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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

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The study commission on the regulation of rents concludes that it is necessary to regulate prices and that the debate is how to do this

25/11/2020 - 15:14

Housing. Barcelona en Comú, PSC, ERC and Junts per Catalunya approve the conclusions after four sessions of debates and appearances by experts.

The Barcelona City Council’s non-permanent commission on the regulation of rents has presented its conclusions after four sessions in which some thirty speakers, including some international ones, have participated. These sessions were participated by representatives of proprietors, tenants’ organisations, professional associations and experts on the matter. The four sessions, which began in March 2020, discussed various aspects related with the regulation of rent prices: the situation of housing policies, international experiences, the regulatory framework and the possible effects of the regulation of rents. All the participating political groups acknowledged the quality and variety of the information provided by the experts and the knowledge the commission has generated.

In the last session, the conclusions were presented and were approved with the favourable vote of the four political groups who attended all the sessions: Barcelona en Comú, Partit Socialista de Catalunya, Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya and Junts per Catalunya. A notable conclusion is the agreement on the need to regulate rents. The political formations coincided on the fact that at this moment the debate is not on whether rents have to be regulated but how this has to be done. They also declared that this regulation cannot be seen as an extravagant measure, since the international experiences heard during the session demonstrate that it is a common practice in many cities and countries.

Regarding the method of regulating rents, it has been clearly seen that formulas must be sought to prevent or mitigate the negative consequences. It is necessary, therefore, to seek a regulation that protects the tenants and at the same time guarantees the right to a reasonable profit for the proprietors, based on the vision of housing not as a market commodity but as a fundamental right. In order for these two conditions to be accomplished, it was concluded that this regulation would have to be accompanied by clear indicators which analyse how it is operating, and it would have to be updated regularly to adapt to the current circumstances. It would also have to be accompanied by complementary measures such as subsidies for rehabilitation or tax incentives. This would prevent some of the risks indicated by the experts which can derive from the regulation of rents, such as the expansion of the black market or the deterioration of the housing stock.

It has also been made clear that the regulation of rents is only one measure within a housing system which has to be coherent. To guarantee the right to a decent home for everyone, other measures are needed, such as increased investment or the creation of a public housing stock of quality.

Bold housing policies

The rental market of Barcelona and its metropolitan area is now suffering considerable tension, with families now dedicating an average of 40% of their incomes to paying the rent, when this percentage should be around 30%. This situation has not come about by chance: it is the result of many years of policies that have sought profits for speculation instead of benefits for citizens, in the words of the Councillor for Housing and Rehabilitation, Lucía Martín. It has become evident, therefore, that what are required are bold housing policies on the part of all the institutions, including the municipal institutions which until the year 2011 had remained on the sidelines, as was recalled by the Councillor of Junts per Catalunya, Neus Munté.

An essential point for drawing up these policies is to consider housing as a right and not a commodity. As has been explained by the Councillor of the ERC municipal group, Eva Baró, the experts who participated in the various sessions advocated a change of paradigm in regard to the right to housing, which has to be implemented taking into account not only the benefit that can be obtained but also its social function – that is, as a human right. In the words of the Councillor of the PSC, Joan Ramon Riera, we have to go beyond solving the problem of access to a home and work to create homes where families can take root and develop a life project. Within this change of paradigm, it must be pointed out that, precisely while the commission was in motion, the Parliament of Catalonia passed a law on regulation of rents.