Tenant characteristics



References & Sources


Young (20 s - 30 s)


Gilbert, 1991; Ward, 1998; Clarke,2006; Blanco et al., 2014; Wardet al., 2015; Gilbert & Varley, 2002; Jiménez & Camargo, 2015

Household type

Couples or singles

Couples with children or singles (generally related to owners)

Lewis, 1966; Hanson, 1975; Gilbert, 1991; Kowarick, 1994;

Avilés et al., 2015; Ward et al., 2015; Donoso-Gómez, 2018; Howard, 2019; Stiphany, 2019; Gilbert & Varley, 2002

Average tenure

1 - 3 years

Sharers are often siblings (on or off site) have varying aspirations to inherit, acquire their own home, become renters when they marry/set up home, etc.

Often unwilling to move to periphery and self-build (as parents did).

Gilbert, 1991; Ward et al., 2015; Gilbert & Varley, 2002; Jiménez & Camargo, 2015;

Blanco et al., 2014

Income level

Formal renters: moderate

Informal renters: low

Worse off economically than “owners”/consolidators.

Informal renters often have poor employment prospects, informal economy, low wages. Those with secure incomes and better off will rent small apartments with contracts (formal sector), etc.

Varies; but much better educated than parents.

Poor long-term prospects of socio-economic mobility.

Gilbert & Varley, 2002;

Edwards, 1982;

Blanco et al., 2014

Legal protection

Relatively low, many without contracts


Eyre, 1972; Hanson, 1975; Gilbert & Varley, 2002;

Blanco et al., 2014

How they hear about units

Word of mouth or external advertising (“se renta”)

Very barrio related (lived there all their lives); especially daughters

Gilbert & Varley, 2002; Jiménez & Camargo, 2015; Ward et al., 2015

Maintenance of units?

Rarely engage in self building or serious in-house improvements

Non-rent paying but shared contributions for lot services, etc. —contributions to parents

Eyre, 1972; Hanson, 1975; Stiphany, 2019; Gilbert & Varley,

2002; Jiménez & Camargo, 2015

Previous home

Urban migrants in past; 2nd & 3rd generation city dwellers born today

Kinsmen of owners: past would be follow-on migrants; today usually 2nd generation adult children

Gilbert, 1999; Ward, 2012

Unit quality

Formal renters: high (access to services)

Informal renters: low (less access)

Associated with high levels of overcrowding (because secondary housing units with expanding households)

Sharers often in poorer housing conditions than parents (on site)

Eyre, 1972; Hanson, 1975; Blanco et al., 2015; Stiphany, 2019;

Edwards, 1982; Ward et al., 2015,

Jiménez & Camargo, 2015


Possibly a rising number of elderly (especially old men)

Gilbert, 1999; Ward, 2012; Varley 1993