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Housing Variables

Standard variables used to collect information about dwellings and occupancy. Includes structure, tenure, landlord type and number of bedrooms

Reference period
2014
Released
28/10/2014
Next release Unknown
First release

Summary

The ABS housing standards provide standard methods for compiling statistics about the tenure, occupancy and physical characteristics of Australian dwellings. In particular, the standards contain standard definitions, standard data collection methods, standard derivation procedures and standard output classifications. These standard features are recommended for use in all relevant ABS and external statistical collections to ensure consistency across publications. The use of ABS housing standards ensures that consistent information about Australian dwellings is available to inform social and economic policies that relate to housing in Australia. The housing standard variables are used within and outside the ABS to collect information about the types of dwellings in Australia and how they are occupied. They include the variables; Dwelling Structure, Tenure, Landlord Type, and Number of Bedrooms. These variables provide a means for standardising the way housing data are collected and disseminated.

Tenure type

Background

Tenure Type describes aspects of the source of legal right a person has to occupy a dwelling. This variable is important to users because of the significance of housing costs in personal and household budgets, the varying degrees of security the different tenure types offer, and as a measure of rental stocks and of the demand for and availability of housing.

The Tenure Type Classification is closely linked to the Landlord Type Classification. Any changes to either classification therefore cannot be undertaken in isolation. All possible ramifications concerning each classification must be investigated before adopting any change.

Introduction to the standard

Nominal definition

Tenure Type is the nature of a person, income unit or household's legal right to occupy the dwelling in which they usually reside.

Tenure is determined according to whether the person/income unit/household owns the dwelling without a mortgage, owns the dwelling but has a mortgage or loan secured against it, is paying rent to live in the dwelling or has some other arrangement to occupy the dwelling.

Operational definition

Operationally Tenure Type is determined by responses to questions about ownership, secured loans or mortgages, rental or other arrangements.

The Tenure Type of persons/income units/households in caravans, manufactured homes and houseboats is determined according to the tenure of the dwelling structure and not the land. Thus, a person who owns a caravan and rents a site in a caravan park is regarded as an owner. The status of the land is indicated by the location of dwelling.

The tenure type of the household can be collected by asking the question directly of the household or of a single reference person. It is inferred that all people/income units in the household have the same tenure type unless person/income unit level tenure is collected.

If person level tenure is collected then this can be used to infer the income unit level tenure using the order of preference specified in 'Input classification' and 'Coding indexes' (i.e. the category with the lowest code has the highest tenure type).

Discussion of issues

Collection and output classification can be at the person, income unit and household level in the revised standard. A range of unit levels may be required for understanding intra-household transfers and to inform on security of tenure where it differs for the individuals within the household, eg. respondents living within an owner occupier household who pay rent or board to the owner of the household to reside within the dwelling. The collection and output of person level tenure already exists in the Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) and the Survey of Disability Aging and Carers (SDAC).

Person level and income unit collection can use the same question modules. They are to be asked in addition to the Household level tenure questions and are to be asked of each person/income unit in the household that has indicated they are not a primary tenure person.

For person level tenure it is possible for a landlord to be a person (whether related or not) in the same dwelling. For example, a non-dependent child living in the home of his or her parents and paying rent, is considered a renter. If rent were not paid, the non-dependent child would be classified to the 'rent-free' category. Generally, the distinction will be made by the individuals themselves.

In this version of the standard, the input and output classification category 'Participant of rent/buy (or shared equity) scheme' has been renamed 'Participant of shared equity scheme'. The change in title has been made to reflect current practice and improve accuracy of reporting against this category.

A shortened question module has been included for surveys that do not or can not output data for the full tenure type classification. Surveys should determine which module they use based on the data requirements, sample size and time constraints for the survey.

Collection of variable data

Scope

Statistical units

Tenure Type can be collected at the person, income unit or household level.

Question modules

Detailed question module

Household level tenure (Households are sequenced into Landlord Type questions based on Tenure Type answers below).

To be used for face to face interviewer methods. This question module should be asked of one member of the household, the Household spokesperson, who answers on behalf of the household.

Q1 The next few questions are about this dwelling.
Is this dwelling owned or partly owned by [you/ anyone in this household]?
1. Yes1. Go to Q6
5. No5. Go to Q2
Q2 (Is this dwelling) rented by [you/anyone in this household]?
1. Yes1. End of Module
5. No5. Go to Q3
Q3 (Is this dwelling) being purchased under a shared equity scheme by [you/anyone in this household]?
1. Yes1. Go to Q6
5. No5. Go to Q4
6. Don't know6. Go to Q4
Q4 (Is this dwelling) occupied under a life tenure scheme?
1. Yes1. Go to Q6
5. No5. Go to Q5
6. Don't know6. Go to Q5
Q5 (Is this dwelling) occupied rent free?
1. Yes1. End of Module
5. No5. End of Module
Q6 [Do you/does anyone in this household] currently have any mortgages or secured loans on this dwelling?
1. Yes1. Go to Q7
5. No5. Go to Q7
Q7 1. If Q1 = 11. Go to Q8
2. Otherwise2. End of Module
Q8 (Is this dwelling) being purchased under a shared equity scheme by [you/anyone in this household]?
1. Yes1. End of Module
5. No5. End of Module
6. Don't know6. End of Module

To be used for telephone interviewer methods. This question module should be asked of one member of the household, the Household spokesperson, who answers on behalf of the household.

