Condo vs Apartment: What’s the Difference?

Condo vs Apartment

Condo vs apartment, it would only be fair to say, are two of the most confusing terms in the real estate world. While condos and apartments may seem similar, in reality, they are quite un-similar and the differences, hence, must be thoroughly understood. If you are on your mission to find yourself the best house to live in but can’t seem to decide the type of residence, here’s all the difference you need to know between condos and apartments right here!

What Is A Condo?

What Is A Condo

A condominium, (also known as a condo), is defined as a private residential unit in a building or community or complex (condo building) rented to potential tenants. Each condo unit is owned by different, unique owners, effectively the landlord of the said condo unit. The entire authority of making decisions around the condo unit, right from what could be the rent to who should be the dweller is on the owner of the condo unit.

What Is An Apartment?

What Is An Apartment

An apartment is defined as a rental unit owned by a property management company (and not a single landlord), located in a residential building or an apartment complex. The potential tenant of an apartment owner, hence, does not have to reach out to the apartment owner but instead, the leasing office or property management company. Since all units of an apartment complex are the same, the tenants are bound to follow a standard set of rules and for renting a unit in the complex. All tenants also report to the property manager -which is an outsourced unit – and not to the apartment owner directly.

What's The Difference Between Condo And An Apartment?

Condo Apartment
A condo, (also known as a condominium) is defined as a private residential unit located in a building or community. An apartment is defined as a rental unit owned by a property management company but located in a residential building or complex. 
A condo unit is privately owned by an individual who then becomes the landlord after renting out the property.  All of the units of an apartment complex are identical, with the same owner of all units. The tenants are expected to follow the same guidelines for renting a unit in the complex.
The owner of the condo has the authority to approve or disapprove a tenant for the unit. The owner of the complex or the property manager has the authority to approve or disapprove of a tenant. 
Renting a condo is a personal process as you are in direct touch with an individual owner.  Renting an apartment means reporting to the property manager/ leasing office/ leasing agent and hence, it is a rather impersonal process.  

Renting A Condo v/s Renting An Apartment

Renting A Condo VS Renting An Apartment

Now that we have established the definitions as well as a clear list of basic key point differences between a condo and an apartment, let’s get to step two. Here are some indicators or factors that further help understand the differences between a condo and an apartment.

  • Unit Ownership
  • Nature of Rent
  • Rules and Guidelines
  • Amenities Offered

1. Unit Ownership

Condo

Each unit of a condominium building has a unique owner.

For example, if there are 100 units in an apartment building named Lakeview in Bangalore, all 100 units will be owned by 100 unique parties. 

Hence, the owners just own the house and manage the house whereas the building management is undertaken by the Homeowner’s Association (HOA). 

 

Apartment 

Each unit of an apartment is owned by one single person or entity.

For example, if there are 100 units in an apartment building named Lakeview in Bangalore, all 100 units will be owned by one single entity. 

Hence, the corporation that owns the apartment building typically takes care of the management of the building via hiring a property manager.

2. Nature of Rent

Condo

The rent can differ from house to house and is typically set in mutual agreement between the owner and tenant. This means that the rent of condo A in building XYZ can different from the rent paid by tenants of condo B in the same XYZ building.

A pre-decided amount in the lease is supposed to be paid as the rent for the condo until the end of the lease.

In a condo, you will also have to typically pay for common utilities as you’d be a part of the condo community’s homeowners association (HOA). This payment is usually a part of the rental and is either charged on a usage basis or is managed by the landlord.

Apartment 

Just like a condo, a pre-decided amount in the lease is supposed to be paid as the rent for the condo until the end of the lease.

 

However, in an apartment, only the rent needs to be paid to the apartment owner. Bills for all other utilities like gas, electricity, and internet need to be paid separately and individually by all dwellers to respective external service providers.

3. Rules and Guidelines

Rules, guidelines, and regulations of condos, as well as apartment houses, are established in the lease agreement. Always make sure to read your lease thoroughly and to make an informed decision.

Condo

The condo owner has the authority to establish their own set of rules and guidelines (house rules) on the tenant. This means that rules for tenants of house A may be different from rules imposed on tenants of house B because of different condo owners. 

 

These rules are in addition to the guidelines and rules already set by the house owner’s association (HOA) on the common areas.

