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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.​

Construction to improve common elements

Renovating the common elements of a building is a necessary measure to improve accessibility, safety and energy efficiency.

Building renovations, good for everyone

Insufficient building maintenance results in the deterioration of public space and of living conditions for neighbors. For this reason, the Barcelona City Council offers a line of grants to promote the renovation of the common elements of buildings.

These grants are intended for the repair of structural problems in buildings; the improvement of common elements such as facades, patios or stairways; measures to improve accessibility, such as the removal of architectural barriers or the installation of elevators; and measures to improve energy efficiency, among others.

In order to prevent these improvements from resulting in the expulsion of neighbourhood residents due to rising rental prices, the Barcelona City Council has taken several actions.

To this end, in the case of buildings with rented properties, buildings with a rental prices below the maximum amount foreseen in the reference index of rental prices of the Housing Agency of Catalonia and that have a rental contract with at least five years remaining will be eligible for grants.

In the case of buildings with empty houses and their vertical properties (that is, homes destined entirely for rent that are owned by one or several people), they will only receive grants if they register these flats in the Barcelona Rented Housing Pool for a period of five years. The grant is not available for flats of touristic use.

The principal new feature of the 2021 announcement in regard to the previous year is that the subsidies are granted on the basis of competitive concurrence. This is a procedure which takes into account a series of criteria and assigns a score to each action comprising the application. Based on the score obtained, the applications for subsidies will be classified in decreasing order, admitting them in this order until exhausting the budgeted endowment of the announcement.

Through all these measures, the Barcelona City Council aims to promote renovation while defending the right to housing for renters.

Do you want to know how to apply for a grant for building renovation?

In these drop-downs, you will find the requirements and necessary steps to apply for this funding. The application can be submitted at any Barcelona Housing Office.

Who can apply for the grant?

  • The president of the community of owners
  • The administrator or the owner of the building

Not eligible for the grant: 

  • Flats for touristic use.

Which buildings can benefit?

Buildings must be, in general terms, intended for permanent habitual residence and built before 1996, except in cases of renovations to improve accessibility or energy efficiency.

70% of the building surface (excluding the ground floor) must be used as housing. If the mentioned percentage is not reached, only reduced grants proportional to the area used as housing can be received.

Buildings with empty flats and vertical properties can receive the grants on the condition that, once renovated, the properties are registered in the Barcelona Rented Housing Pool for a period of no less than five years.

For buildings with rented flats, only properties that prove the following can receive grants:

  • They have a rental contract covering a minimum term of five years, beginning from the certified date of the end of construction. If applicable, the owners must prove this condition with the end of construction certificate and provide the contracts or agreements in which the rental period is extended without any increase in the rent.
  • Only homes with rental prices below the maximum amount foreseen in the rental prices reference index of the Housing Agency of Catalonia can receive grants.
  • When dealing with horizontal properties, in the cases mentioned in the previous sections, the grant reduction will be applied according to the percentage of participation in the shared expenses corresponding to the affected homes, as stated in the deed, or according to the percentage of participation in the payment of the works that are certified by means of a certificate issued by the president of the community when the percentage is higher than what is stated in the deed.

What actions are subsidisable?

The subsidisable actions correspond to four fields:


​Rehabilitation works on structural pathologies, understood as lesions affecting the solidity and safety of the building. For this announcement, replacement and/or reinforcement works will be considered.

Reduction of the building’s energy demand

FAÇADES: Rehabilitation and restoration works on façades in accordance with the technical conditions. The possibility of changing the windows is contemplated, provided this possibility is contemplated for the whole façade if the façade is in a good state of repair.

ROOFS: Renovation and restoration works on roofs in accordance with the technical conditions.

PARTY WALLS: Renovation and restoration works on party walls in accordance with the technical conditions.

AIR SHAFTS AND COURTYARDS: Renovation works on air shafts and courtyards.


Common installations

WATER, GAS, ELECTRICITY AND SANITATION: Renovation and adaptation works on the common installations of sanitation, water, gas and electricity supplies and fire protection equipment. This also includes unification of aerials, reorganisation of air-conditioning units and unification of smoke extraction systems from kitchens to the roof.

DIRECT WATER: New community installations of direct sanitary water.

ELIMINATION OF OBSOLETE ASBESTOS ELEMENTS: Removal and adaptation works on the support elements in any asbestos elimination works which cannot be included in any other subsidisable action.

GREEN ROOFS: Actions which transform 50% of the roof surface into a green roof, excepting skylights and air shafts, in accordance with the technical conditions.

INSTALLATION OF SOLAR ENERGY: Actions which entail reduction of energy consumption from non-renewable sources or from the conventional energy grid by means of solar power systems. Thermal capture devices for production of hot water, photovoltaic capture devices for generating electricity and modernisation of obsolete elements.



LIFTS: Installation of lifts in multi-family residential buildings which do not have them, both inside and outside the buildings. The buildings must have at least a ground floor and three upper floors, regardless of the number of stops.

ACCESSIBILITY IMPROVEMENTS: Works to remove architectural barriers and install lifts in multi-family residential buildings with ground floor plus three upper floors, and to increase the number of stops in buildings which already have a lift.

STAIRWAYS AND VESTIBULES: Renovation works in vestibules and stairways which may be necessary for the correct conservation of the element.

What subsidy can I obtain for the different types of work?

The following table shows the percentages and the maximum subsidisable amounts for each type of action:

Grant award process

It is a subsidy-granting procedure which compares the applications submitted in order to establish an order of priority between them, in accordance with a series of evaluation criteria stipulated in the announcement.

In this way, a score will be assigned for each action comprising the application. Based on the score obtained, the applications for subsidies will be classified in decreasing order, admitting them in this order until exhausting the budgeted endowment of the announcement.

How is the grant applied for?

Completing the application form (it is required to have community agreement for buildings or landlord agreement for rental housing).

Delivering the following documentation:

  • Budget
  • Technical Inspection of the Building (ITE, in its Catalan acronym)
  • Energy certificate
  • Accessibility certificate
  • Agreement of the community of owners


Download the application forms here:

Ownership Communities

Natural persons 

Legal persons

Social cohesion

When can the grant be applied for?

The deadline for submitting grant applications for this call, which is provided for in Article 17 of the Regulatory Rules, will open the day after the publication of this call in the DOGC and will end after 30 calendar days.

It can be modified depending on budget availability at an earlier or later date. The closing of the admission of applications of registration will do by means of a resolution of the manager of the Consortium of the Housing of Barcelona that will publish in the DOGC and in the BOPB.

Submission of the application for registration does not imply any financial rights.

The grant application will be submitted together with the communication of the start of works within a maximum period of six months from the obtaining of the previous technical report issued by the Consortium.

Grants can be applied for:

  • Through the municipal electronic office and attach the corresponding application forms, at https://seuelectronica.ajuntament.barcelona.cat/ca/registre-electronic.
  • In person, requesting an appointment at the Municipal Institute of Urban Landscape via email paisatgeurba@bcn.cat.
  • By calling 010 where the service staff will advise by telephone on the options available to carry out the procedure without having to go to a face-to-face service office.

The notice of completion of the works must be submitted within three months from the date on which the completion of the works is certified, and must be accompanied by the necessary documentation. In the event that the grant application has not been submitted together with the start of the works, it must be submitted together with the completion of the works.

More information on energy efficiency and generation can be found at: energia.barcelona

Additional information

Given that this benefit is a public subsidy and involves capital income, the beneficiary must present his/her personal income tax declaration (IRPF), which must include the amount received.

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