Q1 Is your dwelling owned or partly owned by [you/ or anyone in your household]?
1. Yes1. Go to Q6
5. No5. Go to Q2
Q2 (Is your dwelling) rented by [you/ or anyone in your household]?
1. Yes1. End of Module
5. No5. Go to Q3
Q3 (Is your dwelling) being purchased under a shared equity scheme by [you/ or anyone in your household]?
1. Yes1. Go to Q6
5. No5. Go to Q4
6. Don't know6. Go to Q4
Q4 (Is your dwelling) occupied under a life tenure scheme?
1. Yes1. Go to Q6
5. No5. Go to Q5
6. Don't know6. Go to Q5
Q5 (Is your dwelling) occupied rent free?
1. Yes1. End of Module
5. No5. End of Module
Q6 [Do you/does anyone in your household] currently have any mortgages or secured loans on your dwelling?
1. Yes1. Go to Q7
5. No5. Go to Q7
Q7 1. If Q1 = 11. Go to Q8
2. Otherwise2. End of Module
Q8 (Is your dwelling) being purchased under a shared equity scheme by [you/ or anyone in your household]?
1. Yes1. End of Module
5. No5. End of Module
6. Don't know6. End of Module
Recommended instructions for household tenure modules
Q1Owned includes only cases where no money is owed on any type of loan secured against the dwelling.
Partly owned includes households that have any type of loan secured against the dwelling, or households who own the dwelling in partnership with someone outside the household.
Q2Include: All households that pay rent even in cases that rent is subsidised or partly refunded.
Q3 and Q8Shared equity is a formal arrangement where the household are purchasing less than 100% equity in the dwelling, they may or may not be paying rent for the remainder. The remaining proportion of equity in the dwelling would be paid for and owned by another party in a shared equity arrangement. Most shared equity schemes will allow the home buyer to purchase greater equity from the other partner(s) over time. This means that ultimately, they may become full owners.
Due to the changing nature of these products interviewers are advised to contact their regional office or complete a field query if they are unsure about a respondent's participation in such schemes.
Include: Shared equity schemes that are government sponsored schemes or from other private organisations.
Q4In Life tenure schemes a person has a contract to live in the dwelling for the term of their life but without the full rights of ownership and usually with little or no equity in the dwelling. This is a common arrangement in retirement villages and can also be referred to as leasehold or loan and licence agreements.
Q5Include: If a respondent does not pay rent themselves but rent is paid by someone else (e.g. an employer, or relative outside the household).
Q6A secured loan/mortgage is a loan or mortgage where the lender has control over an asset as a guarantee of payment.
Word substitutions specifications for household tenure modules
Word substitutionSource itemsConditionsSubstitutionQuestions used in
[you/anyone in this household]Household type1- Lone person households and households with only one person aged 15 years or over.1=youQ1, Q2, Q3, Q6, Q8
2- All other households2=anyone in this household

Person/Income Unit level tenure (gathered from persons who are not primary tenure persons)

To be used for telephone/face to face interviewer methods where household tenure has already been collected. These question modules should be asked of one member of the household, the Household spokesperson, who answers on behalf of the household. This question needs to be asked prior to the below person level tenure being collected.

Incoming Population - Households that are not lone person, couple only or couple only with children aged under 15

Q1 Which person(s) in the household [is/are] the [primary tenure person(s)]?End of Module
Select name(s) from picklist of all persons aged 15 years and over in household.
Recommended instructions for determining primary tenure persons
Q1This question aims to identify all persons in the household where household and individual tenure are the same. Any persons who are not identified at this question will be asked about personal tenure arrangements.
Include: renters who are named on the lease, owners if occupying dwelling, participants in shared equity schemes, life tenants who buy into retirement homes, and people who are living rent free.
Word substitutions specifications for determining primary tenure persons
Word substitutionSource itemsConditionsSubstitutionQuestions used in
[primary tenure person(s)]Household level tenure1. Household level tenure Q1=1 and Q8=5 or 61. OwnerQ1
2. Household level tenure Q2=12. Renter
3. Household level tenure Q3=1 or Q8=13. Participant in shared equity scheme
4. Household level tenure Q4=14. Life tenant
5. Household level tenure Q5=15. Rent-free tenant

Incoming Population - Households where there are persons aged 15+ who are not Primary Tenure persons. All non-Primary tenure persons aged 15+ should be included in the loop.

Q1 I would now like to ask you about [your tenure/the tenure of other people in the household].
Tenure describes the conditions under which you or other people in this household occupy this dwelling.
<Start Loop>
[Do you/Does (the name of person)] pay board to live here?
1. Yes1. End of Module
5. No5. Go to Q2
Q2 [Do you/does (the name of person)] pay rent to live here?
1. Yes1. End of Module
5. No5. Go to Q3
Q3 [Do you/does (the name of person)] live here rent free?
1. Yes1. End of Module
5. No5. Go to Q4
Q4 What is [your / (name of person's)] current tenure?
Enter descriptionEnd of module
Allow text entry 100 characters
Recommended instructions for person/income unit level tenure
Q1Tenure describes the conditions under which you or other people in this household occupy this dwelling.
Board is paid in return for meals and lodging.
Q2Rent is a return or payment made periodically by a tenant to an owner or landlord in return for lodgement.
Q3Rent free is where no money is exchanged for lodgement but the person is not an owner of the dwelling.
If an occupant provides services in lieu of rent, their occupancy is still considered rent free.
Q4Record a description of the other tenure arrangement.
Word substitutions specifications for person/income unit level module
Word SubstitutionSource itemsConditionsSubstitutionQuestions used in
[your tenure/the tenure of people in the household]Primary Tenure Persons1. If referring to Household spokesperson where they are not a primary tenure person1- your tenureQ1
2. If referring to other Usual Residents where they are not a primary tenure person2- the tenure of people in the household
[Do you / Does (name of person)]Primary Tenure Persons1. If referring to Household spokesperson where they are not a primary tenure person1. Do youQ1, Q2, Q3
2. If referring to other Usual Residents where they are not a primary tenure person2. Does (name of person)
[your/(name of person's)]Primary Tenure Persons1. If referring to Household spokesperson where they are not a primary tenure person1. yourQ4
2. If referring to other Usual Residents where they are not a primary tenure person2. (name of person's)

Short question module

To be used for face to face interviewer methods (household level). These question modules should be asked of one member of the household, the Household spokesperson, who answers on behalf of the household.

Q1 Is this dwelling owned or partly owned by [you/ anyone in this household]?
1. Yes1. Go to Q3
5. No5. Go to Q2
Q2 (Is this dwelling) rented by [you/anyone in this household]?
1. Yes1. End of module
5. No5. Go to Q4
Q3 [Do you/does anyone in this household] currently have any mortgages or secured loans on this dwelling?
1. Yes1. Go to Q4
5. No5. Go to Q4
Q4 Is this dwelling being purchased under a shared equity scheme by [you/anyone in this household]?
1. YesEnd of module
5. No
6. Don't know

To be used for phone interviewer methods (household level). These question modules should be asked of one member of the household, the Household spokesperson, who answers on behalf of the household.

