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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.​

Three new services for dealing with people in vulnerable situations

20/03/2020 - 19:32

Social Services. These are three extra spaces offering decent accommodation that meet hygiene and food needs.

The three new initiatives are a 6,000 square-metre space at Fira de Barcelona, 200 tourist apartments for women victims of male violence and families in a housing emergency situation, and three new facilities for homeless people to supplement the city’s basic and essential services.

In compliance with the health authorities’ recommendations for people to stay at home to help fight Covid-19, the City Council, in collaboration with other authorities and entities, is going to set up three extra accommodation services to attend to the most vulnerable groups.

  • A Fira de Barcelona trade fair hall with 6,000 square metres of space capable of accommodating up to a thousand people. The Red Cross will run it with council staff.
  • Two hundred tourist apartments owned by a city operator, which will house women who have suffered male violence, families with children threatened with losing their home in the coming weeks or homeless people currently in various municipal facilities.
  • Three new facilities specifically for homeless people:
    1. A municipal facility at the old Pere Calafell Institute, with capacity for 56 people, which will also be run by the Red Cross.
    2. A new 30-place reception centre for isolating people referred from initial reception centres if necessary, in collaboration with Sant Joan de Déu Hospital.
    3. A new facility with showers, a laundry and canteen that will be operated the Centre Assís.

Other resources active in the city

Despite the state of alarm for Covid-19, the city has still managed to keep going the 2,200 places for homeless people in centres run by associations, the three primary reception centres and other residential centres in the city, and the food and hygiene services, as well as the social services centres, the Home Help Service (SAD), and the Municipal Telecare Service. The Barcelona Medical and Social Emergencies Centre (CUESB) is open 24 hours a day.

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