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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.

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Ada Colau meets with Minister Ábalos and demands an “urgent regulation” of rents

28/02/2020 - 11:42

Habitatge. Barcelona City Council has created a Study Commission on the regulation of rent, which will begin meeting in March

On 24th February, the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, met with the Minister of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda, José Luís Ábalos, in Madrid. During the meeting, which Colau has called “positive” on Twitter, they discussed various topics but focused on the regulation of rent which, according to Colau, “must become a reality in the coming months.”

Rent regulation was one of the first demands made by Ada Colau at the start of her mandate in 2015, and will now be specified by a non-permanent commission which will meet for the first time on 10th March and will last for six months. The Commission grew out of a proposal by the ERC (Republican Left of Catalonia) group within the council and will study the application and the repercussions that the regulation of lease agreement prices for housing would have on Barcelona and the Barcelona metropolitan area with the aim of promoting and achieving the effective implementation of this regulation in the city. The Commission will be formed by two Councillors from each council group, with the Councillor from the ERC Council Group, Eva Baró Ramos, as President and Lucía Martín, Councillor for Housing and Rehabilitation, as Vice-President.

In presenting the initiative, the Councillor for Housing and Rehabilitation, Lucía Martín, recalled that this is a demand that the people have been calling for some time. Social organisations and recent CIS (public opinion) studies have stated that almost 40% of people residing in Spain would be in agreement with regulating rents, a percentage that rises to 70% for those people living in large cities. Martín also recalled that the regulation of rents forms part of the coalition agreement between Unides Podem and the PSOE.

International Experiences

One of the topics that the Permanent Commission will address are the experiences other countries have had in regulating rents. In recent months, many European cities have adopted similar initiatives in order to tackle what is a global problem.

Examples include Berlin, where prices will be frozen for five years and a maximum price of 9.80 euros per square metre has been set. In Paris, a regulatory programme has also been set up whereby rents cannot exceed a reference rate based on the location of the property, the number of rooms, the state of the apartment and the year of construction.


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