Q1 Is your dwelling owned or partly owned by [you/ or anyone in your household]?
1. Yes1. Go to Q3
5. No5. Go to Q2
Q2 (Is your dwelling) rented by [you/ or anyone in your household]?
1. Yes1. End of module
5. No5. Go to Q4
Q3 Do you / Does anyone in this household currently have any mortgages or secured loans on your dwelling?
1. Yes1. Go to Q4
5. No5. Go to Q4
Q4 (Is your dwelling) being purchased under a shared equity scheme by [you/ or anyone in your household]?
1. YesEnd of module
5. No
6. Don't know
Recommended instructions for short question modules
Q1Owned includes only cases where no money is owed on any type of loan secured against the dwelling. outside the household.
Partly owned includes households that have any type of loan secured against the dwelling, or households who own the dwelling in partnership with someone
Q2Include: All households that pay rent even in cases that rent is subsidised or partly refunded.
Q3A secured loan/mortgage is a loan or mortgage where the lender has control over an asset as a guarantee of payment.
Q4Shared equity is a formal arrangement where the household are purchasing less than 100% equity in the dwelling, they may or may not be paying rent for the remainder. The remaining proportion of equity in the dwelling would be paid for and owned by another party in a shared equity arrangement. Most shared equity schemes will allow the home buyer to purchase greater equity from the other partner(s) over time. This means that ultimately, they may become full owners.
Due to the changing nature of these products interviewers are advised to contact their regional office or complete a field query if they are unsure about a respondent's participation in such schemes.
Include: Shared equity schemes that are government sponsored schemes or from other private organisations.
Word substitutions specifications household level short question modules
Word substitutionSource itemsConditionsSubstitutionQuestions used in
[you/anyone in this household]Household type1- Lone person households and households with only one person aged 15 years or over.1=youQ1, Q2, Q3, Q6, Q8
2- All other households2=anyone in this household

Derivation procedures

Standard derivation table for tenure type (household level)

Q1 – Owned or partly owned
Q2 – Rented
Q3 – Being purchased under a shared equity scheme
Q4 – Occupied under a life tenure scheme
Q5 – Occupied rent free
Q6 – Does anyone in household currently have any mortgages or secured loans against this dwelling
Q9 – Being purchased under a shared equity scheme

1 = Y 5 = N

Input/Output codesTenure typeQ1Q2Q3Q4Q5Q6Q8
4Participant of shared equity scheme------Y
1Owner without a mortgageY----N-
2Owner with a mortgageY----Y-
3Life tenure scheme---Y---
4Participant of shared equity scheme--Y----
5Renter-Y-----
6Rent-free----Y--
7Other----N--

Standard derivation table for tenure type (person level)

For primary tenure persons: person level tenure = household level tenure (as specified above). Where person is not a primary tenure person see below
Person Tenure Q1 – Boarder
Person Tenure Q2 – Renter
Person Tenure Q3 – Rent Free

1 = Y 5 = N

Input/Output codesTenure typeQ1Q2Q3
5RenterNY-
6Rent-freeNNY
7BoarderY--
8OtherNNN

Short derivation table for tenure type (household level)

Q1 – Owned or partly owned
Q2 – Rented
Q3 – Does anyone in household currently have any mortgages or secured loans against this dwelling
Q4 – Being purchased under a shared equity scheme

1 = Y 5 = N

Input/Output codesTenure typeQ1Q2Q3Q4
1Owner without a mortgageY-NN
2Owner with a mortgageY-YN
3RenterNY--
4OtherNN--
4Other---Y

Supporting variables

Tenure Type is applicable only to people/income units/households in private dwellings therefore the dwelling type needs to be established. Household type is required to implement the [you/anyone in this household] word substitution.

Landlord type can be used in conjunction with tenure type to output a combined tenure and landlord type. Recommended standard output for this item is listed below.

Processing the data

Coding

​​​​​​​Input classification

Household unit level input categories:

1 Owner without a mortgage
2 Owner with a mortgage
3 Life tenure scheme
4 Participant of shared equity scheme
5 Renter
6 Rent-free
7 Other

Shortened household input categories:

1 Owner without a mortgage
2 Owner with a mortgage
3 Renter
4 Other (including rent-free, life tenure scheme, shared equity arrangement, other)

Person/income unit level input categories:

1 Owner without a mortgage
2 Owner with a mortgage
3 Life tenure scheme
4 Participant of shared equity scheme
5 Renter
6 Rent-free
7 Boarder
8 Other

Tenure type is 'Other' if the tenure does not fit any of the above categories. Further definitions can be found in the glossary.

Coding indexes

Tenure type is a single level classification therefore input classifications equal output classifications.

Presenting the data

Output categories

​​​​​​​Output classification

Household output categories:

1 Owner without a mortgage
2 Owner with a mortgage
3 Life tenure scheme
4 Participant of shared equity scheme
5 Renter
6 Rent-free
7 Other

Shortened household output categories:

1 Owner without a mortgage
2 Owner with a mortgage
3 Renter
4 Other (including rent-free, life tenure scheme, shared equity arrangement, other)

Person/income unit level output categories:

1 Owner without a mortgage
2 Owner with a mortgage
3 Life tenure scheme
4 Participant of shared equity scheme
5 Renter
6 Rent-free
7 Boarder
8 Other

Tenure type is Other if the tenure does not fit any of the above categories. Further definitions can be found in the glossary.

Coding indexes

Tenure type is a single level classification therefore input classifications equal output classifications.

Landlord type

Background

The Landlord Type variable describes aspects of the legal right an individual has to occupy a dwelling. Landlord type is an indicator of the relative security of tenure for people/income units/households.

It is applied to those persons/income units/households whose tenure type is not that of an owner or purchaser, or those persons whose household status is not that of a dependent child. The status and security of dependent children is an obligation of the parent or guardian.

The Landlord Type Classification is closely linked to the Tenure Type Classification. Any changes to either classification therefore cannot be undertaken in isolation. All possible ramifications concerning each classification must be investigated before adopting any change.

