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.​

The Parliament of Catalonia approves the Rental Price Regulation Law

10/09/2020 - 17:19

Housing. The law enables rental prices to be frozen and reduced in 60 Catalan municipalities.

On 9 September, the Parliament of Catalonia passed the rental price regulation law, a law that reached the Parliament from a proposal of the Sindicat de Llogateres (Union of Tenants), supported by 4,000 social and cultural entities and which was passed with the favourable votes of JxCat, ERC, Catalunya en Comú and the CUP. The legislation will apply to 60 Catalan municipalities where it is considered that the rental market is “under pressure”, which includes Barcelona and its metropolitan area, Lleida, Girona and Tarragona. This list of municipalities is not closed, municipalities that see a sustained increase in rental prices above the country’s average can be added.

With this new law, rent will be linked to a reference rate calculated by the Generalitat (Catalan Government) taking into account variables such as the location of the flat, the square metres, state of conservation and others, and which will set the maximum that can be demanded of a tenant. If a tenant is paying a higher price, they may request a reduction but, furthermore, if they are paying less than the rate, the owner cannot increase it, as the new law only envisages prices being frozen or reduced.

This law will affect all new contracts in the cities that are inside the area under pressure, but exceptions are foreseen. Regarding new build flats or where renovation work has been done, not obligatory maintenance, and of owners who collect up to 2,000 euros per month and who are, therefore, small owners for whom the rent helps reach the end of the month, they may charge a rent up to the higher level of the reference rate.

The law also provides for sanctioning owners in the event of non-compliance. If a property is rented for a price that is more than 20% of the reference rate, they may be fined between 9,000 and 90,000 euros and if the reference rate or rent of the previous contract is not stated, the fine may be between 3,000 and 9,000 euros.