The Difference Between Apartments and Condos


You’re looking for a place to rent, and you don’t need a single family home. You see signs that say, ‘apartment for rent’ and other signs that say, ‘condo for rent.’ Many Saskatoon condos for sale are bought by people who want to rent them out, so as a renter, you can live in condo units, as opposed to an apartment. So what’s the difference between apartments and condos?

Each type of housing unit comes in a wide range of styles, but the main difference between the two lies in the form of ownership. The definition of a condo is a unit that’s owned individually, with the common areas of the complex owned equally among all condo owners under the umbrella of an association (sometimes called an HOA). In contrast, typically an apartment building is completely owned by a single owner with the individual units leased to various occupants. How do the differences between apartments and condos affect the rental experience? Let’s take a look.

Comparing Costs of Renting Apartments and Condos

Renting an apartment or a condo is usually fairly similar, cost-wise, although condos will often come with a few more high-end appliances and upgrades. The owner has an incentive to invest in his or her unit, both for rental income as well as for future property value. Often, a condo will have been lived in by the owner prior to renting, so may feature more personal that can add a degree of variety between units. Another aspect of condo living that could work in your favor as a renter is that the property will often include utilities and HOA fees as part of the monthly rent.

Amenities in Apartments and Condos

Apartment communities will usually come with a pretty straightforward list of amenities: for example, one parking spot per unit, on-site laundry, maybe a gym. Condo amenities can vary a little more as it depends what the landlord wants to provide under the terms of the individual lease, and what is administered through the HOA. Bigger condo complexes might have a concierge, gym, pool, and outdoor areas. Before renting, you should be sure to clarify what maintenance tasks are covered as part of your lease. Typically the HOA is responsible for the common areas and building exteriors; owners for repairs inside individual units. Of course, the property owner will want to take care of his or her unit, but it’s worth confirming beforehand exactly what maintenance costs will come out of your pocket in the cases of unexpected emergencies.

Other Things to Consider With Apartments and Condos

The main benefit to renting a condo is in establishing a one-to-one relationship with the person who owns your place. This is helpful in case of upgrade requests or getting something fixed. Conversely, if the owner is out of the country or in another state, say, it may take more time to contact him or her or their management proxy. Apartments operated under a bigger company may offer more things like online payment options or 24/7 maintenance-service availability, but they can also often be big faceless entities that aren’t helpful when you need help or guidance. We’ve all heard horror stories about renting companies.

So what does all this mean when it comes to the definition apartments and condos? At the end of the day, it’ll come down to a choice between an individual property and those factors that make it an ideal choice for your specific rental needs: cost, location, amenities, to name but a few.

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