Thinking of renting an apartment, and not sure whether to rent a condo or an apartment? This is a good question!
You’ve come to the right place.
How are condos and apartments similar?
Both apartments and condos are part of larger buildings that are made up of multiple units. In fact, if you just look at the building visually, you may not be able to tell whether it is a condo or an apartment (as they can look identical) except for signage.
What’s the difference between them anyway?
Generally speaking, a condominium or condo is owned by an individual/landlord, whereas an apartment is usually owned by a larger professionally managed company.
While this may seem like a subtle difference, there are lots of implications for this structure. Keep reading below.
Condo vs. Apartments (Pros and Cons)
Typically, in a condo you are renting from the actual owner of the unit (as condos are made up of individual owners).
You will also likely be dealing with a condo association or HOA that takes care of things like maintaining common areas, attending to repairs and security issues and ensuring that the rules and regulations pertaining to the property are followed.
- Might be the best location for you
- Might have more amenities
- Might allow for more customization of home (since dealing with individual landlord)
- Deal with multiple layers and rules – must deal with rules of both condo association and landlord
- Slower response to maintenance likely as individual landlord managing (see disadvantages renting from private landlord)
- May get less communication as this is not the landlord’s primary role
- Can be harder to find
- Owner of condo may decide to move back, and kick you out at end of the lease
- Usually have to pay both rent, utilities and condo fees (whereas apartment is usually just rent and utilities)
In the apartment complex, you are only dealing with your landlord. This can make a difference, as the rules and policies are uniform for all renters.
If it is a good apartment complex, you also will get faster and more reliable service.
- Usually faster, more reliable maintenance service
- Consistent lease and rules for everyone
- Professional property management likely
- Meet fellow renters and can be more collegial
- Usually easier to find and transact
- limited, if renting in a good apartment building
Which One is Right For You?
Some people prefer to rent in condos because it is located in a specific neighborhood or building that works best for them.
All things being equal, most renters tend to gravitate towards apartment complexes with one governing entity, consistent rules for all renters, and usually better maintenance service.
In practice, apartments are also usually easier to find and easier to transact (because they have pre-made leases and a standardized process ready to go).
Ultimately, the decision between renting a condo or an apartment is based on your personal situation, so it is important to weigh the pros and cons.