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.​

New contact number and e-mail addresses for managing incidents and queries related with energy rights

20/05/2020 - 11:12

Habitatge. The PAE switchboard will be operative from Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 14.00

Electricity, water and gas supplies are basic rights which have to be guaranteed to everyone, especially during this confinement period that forces us to spend more time at home. Barcelona City Council offers the necessary information and attention for everyone to exercise their energy rights at the Energy Advice Points (PAEs), which at present have suspended face-to-face attention as a measure for tackling the expansion of COVID-19, but they maintain services via telephone and e-mail to continue to guarantee people’s energy rights.

To assist these enquiries, the PAEs are implementing new e-mail addresses and phone numbers to attend to anyone who has doubts about their bills, consumptions or incidents related to the exercise of their energy rights. You can contact them by calling 93 000 80 54 from Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 14.00, or by sending an e-mail to one of the following addresses:

Ciutat Vella: paecv@bcn.cat
Eixample: paeeix@bcn.cat
Sants-Montjuïc: paestm@bcn.cat
Les Corts: paelc@bcn.cat
Sarrià-Sant Gervasi: paessg@bcn.cat
Gràcia: paegr@bcn.cat
Horta-Guinardó: paehg@bcn.cat
Nou Barris: paenb@bcn.cat
Sant Andreu: paesa@bcn.cat
Sant Martí: paesm@bcn.cat

What are PAEs and what services do they offer?
The Energy Advice Points were created in 2017 to defend citizens’ energy rights and reduce the number of residents at risk of energy poverty, offering the necessary information, attention and action for people to exercise their energy rights and to prevent the utility companies from denying them access to basic supplies. In fact, the law prohibits companies from cutting off supplies to vulnerable homes and obliges them to maintain the service as long as the situation of economic difficulty continues.

The PAEs offer the following services:

  • Assessment of warnings of non-payment of bills and commencement of procedures to prevent energy interruptions to families in situations of vulnerability.
  • Reconnection of supplies in the event of interruption or absence.
  • Advice on consumption habits and energy efficiency and recommendations for adapting the energy consumption of the home to the levels of temperature and comfort recommended by the WHO.
  • Optimisation of bills: Information on the steps for adapting electricity consumption to the contracted electrical power and to change to time related tariffs and elimination of costly or non-requested contractual services.
  • Information on and application for the social allowance and exemption from the sewage rate.
  • Information on energy auto-consumption and development of renewable energy projects.

By offering all of these services, the PAEs fight to guarantee the citizens’ energy rights, and in addition they include a team of professionals associated with programmes for reducing occupational exclusion.