Every stat tells a story.

Report a vacant holiday or investment property for the Census of Population and Housing

Media Release

Do you own a holiday home or investment property? The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is calling on people with a second residence—holiday rental or investment property—to let us know if the house was vacant on Census night, Tuesday 10 August.

It’s a simple process to ‘report address was vacant or unoccupied’ through the Census website if your holiday home or investment property was empty on Census night.

Andrew Henderson, Census Executive Director and National Spokesperson said, "Every five years, the ABS counts every person and house in Australia. We call this the Census of Population and Housing.

“We’re following up with houses where we haven’t received a completed Census form. As part of the data collection process, we need to understand how many properties were unoccupied on Census night.

“This includes second homes, investment properties and holiday houses.

“You can let us know online or by calling the Census Contact Centre at 1800 512 441”.

The Census is compulsory*. Following letters and visits from Census staff, a person may be fined if they refuse to complete the Census.

“The Census counts all households, houses and properties across Australia. This helps inform and improve service delivery in your community,” Mr Henderson added.   

For more information or to seek help with completing the Census, visit www.census.abs.gov.au.

*See the 2021 Census Privacy Statement for more information.

More information

What is the Census of Population and Housing?

The Census of Population and Housing, held on Tuesday 10 August 2021, is a snapshot of who we are and tells the story of how we are changing. It is one of the largest and most important statistical collections undertaken by the ABS.

How will people complete their Census?

People can complete the Census online, on their mobile device, or on paper.

There are a number of options available for people who need assistance to complete their Census form, including help from Census field staff, and phone and online help.

Is the Census compulsory?

The Census is compulsory under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 and fines can apply if someone refuses to complete their Census.

Under the Census and Statistics Act 1905, the Australian Statistician can issue you a Notice of Direction, which directs you in writing to complete the Census.  

The notice explains that if you don’t complete the Census, you can be prosecuted and fined up to $222 a day.

Media notes

  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via media@abs.gov.au or 1300 175 070.
  • Subscribe to our media release notification service to get notified of ABS media releases or publications upon their release.
Back to top of the page