It must be noted that a lot of rules imposed by the HOA impact the owner more than the tenant.

Apartment 

The property management company enforces rules on all tenants and the said rules are equal and the same for all. This essentially means that there is no difference in rules from house to house; if there are 100 houses in the apartment complex, all houses will have to observe the same rules.

Most of these rules are basic; some examples include timely payment of rent, no loud noises, segregation of waste, etc. 

 

 

4. Amenities Offered

Amenities are one of the most confusing points of differentiation between condos and apartments. However, here we have listed a few slight differences that may help you understand the concept better.

Condo

The amenities of condo complexes and apartment complexes are usually the same; however, it is inside the condo unit where the differentiation exists.

The condo owner can choose to upscale their condo and infuse multiple amenities like a smart home system, marble flooring instead of regular tile flooring, or a central air conditioning system. This not only upscales the house in terms of appearance but also its value.

The common amenities of condos typically include parking, pool, gym, community hall open spaces like a ground, etc. 

Apartment 

The amenities inside all apartment houses are pretty standard. One may get to choose between standard or upgraded appliances, but again, it depends a lot on the apartment complex owners. The dwellers are not free to make their choices or changes.

The common amenities of apartment complexes are usually similar to that of condos and typically include parking, pool, gym, community hall open spaces like a ground, etc. 


The better the type of common amenities offered, the better the apartment complex is considered to be. For example, if a complex entails all of the above-listed amenities but also, in addition, has a mini-amphitheater, a butterfly park, and perhaps an in-house retail store, it automatically becomes a luxurious apartment complex. 

5. Maintenance

Condo

The condo owner of the willing tenant is responsible for the maintenance of the condo house. The definite answer as to who is responsible financially is always mentioned in the lease agreement. 

For any maintenance issues with respect to the unit itself, the tenant is expected to reach out to the owner. However, for maintenance issues pertaining to the building as a whole (common areas), the responsibility lies on the house owner’s association (HOA). 

Apartment 

Apartment complexes offer free maintenance and that is one of the biggest works of living in an apartment. Most complexes have 24-hour or on-call emergency maintenance services and hence, issues don’t take too long to be fixed.

While in a condo the financial responsibility of maintenance may be shifted on you by the owner of the condo, no such scope is possible in apartments and hence, apartment dwelling may thereby help save a lot of maintenance money!

 

Common area maintenance issues are also fully taken care of by the property manager.

Final Thoughts- Condo vs Apartment: What Is A Better Option?

The good old tricky question; let us try sorting this out for you today!

In all honesty, the ‘best option’ is an option that suits your needs best and if you understand the differences well, it automatically becomes easy for you to pick out the best option for you.

  • Who should rent a condo?

Condos are usually the best renting option for people who like to be in a house that offers some personal contact with the owner (the condo owner) and not to deal with a property management company. This is also specifically true because with single landlords comes greater flexibility on the terms of a rental agreement.

  • Who should rent an apartment?

Since renting an apartment comes with no variable costs like maintenance charges, HOA charges, utility bills, etc., apartments are a great choice for people who like the concept of having a fixed cost expenditure every month.

Are you looking for a new house and are you on a hunt to find yourself the most suitable house to live in? Let PropertyGeek help you find you the dream you can call home!

FAQs: Condo vs Apartment: Everything You Need To Know To Make The Right Choice

1. Is it better to get a condo or an apartment?

The decision between a condo or an apartment depends on one's own preferences and needs. Condos are usually the best option for people who like to be in a house that offers some personal contact with the owner. On the other hand, an apartment is the best option for people who don't mind having to deal with a property manager and like the concept of having a fixed cost expenditure every month.

2. Are condos hard to sell?

It is usually believed that condos are hard to sell. In reality, however, a condo can be as easy as difficult to sell as a single-family house or an apartment, depending on the overall value for money and individual appeal factors like the location, and relevancy in the foreseeable future.

3. Are condo owners responsible for plumbing?

The responsibility of maintenance in a condo is typically pre-decided and mentioned in the contract agreement. Generally, it is the responsibility of the condominium owner to maintain plumbing fixtures and lines. The condo association, on the other hand, is usually responsible for common area repairs.
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