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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.​

Let out your flat to transform the city

07/12/2016 - 12:00

Affordable rent. Whether you own a vacant flat or you are looking for a place to rent, find out all the advantages of the Rented Housing Pool.

Barcelona City Council has launched the You’ve got the key campaign to let flat owners know about the advantages of registering their flat with the municipal Rented Housing Pool and so promoting a rental market with more affordable prices.


Besides guaranteeing the monthly payments and ensuring the property is maintained, the Housing Pool allows owners of vacant flats to promote a rental market with more affordable prices and to help make Barcelona a fairer city. Such is the case with Josep Antoni Casanova, who signed his first contract as a property owner with the Rented Housing Pool eight years ago.

His flat, in the left part of Eixample, was easy to let but Josep Antoni admits it’s difficult to find stable tenants and maintain any sort of regularity in the contracts, which are very volatile, depending on the period and demand.

After comparing the conditions a private agency was offering him with the Rented Housing Pool, he finally opted for the public service. As he says: “The Pool offers a service with similar characteristics, it makes you feel you are collaborating in a social project and, most of all, you end up getting the same income.”


The Housing Pool, always there for you

He is satisfied with the service offered by the Housing Pool and thinks that, although the rent is below the market average, there are other benefits that make up for it.

“Without going into the social aspect, as a property owner I have peace of mind because I know that the tenant has been vetted seriously and I have the assurance I’ll get paid the rent each month. The Housing Pool staff are always there for you and that’s just as important when the contract is signed as when it is terminated”, he explained.

One of the effects of the property bubble is the rise in rental market prices, which makes access to a decent home even more difficult. Josep Antoni is worried that if we can’t reverse this trend, Barcelona will turn into a city that is “full by day and empty at night”: young people and their families will be forced out if they can’t pay for a flat. So he supports public initiatives over private ones, as the latter “are only aimed at immediate profits”.


Much more than a pool

By means of this service, the City Council acts as a guarantor in rental contracts for flats registered with the Pool. That way the owners have the security that the terms and conditions of the contract will be complied with (as far as payment and maintenance are concerned) and, at the same time, they will be facilitating access to a decent home to cohabitation units and young people between the ages of 18 and 35 who satisfy the social requirements of the Pool.

The advantages the Housing Pool offers include:

  • Incentives for renting
  • Technical and legal advice on drawing up the contract
  • Help with procedures and paperwork
  • Renovation subsidies (up to a maximum of €15,000 in exchange for a five-year contract for renting the flat through the Pool)


As regards the renovation subsidies announced recently and managed through the Housing Pool, Josep Antoni sees them as “deferred income for the owner”, as they can be used to carry out some one-off improvements to the flat’s facilities but, in the long run, “they’ll always stay in the flat”.

The Rented Housing Pool has already handled over 660 contracts between owners and tenants, but it offers other advantages too: free technical and legal advice, an insurance service (multi-risk household insurance and legal defence in the event of non-payment), processing the occupancy certificate and/or the energy efficiency certificate, as well as offering information on other subsidies such as Avalloguer (rent guarantee) and renovation grants.

For further information you can consult the Pool webpage on the Housing website and fill in the information request form.

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