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 and Energy Advice Points (PAE) continue to operate by phone and online to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. Check how to access services here.

Payment of rent instalments for public housing put back another month until August

07/04/2020 - 14:45

COVID-19. The Barcelona Municipal Institute of Housing and Renovation is to stagger payments over 36 months instead of the 18 initially established.

Housing measures in the city have been adapted to ensure people’s rights during the Covid-19 crisis. The Barcelona Municipal Institute of Housing and Renovation (IMHAB) has extended its moratorium for the payment of rent instalments by another month, until August, as well as the period over which payments will be staggered, with the new decree extending the initial 18-month period to 36 months.

During April, May, June and July, families living in rented homes managed by the IMHAB or who inhabit public housing via other ownership formulas such as publicly developed flats with mortgages, will not have to pay instalments.

As from August, the IMHAB will be spreading the outstanding payments over 36 months, instead of the 18 initially established. If necessary, instalments may also be lowered to adapt to the new circumstances of each family.

Nearly 10,000 families should benefit from these measures. There is no need to request the deferral as the measure applies to the whole public housing stock, with the exception of the elderly, who are not defined as vulnerable in this respect by the Decree Law applied by the state as their pensions are guaranteed.

Services active to handle emergencies

During the state of emergency for Covid-19, the IMHAB has adopted a series of measures to halt the spread of the illness. While housing offices are closed to the public, different channels have been set up to handle emergencies, urgent repairs and incidents around the public housing stock and procedures relating to rent subsidies and instalments.

The Intervention in the Loss of Housing and Employment Service (SIPHO) and the Prevention, Intervention and Mediation Service in Public Housing (SPIMHP) are still operating. To request help in exceptional and unforeseeable residential emergencies users should call the 010 citizen enquiry number.

For urgent maintenance on public housing the IMHAB has set up specific phone numbers, offering support from 9 am to 1 pm:

  • 932 915 404
  • 932 915 424
  • 932 915 406
  • 932 918 533

Users can also get in touch by sending an email to imhab@imhab.cat.

For procedures relating to rent aid, users should send an email to the housing office in their district:

  • Ciutat Vella: ohcv@bcn.cat
  • L’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

Energy rights guaranteed

Water, gas and electricity services are also guaranteed for everybody. Services offered by Energy Advice Points (PAE) are still operating online and by phone. In cases where utility services are cut off, or for information on how to reduce bills, citizens can contact the PAEs by calling 010.


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