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Housing Terms Used in St Lucia Real Estate

Dwelling Unit: A dwelling unit is any building or separate and independent part of a building in which a person or group of persons is living at the time of the census enumeration. It must have direct access from the street or common landing, staircase, passage or gallery whereoccupants can enter or leave without passing through anybody else’s living quarters. A dwelling unit is one in which a household resides. This may be a single house, flat, apartment, out room, part of a commercial building or a boarding house catering for less than six persons.

Closed Dwelling unit: A closed dwelling unit is a dwelling unit, which is occupied, but during the enumeration period, the occupants are temporarily away, that is away for less than six (6) months.

Vacant Dwelling Unit: If a dwelling unit is habitable but no one is living there at the time of your enumeration it is to be considered vacant, a habitable dwelling unit whose residents are away for more than six months is also to be considered vacant. A dwelling unit number cannot be assigned to a vacant dwelling unit on the Census Visitation record.

Household: A household consists of one or more persons living together (i.e. sleeping most nights of a week 4 out of 7) and sharing at least one daily meal. It is important to note that a member of a household need not be a relative of the main family. For example, a boarder or a domestic servant who sleeps in most nights of the week is a member of the household. It is possible for a household to consist of just one person, or of more than one family, as long as they share living arrangements. A group of unrelated persons living together can also comprise a household.

Usual resident: This is a person who has lived continuously for most of the last 12 months (that is, for at least six months and one day), not including temporary absences for holidays or work assignments, or intends to live for at least six months within the dwelling unit where she/he is found.

Types of Housing Form

Separate house/detached: This is a single dwelling unit that takes up the complete building and which may be inhabited by one or more households. (NOTE that even though there may be more than one household occupying the dwelling there is absolutely no physical division or separation of the dwelling unit in terms of entrance or exits).

Part of a private house/ Attached: This occurs when a household occupies only a part of a private house in what may be described as a physical subdivision or separation, even if entrance and exit is shared or not shared.

Flat/apartment/condominium: These are self-contained private dwellings in a single or multi-storied building. Each such dwelling must have separate access to the street, either through direct access or a communal staircase, passage, veranda or corridor, etc. The rooms in this type of dwelling are usually side-by-side on the same floor.

  • Townhouse: This type of dwelling is similar to a flat, apartment or condominium except that the rooms are usually on two floors – living quarters on the ground floor and bedrooms above. This is a self- contained unit (usually in blocks of units) with separate legal title to ownership. Sometimes common facilities such as security and grounds may be shared.
  • Duplex / double house: This is a dwelling that is joined to only one other dwelling – separated by a wall extending from ground to roof. There must be no other dwellings either above or below and the double house or duplex must be separated from all other structures by open space.
  • Combined business and dwelling: In this type of dwelling, the household occupies part of the building for living purposes. The other portion(s) of the building is used for business such as groceries, garages, etc.
  • Barracks: This is a room or division of a long building containing several independent private dwellings with or without shared facilities.
  • Out-room: This is a room separate from the main building and occupied by a separatehousehold e.g. domestic employees’ quarters.
  • Group dwelling: This is a residence where several individuals or families live, such as school where the students live in residence.
  • Improvised Housing Unit (Earth/Leaves /Branched etc): An improvised housing unit is an independent, makeshift shelter or structure, built of waste materials and without a predetermined plan for the purpose of habitation by one household, which is being used as living quarters at the time of the census.

    Legal concepts of occupancy of housing:

    • Owned Fully: The category applies when the head or any other member of thehousehold owns the dwelling outright and has no recurring financial obligations to a

      bank on the dwelling.

    • Owned With Mortgage: The category applies when the head or any other memberof the household own the dwelling unit through a mortgage contracted with a

      financial institution.

    • Rented – private (paying): This applies when a member of the household rents thedwelling from an individual or a private company. The rental arrangement may or may not be covered by formal contract and while the payment period is usually monthly, there may be other payment periods including weekly, fortnightly, quarterlyetc…, for occupancy of the dwelling unit.
    • Rented – Government (paying): This applies when a member of the household rents the dwelling from the Government or a Government Agency, example CDC Buildings
    • Rent-free: No member of the household pays rent for the occupancy of the dwelling. This situation may apply to households occupying dwellings rent free, which are owned by relatives or even friends who are not members of the household. Other rent-free arrangements include government and private employees who occupy dwellings owned by their employers and pay no rent.
  • Leased: A lease differs from a rental since it occurs by agreed contract that stipulates, in advance, the total rental sum for a fixed duration. This total sum may be paid in advance or by installments.
  • Squatted: This applies when the household is found occupying a dwelling unit without the permission of the owner or without any legal rights to the property.

    Land Tenure Categories:

  • Owned/Freehold: In this type of tenure, the land is owned by a member of thehousehold.
  • Leasehold: The land is usually owned by the Government or some other authority orindividual and is leased to a member of the household for a long period of time – e.g.

    20 years, 99 years.

  • Rented: Here the land is owned by another person or group of persons not of thehousehold and an annual or monthly rental is paid to the owner.
  • Rented-Free: This category applies when the head of the household or any other household member owns the house and does not own the land and pays no rent for it.
  • Permission to Work Land: The owner gives permission for the land to be used for aspecific reason (usually agricultural). The land holder receives no payment in the

    form of rent, royalty, fees or even a proportion of the yield, for occupancy of the land.

  • Share Cropping: The land is not owned by the household but is used for agricultural purposes. The owner receives part of the produce and or a percentage of the moneyfrom the sale of the produce as rent.
  • Squatted: The land is used by the household without permission of the owner or anylegal rights to the property.

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