Introduction to the standard

Nominal definition

Landlord Type is the type of legal entity from which a person/income unit/household's right to occupy a dwelling derives. It relates to the entity with which the person/income unit/household obtains the contractual right to occupy dwelling space as a home.

There is, in most cases, a chain or hierarchy of tenant-landlord relationships between the occupants of the dwelling and ultimately to an external landlord. The landlord type for the counting unit therefore relies on the contractual relationship one or more members of the counting unit have with the most immediate external landlord.

A landlord is the person or organisation that allows a person/income unit/household to occupy a dwelling (usually by paying rent). These persons/income units/households can be further classified according to type of landlord. The landlord may be a relative or unrelated person, or can be a real estate agent, a state or territory housing authority, a community organisation, a trust or an employer.

Operational defintion

Landlord Type is the legal entity to which rent is paid or with whom the tenure contract or arrangement is made. It is measured by asking persons/income units/households who reside in private dwellings and whose Tenure Type is Renter, Rent Free or Boarder who they pay rent/board to or who provides the dwelling rent free.

The landlord type of the household can be collected by asking the question directly of the household or of a single reference person. In this method it is inferred that all people/income units in the household have the same landlord type unless person/income unit level tenure is collected.

Alternatively, if person level tenure and landlord type is collected of all units in the dwelling, then this can be used to infer the income unit landlord type if applicable. The inferred Landlord Type of the counting units 'income unit' are based on the landlord type of the reference person. This derives from the assumption that the reference person will have a direct relationship with a landlord outside the counting unit, with all other persons either sharing that tenure relationship or having a subordinate landlord.

For more information on Tenure Type refer to the Tenure Type standard variable.

The Landlord Type of persons in caravans, houseboats and manufactured homes will be determined by the landlord of the dwelling structure and not the land.

Discussion of issues

Collection and output classification can be at the person, income unit and household level. A range of unit levels may be required for understanding intra-household transfers and to inform on security of tenure where it differs for the individuals within the household, eg. respondents living within an owner occupier household who pay rent or board to the owner of the household to reside within the dwelling. The collection and output of person level tenure already exists in the Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) and the Survey of Disability Aging and Carers (SDAC).

Person level and income unit collection can use the same question modules. They are to be asked in addition to the Household level tenure questions and are to be asked of each person/income unit in the household that has indicated they do not share the primary tenure of the household.

This standard includes modules for face to face and telephone interviews.

Collection of variable data

Scope

Statistical units

The classification applies to all households/income units/persons in private dwellings whose tenure is renting, boarding or living rent free.

If person and/or income unit landlord type is not collected separately the inferred Landlord Type of the counting units, income unit or person is based on the landlord type household. This derives from the assumption that the household will have a direct relationship with a landlord outside the counting unit, with all other persons/income units either sharing that tenure relationship or having a subordinate landlord.

Question modules

Detailed question module

Household level question module

To be used for face to face interviewer methods. This question module should be asked of one member of the household, the Household spokesperson, who answers on behalf of the household. Options can be included on a prompt card.

Incoming population Tenure Type = Households who are renting (Tenure type Q2 =1) or rent free (Tenure Type Q5 =1).

Q1. [Who do [you/members of this household] pay rent to for this dwelling?/Who provides this dwelling to [you/members of this household] rent free?]
Show prompt card
1. Real estate agent1. End of module
2. State or Territory housing authority2. End of module
Person not in the same household
3. Parent / Other relative3. End of module
4. Other unrelated person4. End of module
Caravan Park
5. Owner of caravan park / Manager of a caravan park5. End of module
Employer
6. Defence Housing Authority6. End of module
7. Government7. End of module
8. Other Employer8. End of module
Other
9. Housing co-operative / Community / Church group9. End of module
10. Other (please specify)10. Go to Q2.
Q2. Enter 'other' person / agency rent paid to.End of module
Allow text entry of 40 characters

To be used for telephone interviewer methods. This question module should be asked of one member of the household, the Household spokesperson, who answers on behalf of the household.

Incoming population Tenure Type = Households who are renting or rent free.

Q1. [Who do [you/members of your household] pay rent to for your dwelling?/Who provides your dwelling to [you/members of this household] rent free?]
1. Real estate agent1. End of module
2. State or Territory housing authority2. End of module
Person not in the same household
3. Parent / Other relative3. End of module
4. Other unrelated person4. End of module
Caravan Park
5. Owner of caravan park / Manager of a caravan park5. End of module
Employer
6. Defence Housing Authority6. End of module
7. Government7. End of module
8. Other Employer8. End of module
Other
9. Housing co-operative / Community / Church group9. End of module
10. Other (please specify)10. Go to Q2.
Q2. Enter 'other' person / agency rent paid to.End of module
Allow text entry of 40 characters
Word substitutions specifications for household level modules
Word substitutionSource itemsConditionsSubstitutionQuestions used in
[Who do [you/members of this household] pay rent to for this dwelling?/Who provides this dwelling to [you/members of this household] rent free?]Tenure type of household1. Household level Tenure type Q2=11=Who do [you/members of this household] pay rent to for this dwelling?Q1
2. Household level Tenure type Q5=12=Who provides this dwelling to [you/members of this household] rent free?
[you/members of this household]Household type1- Lone person households and households with only one person aged 15 years or over.1- youQ1
2- All other households2- members of this household

Person and income unit level question module.

To be used for telephone/face to face interviewer methods. This question module should be asked of one member of the household, the Household spokesperson, who answers on behalf of the household.
Options can be included on a prompt card.

Incoming population - Person/Income Level Tenure Type = People/Income units who do not share the primary tenure of the household and whose person level tenure is renting (Person level tenure Q2=1), rent free (Person level tenure Q3=1) or boarding (Person level tenure Q1=1) (see tenure type standard for further details on establishing this population).

