December 19, 2008, Newsletter Issue #120: Apartment or Condo? What's the Difference?

Tip of the Week

Are you renting an apartment or a condominium? Is there really a difference? The answer is yes; there is a difference between the two. If you are moving into a condo, it isn't always the same as living in an apartment.

An apartment is owned by either one person who acts as a landlord or by a company who most likely has a property manager who oversees the running of the apartment complex, takes the rent payments and has maintenance people who fix any problems within the complex. Generally the property manager works in a building located on the complex's property or in a separate office located in a company building. You are not usually required to pay any additional fees for maintaining the property.

If you are moving into a condominium you may be renting the condo from an individual person who owns the property and does not live there. A condo usually requires the renter to pay something called an association fee. The association usually has a list of rules that must be followed by the renters of the condominium, such as no loud noises, no planting trees or bushes in the yard. Typically you pay the association fee which will help pay for trash removal, winter weather removal and any repairs your unit may need or other things such as swimming pool upkeep, if available.

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