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.​

If you live in a rented room

1. I live in a rented room with no certifying document. I pay in cash they don’t give me any receipt. They’ve told me I have to leave and find somewhere else to live. What rights do I have?

A room rental agreement is regulated in the first place by the will of the parties, and failing this by the rules of the Civil Code in rental matters (Art. 1554 and following of the Civil Code). Although a verbal agreement would be valid (but not advisable), it is recommended that it be set out in writing so that the parties know what rights and obligations it entails, in addition to stating its duration.

If the agreement has not been made in writing, the difficulty will be proving its existence, particularly concerning its duration and the price of the rent if the landlord does not even want to issue receipts for payment.

In this case, it will be necessary to prove the existence of the agreement by way of witnesses, documents certifying that the person lives at that address (municipal census, bills, correspondence) or written communications prior to making the agreement.

2. What procedure does the landlord have to follow if he does not want me to continue living in the home?

If the owner considers that the person is not entitled to continue living in the same home, the legal procedure to be followed would be a civil claim for squatting.

In the event that the renter of the room fails to pay the agreed rent, the lessor may exercise the eviction procedure for non-payment of rent provided for in Section 250.1 of the Civil Procedure Act, since this type of procedure is permitted for the recovery of possession by the lessor of a property, whether or not it is subject to regulation by the Urban Leases Act nº 29/1994 (LAU).


3. Can I demand a contractual document of my room rent? What if they don’t want to give me one?

A room agreement is not an agreement that the law requires to be in writing, so the parties cannot be obliged to formalise one.

The situation is different in the case of home rents, in which Section 37 of the LAU specifies that one party may demand from the other the formalisation of the agreement in writing, but as we have said, room agreements are not regulated by the LAU.

4. What is the maximum price that can be asked to rent a room?

A room rent agreement is regulated by what is agreed between the parties, and failing this by the rules of the Civil Code in matters of urban leases (Arts. 1554 and following of the Civil Code). Therefore, there is freedom of agreement in regard to the rent of the room because it is not regulated.

  • If the person who lets the room is the homeowner: there is freedom of agreement, and therefore the rent is subject to the market laws of supply and demand.
  • If the room is sublet by the renter of the home: in accordance with Section 8.2 of LAU, the rent obtained from subletting can never be more than the contractual rent.

In the event of the tenant subletting a room without the prior consent of the lessor, this would be grounds for termination of the agreement.

5. If I live in a room, am I entitled to rent assistance? Who can help me pay for the room?

At present there is no specific assistance line addressed to room rentals. In the event of social emergency, you can contact the social services of your municipality.

6. Does renting a room entitle me to register myself in the home?

A person living in a room can register in the home provided they have the permission of the tenant, in the case of a sublet, or of the owner, in the case of a room agreement.

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