Research into the practice of housing management has primarily focused on the policy implementation and management practices of housing and other professionals, working in public, voluntary and private agencies. A key focus for policy has been the role of repair and maintenance in the processes of urban renewal and stock preservation. Little attention has been paid to the role played by individuals and households in the renewal process although much of the literature acknowledges the importance of occupiers, as recipients of repair and maintenance policies and practices. There has been virtually no ,esearcfl which examines these activities as initiated by householders. In Britain owner occupation is the most numerous tenure category, now standing at 67% of all households in Great Britain.This research focuses on this group examining the owner occupier as 'manager' of his or her dwelling. This paper addresses two key issues. The first is the development of an appropriate conceptual and analytical framework for understanding the occupier as 'housing manager'. This analysis draws on perspectives and ideas about the meaning and use of home, and in particular perceptions of the relationship between a person's identity as a home owner, and the resources, decisions and outcomes of their 'upkeeping activities'. It also uses models which draw on management theories to synthesise and formalise existing diffuse terms and language. Secondly it sets out the findings of an empirical investigation of 83 owner occupiers in South London. A seven fold typology is devised and used to demonstrate that housing management by owner occupiers is characterised by differences which display a systematic relationship between key resourcing and practice variables. From this analysis there arises major criticisms of the assumptions that underpin policies in this area. Specific ways are suggested of developing policies grounded on a realistic understanding of the ways in which owner occupiers behave, and their relationship with key agencies such as building societies, and other financial institutions. Finally it is argued that lessons can be drawn from this work which are generally applicable in other tenures, and hence relevant to broader areas of repair and maintenance policies.