'Tenure' refers to whether the household owns or rents their private dwelling. The private dwelling may be situated on rented or leased land or be part of a condominium. A household is considered to own their dwelling if some member of the household owns the dwelling even if it is not fully paid for, for example if there is a mortgage or some other claim on it. A household is considered to rent their dwelling if no member of the household owns the dwelling. A household is considered to rent that dwelling even if the dwelling is provided without cash rent or at a reduced rent, or if the dwelling is part of a cooperative.
For historical and statutory reasons, shelter occupancy on Indian reserves or settlements does not lend itself to the usual classification by standard tenure categories. Therefore, a special category, band housing, has been created for census purposes.