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.​

Interior view of a Housing Office in Barcelona

Prevention to avoid the loss of housing

The City Council provides rent mediation and mortgage counseling services to people with financial difficulties who are at risk of losing their homes.

Municipal services that protect citizens

The City Council of Barcelona considers prevention to be the most effective tool in avoiding risky situations that could lead to the loss of housing. From there, it provides citizens with rent mediation and mortgage counselling services, which help reach points of consensus between the property owners and the residents, with the aim of preventing legal proceedings and traumatic situations from taking place.

On the one hand, rent mediation services take place between the owner (lessor) and the tenant in cases where, due to financial difficulties (missed payments, debt, lawsuits, etc.), the tenant is facing eviction, or is a victim of real estate harassment, among other situations. The objective is to reach an agreement that allows the tenant to keep his/her home and, if necessary, to deal with current outstanding debts and prevent future debt from being incurred.

On the other hand, the mortgage counselling services are done through Ofideute, an information service that promotes the resolution of conflicts between citizens and financial institutions. The objective is to avoid aggressive debt recovery and the risk of eviction.

If you have financial difficulties when it comes to paying your rent or mortgage, you can go to any of the Housing Offices to request information and help.

Want to find out more?

In these pages, you can find out all about these services, but remember that the best way to get informed is by making an appointment at the nearest Housing Office.

Who is it for?

  • Families that have a mortgage for a single home that they use as their habitual residence.
  • People who guarantee mortgage loans who, because of payment default, are at risk of losing their main home.
  • Consumers, guarantors and third party mortgage holders, in the following cases:
    • When they detect any clause or abusive practice in the loan or mortgage contract.
    • When they are facing difficulties in paying their mortgage or loan, or foresee that they will be unable to make payments in the future.
    • When they have received notice that a foreclosure proceeding of their habitual residence has been initiated as a result of payment default.
  • People at risk of losing their habitual rented home. These people can go to any Housing Office, where the technical staff will assess the case and, where appropriate, prepare a file for the Social Emergency Housing Committee.


The objective of rent mediation is to reach an agreement between tenants and property owners to manage outstanding debts and avoid eviction. The mediation process takes place between the owner (lessor) and the tenant.
The Ofideute service offers mortgage advice to resolve conflicts between mortgage holders and financial entities. If you live in a home that is owned by a bank and you are facing financial difficulties, Ofideute offers information and mediation to prevent the risk of eviction.

Where should you go?

The Housing Offices have a free personalised information and advice service for all Barcelona citizens.

To meet with a lawyer from the legal service, you must request a prior appointment in person at any Housing Office. In this case, the documentation that must be presented at the appointment will be indicated.