Difference Between an Apartment and a Condominium
By Claire Miles - July 12, 2022

There is usually a lot to consider when deciding what defines a place people make a home. This includes seemingly unrelated factors like the weather and closely related factors like the pricing, size and accessibility. But what about situations where many of these factors align so much that the same terms describe them?

Table Summary

The property owner rents it outThe property owner sells it
It doesn’t build equityHelps build equity
Low MaintenanceHigh Maintenance
Low angle view of residential buildings against blue sky

Getty Images / Moment / saulgranda


An apartment is a term used to describe any residential building that is split into units that house multiple people simultaneously.

A Condominium (called ‘condo’ for short) – which is alternately described as an apartment on occasion, is recognizable by certain features: it usually comprises numerous floors, with multiple apartments on every floor.

Apartment VS Condominium

The principal difference between an apartment and a condo lies in the ownership: while an apartment is rented from whoever owns the building, a condo is bought and can, in turn, be leased out. Owning condos can be a way to build equity for people starting in real estate who can’t go straight into large-scale property acquisitions. Another way condos differ from apartments is in the maintenance of the property; the owner of the apartment or the management of the company is responsible for major repairs and maintenance of the property and not the tenant. It is, in fact, a common feature in apartment contracts that tenants make no changes to the unit, no matter how slight. The reason is usually to ensure uniformity between units as possible, but it could prove problematic in emergencies or late responses. Condominium owners, on the hand, are tasked with the maintenance and repairs of their units and HOA fees that might come up. This means condos can be on the pricier side.