Immediate Family or the Whole Clan?

Family Tree, generic

Immediate Family: Probably Not What You Think 

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Such a topic probably seems nonsensical since most folks believe they know who is and who is not in their immediate family circle. But the definition of “immediate family” can be elusive and it can vary depending on circumstances. If a landlord or property manager issues a lease that provides certain accommodations or privileges for the lessee’s (tenant’s) immediate family, such as assignment rights or occupancy, conclusively knowing that definition suddenly becomes important, maybe very important.

Moreover, since definitions vary, the lessee (tenant) should proceed cautiously before exercising any of those privileges, especially if the lease is not particularly clear about which relatives are considered immediate family. In fact, reliable clarification should be obtained first. So contacting the property manager or an attorney is a good idea.

Although we’ve seen immediate family often defined as a spouse (or significant other), children, parents and siblings (also known as nuclear family or simply referenced as close relatives) some only see a spouse and children filling that role. Others would include grandparents and grandchildren … and in some cases definitions expand to in-laws, aunts and uncles.

The bottom line: If your lease contains provisions for immediate family, if you intend to utilize those provisions don’t assume to know which relatives are covered. Getting a solid interpretation first then being able to prove an individual’s relationship to you can save inconvenience, heartache, headaches and money.


Need coaching, training or problem troubleshooting regarding the foregoing or other housing issues? Visit us at the Inhouse Corporation website or contact us at


Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer: The purpose of this blog is to promote awareness and general discussion of the presented topic. Use of this blog shall be the reader’s agreement this blog is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified professional and each action that may be taken shall be under the specific guidance and oversight and/or performance of a professional qualified in the subject matter. If you have a question or want assistance with a featured or related matter please contact us at (include the blog article title on the subject line). Links, references and credits in this blog are for convenience only and are not endorsements by the author or Inhouse Corporation.

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