What is the Difference Between a Condo and an Apartment?

When exploring renting options, you can encounter a variety of apartments and condos. You may wonder, what is the difference between a condo and an apartment?

The main difference between an apartment and a condo is the ownership. A corporation typically owns an apartment complex, while an individual owns a condo. While it may not seem significant, the ownership of the property affects the life of a renter in many aspects. When going through the apartment vs. condo debate, you should consider the following main differences when deciding which option is the best for you.

Difference in Size

Regarding size and structure, apartments and condos can be virtually the same. What is very different is how apartment and condos are managed.

As corporations own most apartment complexes, most of them are generally maintained by a management company. The management company deals with both the individual apartments and the complex as a whole. The company will handle repairs to the apartment and also keep the lawns, gardens, pools and other common areas clean and orderly.

Management workers are onsite during weekday business hours, and at least one is on-call during weekends so emergencies and repairs are handled promptly.

The situation with condos is a bit more ambiguous. A homeowners association typically handles repairs and maintenance to the general areas of the condo complex, but maintenance and repairs to the actual condo depend on the agreement between the condo owner and tenant.

Typically, the owner and tenant agree on what is handled by each during the signing of the lease. One or the other has to deal with finding the right repairman, scheduling the initial visit to determine an estimate, scheduling the actual repair and, of course, haggling over the cost.

In some cases, owners may ask to pre-approve any repairs or modifications.

The Rent Variation

Renting an apartment in Phoenix means making one monthly rent payment. Depending on how the leasing office handles payments, you may be able to pay your rent in person with a check, mail your check to a payment center or make an online payment through your bank or a designated portal.

Renting a condo requires paying a monthly rent payment and may require homeowners’ association fees. How payments are made will depend on what is agreed by tenant and owner.

In the case of condos, homeowners’ association fees are adjusted every year. Whether the tenant pays them directly, separately from rent or indirectly, the owner typically works the HOA fees into the rent payment so there is always a risk that the rent price may increase.

Amenities Offered

When renting a Phoenix apartment, you usually will receive access to a parking spot, a gym, an outdoor pool and a laundry area (if a washer and dryer are not in the apartment). You’re also guaranteed proper maintenance of your apartment.

With a condo, at least those in the larger complexes, you as a tenant may receive access to a concierge, gym and pool but only receive maintenance assistance with issues that are considered complex property and not part of the condo property itself.

Condo vs. Apartment: Overall Difference

Renting an apartment is a great option for many reasons. If you’re still new to the area and want to get to know it better before settling down, are not financially stable enough to buy a home, lack credit or need to move as soon as possible, renting an apartment usually is a more reasonable option.

Renting a condo offers some of the same options, but not all. For one, renting a condo usually requires a good credit score, unless you know the owner and he or she is willing to take you on as a tenant. You also have to be financially set enough to cover some costs of maintenance and repairs.

Some HOAs do not allow condos to be rented or leased, meaning they are not as available as apartments. So if you’re looking for somewhere to live as soon as possible, a condo may not be a good place to start as there are fewer available.

Heers Management

If you’re ready to rent a new place, consider checking out Heers Management’s Phoenix apartments. We’ll be happy to show you why when it comes to condos vs. apartments, apartments are your best choice. To schedule a visit or for more information, please contact us today.

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