offer personalised support to cut water, gas and water bills, optimise services, improve household energy efficiency and handle matters with supply companies. The energy advice points have prevented services from being cut off in more than 37,240 instances since 2017.

People unable to pay their water, gas or electricity bills, as well as those who need help dealing with companies, can approach the energy advice point nearest their home.