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.​

Do you want to understand your water bill? We’re here to help!

22/01/2024 - 16:40

Housing. It is essential to know and understand the key concepts of the water bill to determine if what we are paying corresponds to what we need. We also explain how people in vulnerable situations can take advantage of discounts.

Water is a limited and essential resource, and bringing it to citizens’ homes costs money. Unlike electricity and gas, we cannot choose the water company because each municipality has its own, and it is the one that issues our bill. Aigües de Barcelona is the name of this company in Barcelona.

Below, we have prepared a useful guide to understand the water bill.

What is the water bill like?

It comes in the mailbox every two months and is broken down as follows:

  • Water supply. It refers to water consumption and is divided into the following concepts:
    • Service fee. It is the fixed part that depends on the type of housing. The more water points, the more expensive the fee.
    • Water consumption. It varies depending on what we consume. It is billed in tiers, and the price we pay for each m³ of water increases in each tier. So, if we exceed a tier, the same amount of water costs us more money. This measure aims to promote responsible water consumption. If there are more than three people living in the household, you can request an increase in the amount of water allocated per tier.
  • Water canon. It is a tax paid to the Catalan Water Agency. Like water consumption, it is also billed in tiers, and the amount of water allocated per tier can be increased if there are more than three people living in the household.
  • Sewerage and waste collection taxes. These are two taxes collected by the Barcelona City Council.
  • VAT. Water consumption and the canon are subject to a 10% VAT.

The water bill also provides this information about the supply:

  • Logo and information of the water company: VAT number, social denomination, and registered office.
  • Invoice details: invoice number, billing period, etc.
  • Billing summary: includes the total amount to be paid broken down by concepts.
  • Water consumption information: quantity of m³ of water consumed in two months, the reading, and a histogram with the history of our consumption.
  • Contract data: all the necessary information about the supply point and contractual data (such as the account holder or address), which are essential for management.

Discounts on the water bill

People in vulnerable situations are entitled to discounts to reduce the bill’s cost. The requirements to benefit from them can be consulted on the Aigües de Barcelona website (CAT).

The most important discounts are:

  • Social tariff: 100% discount on the service fee and the amount corresponding to water consumption in the first and second tier.
  • Social tariff of the water canon: 100% discount on the amount corresponding to the water canon if the first tier is not exceeded, or 50% for each of the tiers if the first tier has been exceeded.
  • Discount or exemption from the waste collection tax: discount of between 50% and 100% of this tax.
  • Exemption from the sewerage tax: 100% discount on this tax.

Energy Advisory Points

We remind you that the Barcelona City Council offers Energy Advisory Points (PAE) at your disposal, providing the information, attention, and intervention necessary for individuals to exercise their energy rights and for companies not to deny them access to basic services.

In this link, you will find more information about the service, how to contact them, and their location.

More info