Difference Between Condo and Apartment

Main Difference – Condo vs Apartment

Both condo and apartment refer to a suite of rooms designed as a residence and generally located in a building occupied by more than one household. There is no difference between condo and apartment in terms of their physical attributes. The main difference between condo and apartment stems from their ownership; apartment units housed within a complex are owned by a single entity and then leased out to individual tenants whereas condo units are owned by individual owners.

This article looks at, 

1. What is a Condo? – Meaning, Ownership, Features, and Facilities

2. What is an Apartment? – Meaning, Ownership, Features, and Facilities

3. What is the difference between Condo and Apartment? 

Difference Between Condo and Apartment - Condo vs Apartment Comparison Summary

What is a Condo

A condo or a condominium is a unit that is owned individually. While a single housing unit is owned individually, the common areas of the building are owned equally by all the condo owners. These areas are managed by condo community’s homeowner association (HOA). This association is formed by the condo owners in that particular building, and all the members are expected to pay a monthly fee. HOA takes care of maintenance, repairs and general improvements of the building.

The condo owner can also rent out the condo. In such an instance, the condo owner is the landlord of the renter. Buying a condo is relatively cheaper than buying a house. There are also detached condominiums which are single-family housing where the owner does not maintain the exterior of the condo, i.e. yard or garden.

Although there is no way to differentiate a condo and apartment by just looking at them, condos may be built to a high-quality standard due to the difference between rental and sales market.

Difference Between Condo and Apartment

What is an Apartment

An apartment is a suite of rooms designed as a residence and generally located in a building occupied by more than one household. The term apartment is mainly used in American English; flat is the equivalent term in British English.

In American usage, an apartment is owned by a single entity, often a corporation. The individual units in the apartment building are leased out to individual tenants. However, the whole building is managed and maintained by the owner. The owner can also impose rules and restrictions on the tenants. For example, the owner decides whether any remodeling can be done and what type of remodeling is allowed, whether pets are allowed or not, etc.  Apartment units generally come with general amenities such as free maintenance, parking, on-site laundry, etc.

Main Difference - Condo vs Apartment

Difference Between Condo and Apartment


Condo: Single units are owned by individuals.

Apartment: All the units are owned by a single entity (in the American usage).

Management and Maintenance

Condo: The condo is managed and maintained by the HOA.

Apartment: The apartment is managed and maintained by the owner.


Condo: All the tenants in the building have different landlords.

Apartment: All the tenants in the building have the same landlord.


Condo: Condo owners have to pay a monthly fee to HOA.

Apartment: Most apartments have free maintenance.

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About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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