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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.​

How can you contact the housing services?

03/04/2020 - 13:41

Habitatge. In this section we explain how you can carry out specific procedures and contact the Municipal Institute of Housing during the state of alarm due to the coronavirus epidemic.

Within the context of the state of alarm due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the Barcelona Municipal Institute of Housing (IMHAB) has taken a series of measures to tackle the expansion of the coronavirus. The offices are closed to the public, but you can contact the IMHAB through various channels to deal with cases of housing emergency, repairs and urgent incidents related to public housing and procedures related to rent and rent assistance.

– The Intervention Service in Situations of Loss of Housing and Employment, the Prevention, Intervention and Mediation Service in Public Housing remain in operation. For exceptional and unforeseeable cases of housing emergency, it is necessary to call the public helpline 010.

– For any emergencies relating to the maintenance of homes or buildings of the public stock, you can contact the IMHAB via the specifically implemented phone lines from 9.00 to 13.00: 932 915 404, 932 915 424, 932 915 406 and 932 918 533.

You can also send an e-mail to imhab@imhab.cat or use the online channel in the Users’ Area of the IMHAB.

– For procedures related with rent assistance, you have to send an e-mail to the Housing Office for your district:

Ciutat Vella: ohcv@bcn.cat

Eixample: oheix@bcn.cat

Sants-Montjuïc: ohstm@bcn.cat

Les Corts: ohlc@bcn.cat

Sarrià-Sant Gervasi: ohssg@bcn.cat

Gràcia: ohgr@bcn.cat

Horta-Guinardó: ohhg@bcn.cat

Nou Barris: ohnb@bcn.cat

Sant Andreu: ohsa@bcn.cat

Sant Martí: ohsm@bcn.cat

– To request a review of rent instalments in the case of being a family unit in public housing and having suffered significant income reductions due to this crisis, you can send your request along with the justifying documentation by e-mail to @imhab@imhab.cat.

Your energy rights, guaranteed

The supply of electricity, water and gas is a basic right to which everyone is guaranteed access. In accordance Act nº 24/2015, these rights are guaranteed and the utility companies are obliged to maintain the supply to people in situations of housing exclusion.

If your supply of electricity, water or gas has been cut off, you want to make an enquiry or you want to know the available measures for reducing your bills, you can contact the energy advice point of the Barcelona City Council. The offices are closed to the public, but you can contact this service through two channels:

– Online via the City Council website. You will have to complete the form and attach the justifying documentation to process your request.

– Anyone who does not have Internet access can make the request by phoning 010.

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