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The experience of marginal rental housing in Australia

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 18:51 authored by Goodman, R, Nelson, A, Dalton, T, Cigdem, M, Gabriel, MB, Keith JacobsKeith Jacobs

This is the Final Report of a research project on contemporary marginal rental housing in Australia. The study aimed to: understand the defining characteristics of marginal rental housing and create a marginal rental housing typology; understand the experiences of residents, service providers and managers; and draw out the findings and implications for policy-makers.

An earlier Positioning Paper (Goodman et al. 2012) reviewed the recent literature and research on marginal rental housing and marginal renters in Australia and internationally. This Final Report presents the findings of qualitative research undertaken through focus groups and interviews with marginal renters in case study sites and associated housing, health, legal and advocacy service providers, operators and government staff which informed the resulting typology and our policy recommendations.

The major forms of marginal rental housing covered by current legislation and regulation are:

  • Renting a room in a rooming or boarding house (with or without meals, as a boarder, lodger or occupant).
  • Renting a room in a hotel or motel (as a permanent or semi-permanent resident).
  • Renting a caravan or manufactured home in a caravan/residential park where the dwelling is rented.
  • Renting a site within a caravan/residential park on which to locate an owned caravan or manufactured home.

As most state and territory legislation and regulation in Australia applies to properties with three or more renters who are unrelated and renting from the landlord individually, private sub-rental arrangements between landlords and fewer than three boarders, joint or shared housing, homestays and houseboat occupants were generally not addressed by this study.


Publication title

AHURI Final Report Series








School of Social Sciences


Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute

Place of publication

Melbourne, Australia

Rights statement

Copyright 2013 AHURI

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Other law, politics and community services not elsewhere classified

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