There are a wide variety of resources for consumers looking for a home to rent. However, the terminology used can be confusing. What is the difference between an apartment rental and a condominium? These terms are often used interchangeably and may not have any noticeable effect on the tenant. Simply looking at the outside of a building, it is impossible to tell the difference. Legally, there are a few vital differences. |
Condominium (or "condo") is a legal term that specifies a particular piece of property (usually an individual unit) is individually or privately owned. The shared areas of the building are associated with the individual ownership, but maintained and operated by an association of owners that act on behalf of the whole. Examples of shared areas include hallways, gym facility, parking garages, heating systems and elevators. These associations are often called "strata councils" and empower the owners to make decisions and be responsible for maintenance of the building. Condominium rentals do not usually put tenants on the strata council. That is reserved for individual owners and/or landlords.
In contrast, leased flat usually exists in a building owned by a single developer or landlord. The tenants of the building are all responsible to the same entity and that developer or landlord is solely responsible for maintenance of the shared areas. This is very different than a condominium building in which each unit is owned individually and may be occupied by either the owner or a rental tenant. Shares of an apartment building may be offered to the tenant as part of a co-op.
Consumers looking for property on hire often can choose to rent a privately owned house or a developer-owned rental flat. There are pros and cons to each choice and the tenant must weigh their concerns and priorities with care.
Condominiums that are rented by private owners often give the tenant access to a single landlord when they have concerns about maintenance. However, this landlord may not have much experience with building maintenance or tenant management. In contrast, an apartment on lease is almost always managed by a larger company with several landlords for one property. This gives apartment rental buildings consistency and experience in their care of tenants. Renters are happy to know their maintenance concerns or questions will be met promptly and professionally.
Keep these points in mind when considering an apartment rental or a condominium for your new residence.
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