difference between condo and apartment

The Ultimate Guide to Knowing the Difference Between a Condo and an Apartment

April 26, 2023

If you’re a real estate investor, you might be wondering what the difference between a condo and an apartment is. Both are types of multi-unit housing, but their ownership systems and legal frameworks are unique. Understanding these distinctions is critical for making sound investment decisions in either type of property.

Understanding the Difference Between Condo and Apartment Rentals

Ownership Structure

The ownership structure of condos and apartments is one of the biggest differences. People who acquire individual units within a larger complex possess condos. Each condo owner is responsible for paying property taxes, mortgage payments, and maintenance fees and has a deed to their unit.

In contrast, apartments are held by a single business, such as a real estate developer or a management firm. Rent is paid to the owner or management company, who’s also responsible for property taxes, mortgage payments, and maintenance expenses.

Legal Framework

The legal framework that regulates condos and apartments is another significant distinction. Condominiums are controlled by a set of bylaws and rules formed by a condo organization made up of condo owners. These regulations address concerns such as responsibility for maintenance and repairs, noise levels, and pet policies.

Apartments, on the other hand, are subject to landlord-tenant laws that vary by state. Security deposits, rent increases, and eviction procedures are all governed by these laws.

Maintenance and Repairs

There are some distinctions between condominiums and apartments in terms of upkeep and repairs. Individual unit owners are responsible for maintaining and repairing their unit in a condo, while the condo association is responsible for maintaining and repairing common areas such as the hallways and elevators.

The landlord or management business is responsible for maintaining and repairing the entire building, including individual units, in an apartment complex.

Appreciation Potential

Condos have a higher appreciation potential than apartments, which property investors should consider. Condos often appreciate slower than single-family properties but faster than apartments. This is because condos are often located in metropolitan areas where land is scarce and housing demand is strong. Furthermore, condos frequently have amenities that apartments don’t, such as a fitness center, swimming pool, or concierge service.

Due to their ownership structure, apartments, on the other hand, tend to appreciate at a slower rate than condos. Apartments are more volatile in the rental market because they’re held by a single business, which might affect their value.

Rental Income Potential

Finally, real estate investors should weigh the rental income potential of condos versus apartments. Apartments, in general, have higher rental yields than condos since they’re built to generate rental income. Apartments are more appealing to renters since they sometimes include many units of the same size and layout.

Condos, on the other hand, are often purchased as primary residences or vacation homes, making them less appealing to tenants. Furthermore, condo owners may face additional restrictions when renting out their units, such as a limit on the number of rental units in the building or a ban on short-term rentals.


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