Apartments and condos may share several characteristics, but there are important qualities that distinguish one from the other. Depending on your lifestyle and specific requirements, a 3-bedroom apartment near Davisville Station may be a more suitable option than a condo in the same area, or vice versa.
In this blog post, we will explore their similarities and differences to help prospective renters make informed decisions while browsing the vast selection of rentals.
What is an apartment?
An apartment is a residential rental unit. Multiple apartment units make up an apartment building, which is organized as a community and managed by an on-site property management company. Although apartments tend to have similar layouts, amenities, and decorative features, prospective tenants can easily find an option that matches all of their unique preferences from the wide variety of available apartments.
What are the benefits of renting an apartment?
Not only does an apartment give tenants access to many unique property features like pet-friendly spaces and laundry facilities—it frees them from various homeownership duties. Such benefits include finding appropriate financing options for a large down payment, mortgage and management fees and hiring maintenance providers. Students who live off-campus, in particular, can attest to the many benefits of apartment living.
No matter if it's a single-bedroom apartment or a Toronto penthouse, tenants get to enjoy fixed monthly expenses along with all the benefits and peace of mind that come with professional property management.
What is a condo?
Much like an apartment, a condominium is a type of residential unit. However, unlike an apartment, a condo is purchased, not rented (although there are homeowners who subsequently rent their units to tenants). A condo unit is privately owned and managed by a board of tenants. Residents can participate in scheduled meetings with the condominium corporation for shared decision-making.
It is common for renters to find the owner/landlord's personal touch in their condo's paint colour, flooring, countertops and many other features; this helps to create some variety between each condo in the community.
How is a condo different from an apartment?
When it comes to renting, perhaps the most significant difference between the two is ownership and cost. The individual unit owner owns and manages their condo unit, whereas a company or person owns the apartment building. In a condo, the renter enters into an agreement with the landlord. For apartments, the property manager or owner handles all aspects of the renting process.
In terms of rental costs, prospective tenants are not likely to see a huge difference in how much they owe before calculating monthly mortgage costs. As for condos in Toronto and other attractive cities in Ontario that average $800,000+, condo fees, plus utilities, plus a mortgage can add up quickly.
An apartment in Toronto may only be slightly less expensive than a condo with similar amenities in the same area. However, it's worth noting that in addition to rent and utility costs, condo tenants will also need to pay for monthly condo fees to cover the use and maintenance of the building's common elements, such as elevators, gyms and gardens. A portion of the costs is also added to the reserve fund for emergency repairs and other special expenditures.
The board of directors in a condominium corporation oversees the maintenance of common elements, while owners and tenants might share some of the maintenance responsibilities in their individual property. So, it's recommended that condo renters ascertain early on which specific servicing and repair obligations will be paid for by themselves and which ones will be covered by the condo owner.
In an apartment, the property manager is responsible for addressing major maintenance concerns. Maintenance technicians are in the building to provide prompt and professional maintenance, so concerns can be addressed as soon as they are reported. This convenience is, no doubt, one of the best perks of apartment living.
How do you decide which is right for you?
Both apartments and condos have their unique set of advantages. Once you've determined your preferences and examined the benefits of these two types of residential units, you should be able to select the one that's right for you. That said, when you choose a unit that's managed by a trusted property manager, you will notice that their around-the-clock service truly makes a world of difference.
Living in a professionally managed apartment would not only guarantee access to essential amenities and property management services—but there's also the fact that professional property managers are more organized, experienced, and adaptable. These, among many other qualities, ultimately translate to a convenient and comfortable living environment for apartment renters.