Marginal rental housing—what is it, and how should it be managed?

Rental housing Low income housing Poverty Housing Australia
Attachment Size
apo-nid41004.pdf 382.86 KB

Increased demand from students, retirees and families excluded from private rental have put new pressures on marginal rental accommodation. However residents—especially those with high needs—remain vulnerable in this tenure and often experience poor management, lack of safety and low quality or expensive housing. Better regulation and governance of the sector, licensing of operators and effective outreach programs to relocate the most vulnerable to more secure accommodation are required to address these problems.

The major forms of marginal rental housing vary in quality, security and availability of services and can be categorised into a typology useful for policy-makers. 


•    Marginal rental housing is most usefully conceptualised as highly managed or controlled housing, with fewer occupancy rights for tenants than in other forms of private rental and social housing, and some degree of shared facilities and spaces.

•    This research develops a typology for the varying forms of multi-occupancy and shared facility housing where there is greater management control over conditions and daily life than with private rental or owner occupied housing.

•    The main categories of this typology include: renting a room in a rooming or boarding house or in a hotel or motel, renting a caravan or caravan site for an owned van, and renting a site for an owned dwelling such as a manufactured home.

•    The shortage of affordable private rental properties and social housing in areas of high demand in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, increases demand for the types of housing included in the typology.

•    In the context of legislative and regulatory reform, models of shared facility housing are emerging which provide guidance on how the rights and responsibilities of occupants could be protected, and how good governance and management might be supported to improve the standard and quality of accommodation.

Publication Details