Q1. [Who do/does [you/(name of person)] pay [rent/board] to?/Who provides your dwelling to [you/(name of person)] rent free?]
Show prompt card (if applicable)
1. Real estate agent1. End of module
2. State or Territory housing authority2. End of module
Person living in the same household
3. Parent / Other relative3. End of module
4. Other unrelated person4. End of module
Person not in the same household
5. Parent / Other relative5. End of module
6. Other unrelated person6. End of module
Caravan Park
7. Owner of caravan park / Manager of a caravan park7. End of module
Employer
8. Defence Housing Authority8. End of module
9. Government9. End of module
10. Other Employer10. End of module
Other
11. Housing co-operative / Community / Church group11. End of module
12. Other (please specify)12. Go to Q2.
Q2. Enter 'other' person / agency rent paid to.End of module
Allow text entry of 40 characters
Word substitutions specifications for person level module
Word substitutionSource itemsConditionsSubstitutionQuestions used in
[Who do/does [you/(name of person)] pay [rent/board] to?/Who provides your dwelling to [you/(name of person)] rent free?]Person level Tenure type1. If Person level tenure Q1 = 1 or Q2=11. Who do/does [you/(name of person)] pay [rent/board] to?Q1
2. If Person level tenure Q3 = 12. Who provides your dwelling to [you/(name of person)] rent free?
[you(name of person)]Primary Tenure Persons1. If referring to Household spokesperson where they are not a primary tenure person1. youQ1
2. If referring to other Usual Residents where they are not a primary tenure person2. (name of person)
[rent / board]Person level Tenure type1. If Person level tenure Q1 = 11 boardQ1
2. If Person level tenure Q2 = 12 rent

Derivation procedures

Standard derivation table for landlord type (household level)
Input/Output codesInput codes and data item labels
11. Real estate agent
22. State or Territory housing authority
33. Person not in the same household, Parent/Other relative
44. Person not in the same household, Other person
55. Owner/Manager of caravan park
66. Employer, Defence Housing Authority
77. Employer, Government
88. Employer, Other employer
99. Other, Housing co-operative/Community/Church group
1010. Other
Standard derivation table for landlord type (person and income level)
Input/Output codesInput codes and data item labels
11. Real estate agent
22. State or Territory housing authority
33. Person in the same household, Parent/Other relative
44. Person in the same household, Other person
55. Person not in the same household, Parent/Other relative
66. Person not in the same household, Other person
77. Owner/Manager of caravan park
88. Employer, Defence Housing Authority
99. Employer, Government
1010. Employer, Other employer
1111. Other, Housing co-operative/Community/Church group
1212. Other

Supporting variables

The main supporting variable needed for Landlord Type is Tenure Type. The tenure type variable is used for sequencing respondents to the landlord type question. Household type is also required to implement the [you/members of this household] and [you(name of person)] word substitutions.

Landlord type can be used in conjunction with tenure type to output a combined tenure and landlord type. Recommended standard output for this item is listed below.

Tenure and landlord type

1 Owner without a mortgage
2 Owner with a mortgage
3 Renter - State/territory housing authority
4 Renter - Private landlord
5 Renter - Other Landlord
6 Other tenure type

Processing the data

Coding

Input classification

Household unit level classification:

1 Real estate agent
2 State or Territory housing authority
3 Person not in the same household - Parent/Other relative
4 Person not in the same household - Other person
5 Owner/Manager of caravan park
6 Employer - Defence Housing Authority
7 Employer - Government
8 Employer - Other employer
9 Housing co-operative/Community/Church group
10 Other (Specify)

Person and income unit level classification:

1 Real estate agent
2 State or Territory housing authority
3 Person in the same household - Parent/Other relative
4 Person in the same household - Other person
5 Person not in the same household - Parent/Other relative
6 Person not in the same household - Other person
7 Owner/Manager of caravan park
8 Employer - Defence Housing Authority
9 Employer - Government
10 Employer - Other employer
11 Housing co-operative/Community/Church group
12 Other (Specify)

Coding indexes

Landlord type is a single level classification therefore input classifications equal output classifications. However categories can be collapsed for output if required.

Coding procedures

Response categories for this question are listed in hierarchical order. If within a household or Income unit there is more than one landlord type situation, choose the lowest code in the classification (i.e. the highest category in the classification structure). For example, for household tenure, in a group house, if one person pays rent to another member of the household who then pays it to a third party outside the household (e.g. real estate agent), record the appropriate category for the third party: Code 1 Real Estate Agent.

Presenting the data

Output categories

Output classification

Household unit level classification:

1 Real estate agent
2 State or Territory housing authority
3 Person not in the same household - Parent/Other relative
4 Person not in the same household - Other person
5 Owner/Manager of caravan park
6 Employer - Defence Housing Authority
7 Employer - Government
8 Employer - Other employer
9 Housing co-operative/Community/Church group
10 Other (Specify)

Person and income unit level classification:

1 Real estate agent
2 State or Territory housing authority
3 Person in the same household - Parent/Other relative
4 Person in the same household - Other person
5 Person not in the same household - Parent/Other relative
6 Person not in the same household - Other person
7 Owner/Manager of caravan park
8 Employer - Defence Housing Authority
9 Employer - Government
10 Employer - Other employer
11 Housing co-operative/Community/Church group
12 Other (Specify)

Dwelling structure

Background

Dwelling structure is the variable that provides a standard classification of the different types of private dwelling structures, such as houses, flats, townhouses, etc.

This standard has been designed to be comparable with the Functional Classification of Buildings (BLD) used in the ABS Building Approvals and the Building Activity Survey collections.

Introduction to the standard

Nominal definition

Dwelling Structure is the variable which classifies private dwellings according to the structure of the building that contains the dwelling.

A 'building' is defined as a rigid, fixed and permanent structure which has a roof. Its intended purpose is primarily to house people, plant, machinery, vehicles, goods or livestock. An integral feature of a building’s design is the provision for regular access by persons in order to satisfy its intended use.

A 'dwelling' is a suite of rooms contained within a building or structure in which people can live. A ' private dwelling' is defined as a suite of rooms contained within a building which are self-contained and intended for long-term residential use. To be self-contained the suite of rooms must possess cooking and bathing facilities as building fixtures.

The dwelling structure classification refers only to private dwellings. Accommodation provided in other premises, eg. hotels/motels, boarding schools, nursing homes, hostels etc. is excluded, unless the dwelling is self-contained and intended for long term residential use.

