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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.​

Housing offices remain operational to cover housing emergencies

22/03/2020 - 19:45

Housing. A series of additional measures have been taken within the context of the state of emergency for COVID-19, to prevent the spread of coronavirus and protect those most vulnerable.

State of alarm because of Covid 19 brings additional measures to dampen spread of coronavirus and to protect the most vulnerable groups

The Municipal Institute of Housing and Renovation of Barcelona adopts a series of additional measures to halt the expansion of the coronavirus. All housing offices have been closed but the most vulnerable cases are still being dealt with. Therefore, the following departments will remain operational: Housing and unemployment, Prevention, Mediation and Intervention in Public Housing Services and urgent repairs in public housing.

Having suspended all evictions in the city, the Councillor for Housing and the Municipal Institute of Housing and Renovation of Barcelona (Institut Municipal de l’Habitatge i Rehabilitació de Barcelona, IMHAB) have adopted a series of measures to prevent the spread of viruses while at the same time guaranteeing the ability to respond to emergencies that may occur over the period and to protect people in vulnerable situations.

The main measures are: closure of all housing offices until further notice, postponement of all face-to-face management activity, suspension of any administrative deadlines in relation to residents’ actions before the IMHAB, as well as housing adjudication procedures and all construction underway.  

All these measures are set out in the Contingency Plan approved by the IMHAB in relation to the Mayor’s decree signed on 15th March, within the framework of Decree 463/2020, of 14th March, which declared the state of emergency due to the Covid-19 virus.

So while this situation lasts, and until further notice, is planned that:

– The Housing Offices for each district as well as the Central Offices of the IMAHB will remain closed to the public.

-The administrative activity of the IMHAB has been halted in terms of procurement administration. This means that, in general, all deadlines for submitting tenders or completing requirements in any type of contracting process, including Cohousing and similar, have been suspended.

-The housing adjudication process has been halted, along with the suspension of the statutory deadlines for allocation and attendance appointments have been postponed until a date yet to be determined.

-The acquisition of dwellings is suspended, therefore the deadlines for exercising compulsory purchase rights by Barcelona City Council are suspended from the time of the Emergency Decree.

-Disciplinary procedures are halted, in the sense that all deadlines for making allegations or issuing decisions within the framework of the various disciplinary proceedings, or of administrative procedures, are suspended and will be restarted when determined the competent authority.

-The construction of new public housing, the renovation of buildings or individual homes and the regular maintenance tasks to the public housing stock managed by the IMHAB are suspended.

However, the provision of services that have been established under the Contingency Plan as being of an essential nature, and which will therefore will continue, are:

-Attendance for urgent repairs and problems with public housing (repair emergencies to your public housing or to the building), can be scheduled between 9 am and 1 pm, by telephoning the following numbers specifically set up for this service: 932 915 404, 932 915 424, 932 918 533 and 932 915 406. Also, online through the IMHAB user area and by email at imhab@imhab.cat.

-For Assistance Services in exceptional and unforeseeable emergency situations, they should be requested via the Citizen Services telephone 010.

You can consult updated information on Covid-19, as well as advice and recommendations to be followed, on the Barcelona City Council and the Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona (Barcelona Public Health Agency) websites.


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