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 attend to users face to face by prior appointment. Consult the “Housing calls you” service here to receive more suitable personalised assistance.

Your energy rights are guaranteed by Law 24/2015

Being cold at home, or living with extreme heat, is not normal. Nor is it normal to stop cooking on the stove or stop using the washing machine in order to deal with electricity, water and gas bills. If you cannot maintain services due to a lack of resources, go to the nearest energy advising point. You will find the tools to defend your energy rights.


Energy advising points watch out for your rights!

Electricity, water and gas are a basic right which everyone enjoys guaranteed access to. This is stated in the Act, which bans companies from cutting off supplies to vulnerable households and obliges them to maintain their services for as long as the situation of financial difficulties lasts.

Energy-advice points are a Barcelona City Council service that offer the information, assistance and intervention necessary for people to exercise their energy rights and prevent companies from denying them access to basic utilities.


Light, water and gas are a basic right and everyone is guaranteed access

This is stated in the law, which prohibits utility companies from cutting off supplies to vulnerable households and obliges them to maintain service throughout the economic difficulties.

The state energy model, difficulties paying bills due to economic and work-related reasons, problems derived from poor insulation, and situations of energy dependence are present all year round, and so are their effects on people’s health. That is why we have to defend energy rights in both winter and summer.

If you can’t afford to keep a comfortable temperature at home or to use running water, visit an energy advising point. They are a Barcelona City Council service that offers the information, attention and intervention necessary for people to exercise their energy rights and stop companies from denying them access to basic utilities.

You can contact the energy advising points by telephone at 930 008 054, from Monday to Friday, from 9.00 am to 2.00 pm.

Services available at energy-advice points

Fancy reducing your home’s energy expenses?

We can guide you so you can improve your household’s energy efficiency, optimise your electricity, water and gas services and thereby reduce your additional costs.

Do you understand your electricity, water and gas bills?

We can advise you so you understand the service you have hired in detail. We can give you information on capacities, rates and the supply company that best suits you.

Do you need help with processing your subsidy applications and making arrangements?

We can help you to make arrangements with companies such as rate changes and suppliers, removing extra services and managing social vouchers and newsletters.

What can you do if you have difficulty paying your electricity, water or gas bills?

Head for the energy advice point in your district. Barcelona City Council wants to guarantee nobody at risk of residential exclusion living in the city of Barcelona gets their energy supply cut off, as set out by law 24/2015.

Have you received a non-payment reminder?

A reminder is a notification from the company informing that there is an unpaid bill, and under no circumstances involves being cut off.

If you can’t afford to pay the bill, head for the energy advice point in your district. Your situation will be evaluated and a procedure will be started to prevent the situation getting worse.

Have you received notice that you will be cut off?

Before cutting anyone off, energy supply companies are obliged to check that non-payment is not due to a lack of financial resources.

  • Whether or not you are a user of social services, go to an energy advice point.
  • Your situation will be evaluated and you will not be cut off while the process is in progress.
  • Once the risk of residential exclusion has been recognised, a report will be drafted which must suspend any order for energy supplies to be cut off.
  • A year after the report is issued, the company can ask the user to provide evidence that they are still at risk of exclusion.

Have you been cut off already?

Energy supply companies are obliged to maintain services for people in situations of residential exclusion.

You need to go in person to the energy advice point in your district. Staff there will help you re-establish your supply and process the application for the report confirming residential exclusion.

Energy advice points


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