Operational definition

A dwelling is identified in household surveys if it is included in the 'private dwelling' sample. It is any dwelling which satisfies the nominal definition of a dwelling and private dwelling. Excluded are Non-private dwellings, which include hostels for the homeless, night shelters and refuges; hotels and motels; hospitals and homes; religious and educational institutions; prisons and reformatories; boarding houses and others: guest houses, private hotels, hostels, staff quarters, large construction camps.

Once a private dwelling is identified, the Dwelling Structure is then measured by establishing the type of building that contains the dwelling structure.

'Other Dwellings' are also included in the Dwelling structure standard. Other dwellings include caravans, cabins, houseboats, tents, improvised homes and campers out and houses or flats attached to shop/s or office/s etc. The 'Other Dwellings' category captures the accommodation arrangements for households that may not fit the definition of dwelling as defined in the nominal definition. Other Dwellings may be located within a predominately non-residential building or not be intended for long term residential use and in some cases not be self-contained.

The criteria used to classify Dwelling Structure are:

  • Whether the building is attached to another building or dwelling;
  • For those dwellings which are attached to another building or dwelling, the nature of the attachment;
     
  • The number of storeys comprising the building which contains the dwelling;
     
  • Whether the dwelling is permanent or mobile; and
  • Whether the dwelling is intended for long term residential use.
     

Discussion of issues

For surveys which have limited time allocations and do not output detailed breakdowns of dwelling structure, a shortened question module has been included.

This standard includes question modules for face to face interviews. Self enumeration, e-form and telephone modules will be included in the future.

Collection of variable data

Scope

Statistical units

The classification covers all private dwellings including 'other dwellings' that are occupied.

Question modules

Detailed question module

For use in face to face Interview based collections. Interviewer to code dwelling structure based upon their observations of the dwelling prior to commencing interview:

Q1 - Code best description of structure containing household
Separate house
1. Separate house1. End of Module
Semi-detached, row or terrace house, townhouse
2. one storey2. End of Module
3. two or more storeys3. End of Module
Flat or apartment
4. in a 1 or 2 storey block4. End of Module
5. in a 3 storey block5. End of Module
6. in a 4 or more storey block6. End of Module
7. attached to a house7. End of Module
Other Dwelling
8. Caravan, Cabin, Houseboat8. End of Module
9. Improvised home, Tent, Sleepers out9. End of Module
10. House or flat attached to a shop, office, etc.10. End of Module

The Other dwelling category 'Caravan, Cabin, Houseboat' can be collected in greater detail and where possible, caravans should be collected separately from Cabin and Houseboats. This can be done either through collecting them separately initially or by asking an additional question. Most sample surveys will not be able to support output for further breakdowns of 'Caravan, Cabin, Houseboat' and as such, these surveys should use the standard breakdowns shown above.

Short question module

For collections which have limited time allocations and do not output detailed breakdowns of dwelling structure, the shortened question module can be used.

For use in face to face Interview based collections. Interviewer to code dwelling structure based upon their observations of the dwelling prior to commencing interview:

Q1 - Code best description of structure containing household
1. Separate house1. End of Module
2. Semi-detached, row or terrace house, townhouse2. End of Module
3. Flat or apartment3. End of Module
4. Other (Specify)4. End of Module
(Allow text entry 100 characters)

Derivation procedures

Standard derivation table for dwelling structure
Description of structure containing household
Input codesOutput codes and data item labels
111. Separate house
221. Semi-detached, row or terrace house, townhouse etc. with one storey
322. Semi-detached, row or terrace house, townhouse etc. with two or more storeys
431. Flat or apartment in a 1 or 2 storey block
532. Flat or apartment in a 3 storey block
633. Flat or apartment in a 4 or more storey block
734. Flat or apartment attached to a house
891. Other dwelling: Caravan, cabin, houseboat
993. Other dwelling: Improvised home, tent, sleepers out
1094. Other dwelling: House or flat attached to a shop, office, etc.
Short derivation table for dwelling structure
Description of structure containing household
Input codesOutput codes and data item labels
11. Separate house
22. Semi-detached, row or terrace house, townhouse
33. Flat or apartment
49. Other dwelling

Supporting variables

A supporting variable to dwelling structure is dwelling location. Dwelling Location applies to private dwellings, and describes the location of dwellings other than 'typical' private dwellings. It is used to identify whether dwellings of a specific structure, such as caravans, are located in communal locations, such as in a caravan park.

Dwelling location is collected as a separate item by both the Census and the Survey of Income and Housing (SIH). The SIH asks the following question for dwelling location.

Code best description of location of selected dwelling.
1. Caravan park
2. Marina
3. Manufactured home estate
4. Accommodation for the retired or aged (self-care)
5. Other (including residential dwelling blocks, farms, etc.)

Processing the data

Coding

Input classification

The standard input classification comprises the following input classification categories.
1 Separate house
2 Semi-detached, row or terrace house, townhouse etc. with one storey
3 Semi-detached, row or terrace house, townhouse etc. with two or more storeys
4 Flat or apartment in a 1 or 2 storey block
5 Flat or apartment in a 3 storey block
6 Flat or apartment in a 4 or more storey block
7 Flat or apartment attached to a house
8 Other dwelling: Caravan, Cabin, Houseboat
9 Other dwelling: Improvised home, Tent, Sleepers out
10 Other dwelling: House or flat attached to a shop, office, etc.

Short classification

1 Separate house
2 Semi-detached, row or terrace house, townhouse
3 Flat or apartment
4 Other dwelling

Presenting the data

Output categories

Output classification

The Dwelling Structure output classification is a 2 level classification with 4 categories at level one and 10 at level two.

The short dwelling structure classification has a flat structure with 4 categories.

