The monthly rent agreed to, or contracted for regardless of any furnishings, utilities, or services that say be included. Rent is shown for occupied units rented for cash and vacant units for rent. For vacant units, rent is the amount for the asked unit at the time of enumeration, and is sometimes labeled "rent asked." Contract rent is tabulated for "specified renter occupied" units, which excludes one-family houses on 10 acres or more. Respondents were to report rent only for the housing unit enumerated and to exclude any rent paid for additional units or for business premises. The rent amount for the unit is to be reported even if paid for by someone outside the household, or for some reason, not paid. Respondents who do not pay rent monthly are asked to convert the sum to a monthly average. In the computation of aggregate and mean rent, $35 is taken as the average of the interval "less than $50," and $550 is taken as the average of the interval "$500 or more." This item was asked on a complete-count basis.
Rental units occupied without payment of cash rent. Next may be owned by friends or relatives who live elsewhere and who allow occupancy without charge. Rent-free houses or apartments may be provided to compensate caretakers, ministers, tenant farmers, sharecroppers, or others.
Similar data have been collected since 1930 (although the first full housing census did not occur until 1940). Rent intervals reported have gone to higher dollar figures in recent decades. The 1970 question on rent had a top category of $300 or more; it also listed fewer rent intervals than the 1980 question. Constant dollar comparisons, 1979 to 1980, are not prepared.