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.​

Taking care of ourselves in the heat

10/07/2023 - 10:00

Health. In the summer, particularly during heatwaves, a change in habits will help us keep cool and keep our homes cool.

Extreme heat can be bad for people’s health, particularly senior citizens and babies. A few simple measures can help you improve the temperature at home. When you leave the house, protect yourself from the sun. Dress according to the temperature and try to keep in the shade. It’s important to drink water often and even to get wet. If it’s hot inside your home you’re advised to spend a couple of hours a day in cool or air-conditioned places such as climate refuges, and to make the most of the cooler air at night to ventilate your home.

Tips for keeping your home cooler

  • Lower blinds during the hottest hours and open the windows at night.
  • Use the coolest rooms.
  • Freshen up often with showers or wet towels.
  • Use ventilators, air-conditioning and fans.
  • If you haven’t got these, spend a couple of hours a day in cool or air-conditioned places.

Avoid the sun outdooors

  • Try to walk in the shade, use a parasol at the beach and rest in cool places.
  • Protect your head and wear light, loose-fitting light-coloured clothing.
  • Wet your face a little with water and even your clothing.
  • Take water with you and drink often, particularly elderly people and young children.
  • Make sure pets are well hydrated.

The hottest hours of the day, from 12 noon to 5pm, are the most critical

  • Avoid going outdoors.
  • Keep physical activity to a minimum.
  • Don’t take pets out for walks.
  • Try not to use equipment which generates heat.

Stay well hydrated

  • Drink plenty of water and juice, including when you’re not thirsty.
  • Stick to light meals and avoid very hot meals or dishes which are heavy on calories.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks.

People particularly vulnerable in hot weather

Extreme heat is tiresome for everybody, but some groups are particularly vulnerable to its effects: the over-75s, people with disabilities, reduced mobility or with difficulty looking after themselves, people with chronic conditions and babies. If you’re in one of these groups or you look after somebody who is, bear this in mind as it’s a question of people’s health.

Telecare for hot weather too

Barcelona City Council’s telecare service operates around the clock, every day of the year. Use it or call 061 in the summer if the high temperatures affect your health. Be aware of your body’s reactions and press the red button you wear around your neck if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • Severe headaches
  • Hot dry red skin
  • Cramp in your limbs
  • Body temperature too high or too low
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fast or irregular pulse
  • Weakness
  • Disorientation

What are climate refuges?

If you haven’t got any ventilators of air-conditioning at home, it’s important to spend a couple of hours a day somewhere cool. In emergencies caused by heat, you can go to a climate refuge. There are more than two hundred around the city. They are municipal facilities with temperatures controlled to keep them at 27 degrees. They can be inside or outside and have good accessibility, areas to relax in and water available.

Barcelona’s beaches

Barcelona’s five kilometres of coast has nine beaches and the bathing area at the Fòrum, offering a refreshing option in high temperatures. These are spaces open to the public, free of smoke, with lifesaving and rescue services, toilets, showers and beach bars, designed for people with reduced mobility. Some of them also have an assisted bathing service for people who need personal and technical help to get into the water. There’s also a dog beach.

People can get information in real time to check occupancy levels at beaches, the state of the sea, the quality of water, bathing flags, water and air temperatures, UV levels, the presence of jellyfish and services available at each beach.

Open-air municipal pools

The city also has fourteen municipal open-air swimming pools. These facilities cater for everybody, including people with reduced mobility. They’re open every day of the week and offer a varied range of options for hot days.