The standard comprises the following output classification categories:

Input codesClassification levelOutput codes and data item labels
111. Separate house
1211. Separate house
2 and 312. Semi-detached, row or terrace house, townhouse etc. with:
2221. Semi-detached, row or terrace house, townhouse etc. with one storey
3222. Semi-detached, row or terrace house, townhouse etc. with two or more storeys
4, 5, 6 and 713. Flat or apartment
4231. Flat or apartment in a 1 or 2 storey block
5232. Flat or apartment in a 3 storey block
6233. Flat or apartment in a 4 or more storey block
7234. Flat or apartment attached to a house
8, 9 and 1019. Other dwelling
8291. Other dwelling: Caravan, cabin, houseboat
9293. Other dwelling: Improvised home, tent, sleepers out
10294. Other dwelling: House or flat attached to a shop, office, etc.
Short classification
Input codesOutput codes and data item labels
11. Separate house
22. Semi-detached, row or terrace house, townhouse
33. Flat or apartment
49. Other dwelling

References

Australian Bureau of Statistics, Functional Classification of Buildings (BLD), Canberra.

Number of bedrooms

Background

The Number of Bedrooms variable provides a count of the number of bedrooms in each occupied private dwelling, including caravans in caravan parks.

The Number of Bedrooms variable is also used to derive indicators of crowding (i.e. by considering the number of bedrooms in the household in combination with the number of people in the household and the demographic details of these people) and dwelling size.

Introduction to the standard

Nominal definition

Number of Bedrooms is the number of rooms within a dwelling that are defined as bedrooms on the dwelling plans or approval documents (i.e. they relate to the intent at the time of construction, not necessarily current use).

A dwelling is defined (according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics) as:

A suite of rooms within a building which is self-contained and intended for long-term residential use. To be self-contained, the suite of rooms must possess cooking and bathing facilities as part of the building.

A room is deemed to be an enclosed space within a dwelling which is separated from other rooms.

Number of Bedrooms is an attribute of the counting unit Dwelling.

Operational definition

Number of Bedrooms is the number of rooms within a dwelling that are defined as bedrooms on the dwelling plans. This includes bedrooms which have been created or removed as a result of alterations and additions to the dwelling (such as built in verandas, extensions, sunrooms, cabins, etc.) which the occupants of a dwelling consider to be bedrooms. Other rooms on the plans such as lounge, family or dining rooms which are used as bedrooms should be excluded.

Because of methodological constraints, what constitutes a bedroom is left to the perception of the occupants in household-based collections.

Discussion of issues

A studio apartment/bedsitter is considered to have no bedrooms, as there is no separate room in which to sleep and is classified as 0 bedrooms.

This item is to be collected and output as a continuous item.

Collection of variable data

Scope

Statistical units

The Number of Bedrooms Classification is applicable to all private dwellings in Australia.

Question modules

Detailed question module

These question modules should be asked of one member of the household, the Household spokesperson, who answers on behalf of the household.

1. For telephone and face to face interview surveys:
Q1. How many bedrooms are there in this (specify dwelling type)?
Enter number of bedrooms.
Interviewer: If studio apartment/bedsitter, code '0'.
0..99
2. For self-enumerated surveys:

Processing the data

Coding

​​​​​​​Input classification

Continuous - (0 to 99).

The input classification for Number of Bedrooms is a flat classification and has the code structure range or 0 to 99 where None (including studio apartments/bedsitters) equals 0.

Presenting the data

Output categories

Output classifications

Number of bedrooms is collected as a continuous item (0 to 99). However the categories used in final output should be determined based on the specifications for the collection, required level of detail, data quality, standard errors and confidentiality. Below is an example of a common acceptable output.

0 None (includes studio apartments/bedsitters)
1 1
2 2
3 3
4 4
5 5
6 6 or more

Not stated
Not applicable

Glossary

Show all

Bedroom

A bedroom is a room within a dwelling that is defined as a bedroom on the dwelling plans. This includes bedrooms which have been created as a result of alterations and additions to the dwelling (such as built in verandas, extensions, sunrooms, cabins, etc.) which the occupants of a dwelling consider to be bedrooms. Other rooms on the plans such as lounge, family or dining rooms which are used as bedrooms should be excluded.

Boarder

A boarder is a person aged 15 years or over or an income unit that is provided with meals and lodging in return for payment. Boarders are considered household members (due to the interaction with others at mealtimes) but may or may not be related to any other household members.

Building

A building is a rigid, fixed and permanent structure which has a roof. Its intended purpose is primarily to house people, plant, machinery, vehicles, goods or livestock. An integral feature of a building’s design is the provision for regular access by persons in order to satisfy its intended use.

Dwelling

A suite of rooms contained within a building or structure in which people can live.

Employer

  • Defence Housing Authority
    Where rent is paid to or the tenure contract/arrangements is made with the Defence Housing Authority.
     
  • Government
    Where rent is paid to or the tenure contract/arrangements is made with a government employer.
     
  • Other employer
    Where rent is paid to or the tenure contract/arrangements is made with an employer who is not the Defence Housing Authority or another government organisation.
     

Flat or apartment

This category covers all dwellings in blocks of flats or apartments. These dwellings do not have their own private grounds and usually share a common entrance foyer or stairwell. This category includes houses converted into flats, and flats attached to houses such as granny flats.

Household

A person living alone or a group of related or unrelated people who usually live in the same private dwelling.

Income unit

An income unit is a single person or group of related persons within a household, whose command over income is assumed to be shared. Income sharing is assumed to take place within married (registered or de facto) couples, and between parents and dependent children.

Landlord type

Landlord Type is the type of legal entity from which a persons/income units/household's right to occupy a dwelling derives. It relates to the entity with which the person obtains the contractual right to occupy dwelling space as a home.

Landlord type - housing co-operative/community/church group

Where rent is paid to or the tenure contract/arrangements is made with a community or co-operative group (e.g. community housing groups, church owned housing, etc.). This includes payments to retirement villages that are owned or administered by community or co-operative groups.

Landlord type - other (specify) category - household, person and income unit level classification

All other arrangements not included in other input classification categories. Including student housing provided by the institutions they are attending.

Life tenure scheme

Persons/income units/households have a lease arrangement in which the tenant/s has/have the right to occupy the dwelling for an indefinite or unspecified period but without the full rights of ownership and usually with limited or no equity in the dwelling. This is a common arrangement in retirement villages and can also be referred to as leasehold or loan and licence agreements.

