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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.​

Practical information on COVID-19

26/02/2020 - 14:03

Public health. The current recommendations in Barcelona are for people to carry on as normal.

Following the detection of various cases of COVID-19 in Barcelona, a municipal committee has been set up to coordinate and monitor the situation and accurately analyse the evolution of the virus in the city. The committee is in constant coordination with the Catalan health authorities, with information continuously being updated and made disseminated. It’s worth bearing in mind that 80% of people infected have minor symptoms and the main recommendation in Barcelona today is to carry on as normal and follow the usual steps as for common flu.

The coordination and monitoring committee set up by Barcelona City Council to make a detailed analysis of the evolution of COVID-19 in the city is headed by the Councillor for Health, Gemma Tarafa, with all municipal manager’s offices and municipal services represented. The group is working in conjunction with the health authorities belonging to the Government of Catalonia and the Spanish state. A protocol has been in place in Catalonia for some weeks now, coordinated by the Catalan Public Health Agency, to keep track of this type of coronavirus. The protocol is being updated daily in line with recommendations issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the rest of health authorities.

Telephone support

The 010 and 012 phone services have been adapted to provide better support for citizens by handling relating doubts and queries, while healthcare phone support for people who feel unwell is being offered by the 061 service.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a new coronavirus illness detected for the first time in December 2019, in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Coronovirus is a broad family of viruses that normally affect animals but which on certain occasions such as this can be transmitted from animals to people. The viruses cause clinical symptoms ranging from common colds to severe pneumonia.


The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, coughs and difficulty breathing. In the most serious cases, the infection can cause severe breathing problems, kidney failure and even death. It’s worth noting that such serious cases generally only affect the elderly or people with chronic conditions affecting their heart, lungs or immune systems.

Symptoms can take between one and fourteen days to appear, the most usual incubation period being around five or six days.

Transmission of the virus

The transmission of COVID-19 mainly occurs through contact with respiratory discharges from people with the illness, such as coughs and sneezes. These discharges can infect others if they come into contact with their nose, eyes or mouth.

Prevention recommendations

In Barcelona and the rest of Catalonia, the current recommendations are for people to carry on as normal and follow the usual prevention measures for common flu.

  • Wash your hands often with disinfectant for hands, soap and water or alcohol-based solutions.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough, preferably into your elbow or with a single-use handkerchief.
  • Keep a safe distance of two metres from people with symptoms of an acute respiratory infection.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Activity in public

There are no public health recommendations or restrictions on activity in the city at present.


Masks are only effective to prevent people already infected from passing the virus on to others. Consequently, their use is not recommended among the healthy population, only for medical and care staff in who are in direct contact with people with illnesses.

What should I do in suspected cases of coronavirus?

Any case, confirmed or not, should be referred to public health services, which are ready to act. The protocols are clear and specifically designed for these situations. If you have respiratory symptoms such as a cough, sore throat, fever or sensation of having trouble breathing, and you’ve been in contact with somebody with the disease or who has been to one of the countries at risk, such as China or northern Italy, stay at home and call the health services on 061.

For more information on COVID-19 go to: https://www.aspb.cat/noticies/preguntes-respostes-covid19.

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