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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.​

Measures to defend the right to decent housing

Grants for the renovation of homes and buildings contribute to defending the right of citizens to decent housing. Find out more about the funding available and find out all the news of this year's campaign.

Improve housing while protecting tenants

Aware of the impact that renovation policies have on the quality of people’s lives, the City of Barcelona has intensified its efforts to promote the renovation of homes and buildings. Therefore, during 2019, the Housing Consortium of Barcelona will offer grants to renovate home interiors and common elements of buildings, as well as to improve the energy efficiency of buildings.

Various measures have been applied in order to protect tenants. Thus, for the first time, grants for rental flats will be conditioned on the price of the home being adjusted to the reference index of rental prices of the Government of Catalonia, jointly promoted by the Barcelona City Council.

In addition, other conditions of previous calls are still valid, such as the obligation to maintain the same economic conditions before and after the renovation and the extension of rental contracts by a minimum of five years.

Another new development this year is the creation of a specific programme for buildings that, due to their socioeconomic complexity, tend to lie beyond the conditions of ordinary calls. These buildings have been identified thanks to diagnostic work resulting in a map of residential vulnerability for the city. With these buildings, additional programmes are being implemented that include both socio-community interventions and renovation.

During 2018 around 40,000 people and 16,000 homes benefited from housing renovation grants.

If you need more information, go to any Housing Office.

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