Non-private dwelling

Dwellings or establishments that provide a communal or transitory type of accommodation or care, such as hotels, hostels and nursing homes, prisons, religious and charitable institutions, boarding schools, defence establishments, hospitals and other communal dwellings.

Other dwellings

  • Cabin
    An occupied private dwelling that is self-contained but not intended for long term residential use (although it could be currently used on a permanent or semi-permanent basis).

    Includes: Occupied cabins located in tourist/residential parks or set up as temporary housing
    Excludes: Separate dwellings that are permanent and intended for long term residential use, even if the resident/owner views them as a cabin like dwelling due to their size, structure, materials or current use.
     
  • Caravan
    An occupied mobile dwelling (intended for use on land) that may or may not be self-contained but not intended for long term residential use (although it could be currently used on a permanent or semi-permanent basis).
     
  • Houseboat
    An occupied mobile dwelling (intended for use on water). It is not typically intended for long term use (although it could be currently used on a permanent or semi-permanent basis).
     
  • House or flat attached to a shop, office, etc.
    All houses or flats that are attached to a non-residential building. Examples of these dwellings are manses attached to a church, a flat or apartment over a shop, and a caretaker's house or flat attached to a school, factory or storage facility where the primary purpose of the main building is for non-residential use.
     
  • Improvised home, tent, sleepers out
    All structures not elsewhere classified that are occupied by people on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. This category typically includes garages, sheds, tents, shacks, etc.
     

Owned or partly owned

Owned includes only cases where no money is owed on any type of loan secured against the dwelling. Partly owned includes all households that currently have any type of mortgage or loan secured against the dwelling and households who own the dwelling in partnership with someone outside the household.

Include:

  • Households with loans or mortgages (for any purpose) which are secured against the dwelling
  • Households with reverse mortgages or bridging loans secured against the dwelling.
     

Owner/manager of caravan park

Where rent is paid to or the tenure contract/arrangements is made with the Owner or Manager of a caravan park.

Owner with a mortgage

Persons/income units/households who own the property in which they usually reside and have any outstanding mortgages or loans secured against the dwelling.

Include:

  • Households with dwellings which are jointly owned with someone who is not a member of the household
  • All households that currently have any type of mortgage or loan secured against the dwelling that was partially or wholly used to purchase the land or dwelling, or to build the dwelling
  • Those cases where the loan is in the form of bridging finance, until such time as a loan or mortgage can be obtained or outright purchase is made.
     

Owner without a mortgage

    Persons/income units/households who own the property in which they usually reside and have no outstanding mortgage or loan secured against the dwelling.

    Participant of a shared equity scheme

    Persons/income units/households in the household who have a formal arrangement to purchase less than 100% equity in the dwelling, they may or may not be paying rent for the remainder. The remaining proportion of equity in the dwelling would be paid for and owned by another party in a shared equity arrangement. Most shared equity schemes will allow the participant to purchase greater equity from the other partner(s) over time. This means that ultimately, they may become full owners.

    Person in the same household

    • Parent/Other relative
      Where rent is paid to or the tenure contract/arrangement is made with a parent or relative who lives within the same household.
       
    • Other person
      Where rent is paid to or the tenure contract/arrangement is made with an unrelated individual who lives within the same household.
       

    Person not in the same household

    • Parent/Other relative
      Where rent is paid to or the tenure contract/arrangement is made with a parent or relative who does not live within the same household.
       
    • Other person
      Where rent is paid to or the tenure contract/arrangement is made with an unrelated individual who does not live within the same household. This includes payments to retirement villages if they are not administered by community or co-operative groups.
       

    Primary tenure person

    Primary tenure persons are persons within the household who hold the tenure of the dwelling. These people (primary tenure persons) have the legal relationship with the landlord (in the case of renters) or loan provider (in the case of owners with a mortgage), and bear the obligation to make any contracted payments.

    Private dwelling

    A self-contained dwelling intended for long-term residential use. To be self-contained the suite of rooms must possess cooking and bathing facilities as building fixtures. Private Dwellings can include houses, flats (including flats with communal laundries), semi-detached terrace houses, townhouses, apartments and self-contained retirement village units. To allow for full coverage of all households, private dwellings also includes 'Other dwellings'. Other dwellings can include dwellings attached to non-residential buildings and occupied caravans, cabins, houseboats, improvised dwellings and tents. Please note that 'other dwellings' are included even though the dwelling may not be intended for long term residential use or be self-contained.

    Private landlords

    Where rent is paid to or the tenure contract/arrangement is made with a real estate agent, another person not in the same household, or for person level landlord type, another person in the same household.

    Renter

    A renter is a person/income unit/household who pays rent to reside in the dwelling, even if this rent is subsidised or partly refunded.

    Rent-free

    Tenure type is Rent-free if no money is exchanged for lodgement but the person/income unit/household is not an owner of the dwelling.

    Room

    A room is defined as an enclosed space within a dwelling which is separated from other rooms.

    Secured loan/mortgage

    A secured loan/mortgage is a loan or mortgage where the lender has control over an asset (in this case the dwelling) as a guarantee of payment.

    Semi-detached, row or terrace house, townhouse etc:

    Dwellings with their own private grounds and no dwellings above or below. A key feature of these dwellings is that they are either attached in some structural way to one or more dwellings or are separate from neighbouring dwellings by less than half a metre. Examples include semi-detached, row or terrace houses, townhouses, and villa units. Multi-storey townhouses are separately identified from those which are single storey.

    Separate house

    A house separated from other dwellings by space to allow access on all sides (at least half a metre). This category also includes houses which have an attached flat (eg. a granny flat). The attached flat will be included in the 'Flat or apartment' category.

    State or Territory housing authority

    Where rent is paid to or the tenure contract/arrangements is made with a state or territory housing authority or trust.

    Storey

    A storey is a level on which people live or cars are garaged. The number of storeys includes the ground floor and those floors that are directly on top of each other (split levels are not separate storeys). Basement garages with a portion above ground level and capable of holding four or more cars are counted as a storey. Buildings with lifts are almost always four or more storeys.

    Tenure type

    Tenure Type is the nature of a person/income unit or household's legal right to occupy the dwelling in which they usually reside.

    Previous catalogue number

    This release previously used catalogue number 1200.0.55.011.