What is a Household?

National HMO Network > What is an HMO? > What is a Household?


Perhaps surprisingly the definition of the word “household” can cause confusion when deciding when a dwelling becomes and HMO and for HMO Licensing purposes.

The following are “households” for the purposes of the Housing Act 2004:

Members of the same family living together including:

  • Couples married to each other or living together as husband and wife (or in an equivalent relationship in the case of persons of the same sex)
  • Relatives living together, including parents, grandparents, children (and step-children), grandchildren, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces or cousins
  • Half-relatives will be treated as full relatives. A foster child living with his foster parent is treated as living in the same household as his foster parent.

Any ‘domestic’ staff are also included in the household if they are living rent-free in accommodation provided by the person for whom they are working.

Therefore three friends sharing together are considered three households. If a couple are sharing with a third person that would consist of two households. If a family rents a property that is a single household. If that family had an au-pair/nanny to look after their children that person would be included in their household.