Should I Rent a Condo or Apartment?

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Thinking of renting and don’t know whether to go with a condo or an apartment?

What’s the difference between them anyway?

In this article, we are not talking about whether you should rent or buy, but merely which one to rent in.

Generally speaking, a condo is owned by an individual/landlord and maintenance requests must go through this individual, whereas an apartment is usually owned by a larger company. Typically maintenance goes through a larger property management company.

Let’s dig into this in more detail.

Difference Between a Condo and Apartment

The first step is to understand the basic differences between a condo and an apartment as it pertains to renting.

Condo

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Typically, you are renting from the actual owner of the unit – as condos are usually made up of individual owners (or entities that own several condos).

You will also likely be dealing with a condo association 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.

As a renter, you will likely be dealing with the condo association, not your landlord.

PROS:

  • Might be the best location for you
  • Might have more amenities

CONS:

  • Deal with multiple layers and rules – condo association and landlord
  • Slower response to maintenance likely as individual landlord managing
  • Less likely to have an online rent payment option
  • May get less communication as this is not the landlord’s primary role
  • Can be harder to find and may require a broker

Apartment

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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’s a good apartment complex, you also will get faster and more reliable service (see downsides to individual rent by owner).

PROS:

  • Usually faster, more reliable 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

CONS:

  • limited, if rent in good 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 and consistent rules for all renters.

In practice, apartments are also usually easier to find and easier to transact (because they have pre-made leases 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.

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