4363.0 - National Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2017-18  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/04/2019   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All

Dwelling tenure and characteristics


This topic refers to dwelling in which respondents were enumerated, in most cases, usual place of residence, and collects the following:

    • Tenure type of household
    • Landlord type
    • Dwelling location
    • Dwelling structure
    • Number of bedrooms

It also collects:
    • Whether have fixed or landline or mobile phones
    • Whether the landline and/or the mobile number is in the White Pages.


Information was obtained for all persons aged 18 years and over in the 2017-18 NHS who were either answering for themselves or were relaying answers to the proxy (if selected persons was present).


Data from all dwelling tenure and characteristics questions are presented on the household level on the data file.

Tenure type of household

Respondents were asked on behalf of themselves, their spouse/partner, or parent (if the respondent was an adult child living with a parent), whether the dwelling was:
    • Owned or partly owned
    • Being paid off (mortgage or secured loan)
    • Being rented
    • Being purchased under a shared equity scheme
    • Being occupied under a life tenure scheme
    • Being occupied rent free.

Landlord Type

Those who reported the tenure type was rental were also asked who the landlord is/who rent was paid to (shown on a prompt card):
    • Real estate agent
    • State or territory housing authority

Person not in the same household:
    • Parent /Other relative
    • Other person
    • Owner/Manager of caravan park

    • Defence Housing Authority
    • Government employer
    • Other employer

    • Housing co-operative, community or church group
    • Other.

Dwelling location

'Dwelling location' refers to where the dwelling was situated, as recorded by the interviewer. Information was recorded against the following categories:
    • Caravan park
    • Marina
    • Manufactured home estate
    • Accommodation for the retired or aged (self care)
    • Other (including residential dwelling blocks or farms).

Dwelling structure

'Dwelling structure' refers to the structure in which the household resides, as recorded by interviewers and based on their observations at the time of the interview. Information was recorded against the following categories:
    • Separate house
    • Semi-detached/row or terrace house/town house:
      • one storey
      • two or more storeys

    • Flat or apartment:
      • in a one or 2 storey block
      • in a three storey block
      • in a four or more storey block
      • attached to a house

    • Other dwelling:
      • Caravan, cabin, houseboat
      • Improvised home, tent, campers out
      • House or flat attached to shop or office, etc.

Number of bedrooms

Respondents were asked to report the number of bedrooms in the dwelling. The item refers to the number of rooms on the dwelling plans as bedrooms, even though they may be currently used for other purposes.

Landline and mobile phones

Respondents were asked whether they had a fixed landline telephone and/or mobile/smart phone connected to their dwelling and whether the landline and/or mobile/smart phone was listed in the White Pages.

Data items

The questionnaire, data items and related output categories for this topic are available in pdf / Excel spreadsheet format from the Downloads page of this product.


Points to be considered in interpreting data for this topic include the following:
    • The approach used in the survey relies on the selected adult's knowledge of tenure and/or rental details of the dwelling. This may have been more difficult if the respondent was an adult child living with a parent, or in the case of a group house situation.
    • Some respondents may not have been aware of the designated usage of rooms specified in building plans, and may have reported other rooms currently used as bedrooms.

Comparability with 2014-15

Dwelling Tenure and Characteristics data is considered directly comparable between the 2017-18 and 2014-15 NHS.

More information regarding comparisons between 2014-15 NHS and previous cycles is available in the National Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2014-15 (cat. no. 4363.0).