Most people don’t think about the differences between a condo and an apartment. But, if you’re renting, you should know how these two differ.
Whether you have plans to buy or want a better relationship with the owner of the place you’re renting, the differences between a condo and an apartment can influence your life and future decisions.
So, learn about the differences and similarities, and make the choice that’s best for you.
Condo vs. Apartment: Who Is the Landlord?
The main difference between a condo and an apartment is ownership.
Although tenants mostly just want a decent landlord, the type of landlord may be significant when considering the question of condo vs. apartment in Chicago.
Typically, an apartment building is owned by one person, company or a form of housing organization. This means that you’re likely only going to ever be able to rent the unit you’re in.
Condos, however, often have unique owners for each unit. This means that if you love the unit you’re renting now, there may be the option of buying it in the future since individual units can be sold if the owner chooses to do so.
Differences in Tenancy Approval in Condo vs. Apartment
The landlord of a condo is an individual and therefore you will most likely deal with them directly. Although, some may appoint a letting agency to handle property for them. Each condo landlord will have their own process for selecting tenants.
In an apartment building all tenants follow the same guidelines for renting a unit in the building. Every tenant reports to the same person as appointed by the building owner.
Many condos have boards that approve or deny an applicant. This can make getting into a condo a little trickier than to rent an apartment in Chicago. Plus, this sometimes incurs a condo fee. Some owners pass this fee down to applicants on top of any credit check or application fee, which can result in an additional fee to apply for the rental that most apartments do not have.
Most apartments only have application fees and credit check fees to contend with.
Condo vs. Apartment Amenities
How a unit looks and the amenities the unit and the building offers is another difference between condos vs. apartments.
Generally, all the apartments in a complex are the same. There might be some upgraded options, such as a penthouse or the floor below the penthouse might be deluxe units.
It’s unlikely that there are any differences in fixtures and fittings such as kitchen cabinets and floor coverings.
Depending on the area and the quality of the complex, there may also be amenities, such as a laundry room, gym, swimming pool or tennis court.
A condo might be completely different to its next-door neighbor because it’s owned by an individual. The owner may have lived in the condo before renting it out and made their own alterations or they may have upgraded it specifically for the purpose of renting.
There might be some big differences between the individual condos in a community. The owner or landlord has an incentive to maintain their property to high standards and to keep their condo looking sharp and up-to-date. This helps maintain the condo’s value.
Like apartment buildings, the condo community will have communal amenities which will again depend on the area, what the developers built into the complex in the first place and anything the board have introduced since.
Responsibility for building maintenance is another difference between condos and apartments.
Typically, apartments are maintained by the landlord, either directly or via a property manager, superintendent, or janitor. This person is the point of contact should there be an issue with the residence.
As condos are mostly individually owned, the responsibility of building maintenance usually falls to the owner but it may be passed on to you as the tenant.
This should be clarified before you move in and if there’s maintenance that is your responsibility, it should be clearly outlined in your rental agreement.
Chicago Condo vs. Apartment Restrictions on Alterations
Not everyone has the luxury of moving into a rental that is exactly what they want so check if there are limitations on alterations or changes you can undertake.
Even things as simple as putting tacks in a wall to hang a picture are classed as alterations along with painting and redecoration.
Landlords of both condos and apartments can have strict rules although the owner of a condo is more likely to be more lenient. Details of limitations should be included in your tenancy agreement.
Should You Rent a Condo or an Apartment?
Ultimately, both condos and apartments are just places to live. But, if your relationship to the owner matters to you, or you have plans to buy the place you’re renting, you have a choice to make.
If you want to potentially buy the place you’re initially renting, you need to find and rent a condo. While individual landlords may be open to selling, apartment owners aren’t.
If you want to have a more familiar relationship to your landlord, again, a condo is the right choice for you. While some landlords hire management companies to manage their properties for them, most condo owners still communicate directly with their tenants.
On the other hand, if you’d prefer to be part of an apartment community, where you share a management team with your neighbors, an apartment is a better option for you.
Ultimately, the location, amenities, and prices of condos and apartments will be a greater deciding factor.
Find Condos and Apartments to Rent on Brixbid
Whether you want to rent a condo or an apartment in Chicago, Brixbid has you covered.
Browse our listings to find the best places to rent in Chicago.
You can filter your search between condos, apartments, and other types of accommodations.
And what’s even better than finding your dream home? Renting it for a good price. And that’s exactly what Brixbid offers. You can negotiate your rent directly through our platform. That saves you the hassle and stress of having to negotiate directly with the landlord, and you know you’re getting your dream home for the best price.
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