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

Rent payments for public housing halted until July

24/03/2020 - 19:22

Housing. Rents for homes and commercial premises managed by the IMHAB will not be charged until July. The City Council has also set aside 3.5 million euros to help reduce the rents of those who need it.

Barcelona City Council will not be charging rent for public housing during the months of April, May and June. In all, 8,748 families living in rented housing managed by the Municipal Institute of Housing and Renovation (IMHAB) will not be charged for rent until July. The extraordinary new measure has been adopted to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the declaration of the state of emergency. Barcelona families living in these homes will pay the rent corresponding to the next three months in instalments staggered over the next eighteen months, from July 2020 through until December 2021. The moratorium and staggered payment plan will also apply to the 400 ground-floor commercial premises rented in blocks managed by the IMHAB, and the 1,400 officially protected privately owned homes promoted by the IMHAB.

The IMHAB will also be reviewing rents for households suffering significant drops in their incomes as a result of the crisis, reducing them to match the economic circumstances families find themselves in. This is actually common practice for the IMHAB, which reduces rents for tenants in public housing when their incomes drop through circumstances beyond their control. Where necessary, the Fundació Habitat3 will also be reviewing rents for more than 250 homes managed via a framework agreement with Barcelona City Council and the Government of Catalonia.

Barcelona City Council is also to offer subsidies for families living in flats belonging to the Barcelona Rental Housing Pool, which currently consists of 891 homes. Tenants on this programme who suffer a drop in their income because the Covid-19 crisis will have to contact the IMHAB, which will be activating subsidies to help them meet payments. Owners of flats rented out through the Rental Housing Pool will not notice any changes as they will continue receiving the same amounts.

These subsidies will benefit a total of 11,689 tenants with the IMHAB, of which 400 are tenants of commercial premises, 1,400 are private owners with officially protected homes (HPO), 891 live in homes in the Rental Housing Pool and 250 live in homes provided through the programme operated by the Fundació Habitat3. The City Council has created an extraordinary budgetary item of 3.5 million euros to be able to apply these measures, with the possibility of increasing it up to 5.5 million.

Public subsidies to pay private rents guaranteed

The City Council also wants to make it clear that public subsidies for the payment of private rents, which currently benefit around nine thousand families, are guaranteed. The fact that housing offices are currently closed is a concern for these families as they have to present photocopies of monthly receipts at the offices in order to receive subsidies. While this situation continues, families benefitting from these subsidies will be able to send image files of their rent payment receipts by email. Subsidies will be processed as a priority and when the state of emergency is lifted the paperwork will be reviewed and completed.

Call for tourist lets to switch to the Rental Housing Pool

The City Council is urging owners of tourist flats, who may see activity drop because of the pandemic, to include their properties in the Rental Housing Pool so that these homes can be made available to citizens at affordable prices. Ten owners have actually already done this in recent days. The Rental Housing Pool offers various guarantees and advantages for owners, such as guaranteed payment of rents, non-repayable renovation grants of up to 20,000 euros or a 95% discount on the property tax. The pool can be contacted online here.

Online and phone support for emergencies

As with the rest of municipal services, the IMHAB has adapted its activity to the current health emergency by only operating services deemed essential. Because of this, any urgent matters relating to public housing will be handled by phone, email or online using this link. Housing emergencies will be handled by the freephone number 010.


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