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Housing tenure refers to the financial arrangements under which someone has the right to live in a house or apartment. The most frequent forms are tenancy, in which rent is paid by the occupant to a landlord, and owner-occupancy, where the occupants own his or her own home. Mixed forms of tenure are also possible.
The basic forms of tenure can be subdivided, for example an owner-occupier may own a house outright, or it may be mortgaged. In the case of tenancy, the landlord may be a private individual, a non-profit organization such as a housing association, or a government body, as in public housing.
Surveys used in social science research frequently include questions about housing tenure, because it is a useful proxy for income or wealth, and people are less reluctant to give information about it.
The Department for Communities and Local Government is responsible for developing government housing policy in England. The English Housing Survey classifies all dwellings into one of four housing tenure classifications: