What Is the Difference in a Flat, an Apartment, and a Condominium?

In a physical state, apartments, flats and condominiums are more of the same. The term ‘apartment’ is mostly used in American English, ‘flat’ in British English, and ‘condominium’ in Canadian English. They all indicate a set of rooms that are on a particular floor and are meant to be used as a residence for individuals and families.

In India, the terms "flat" and "apartment" are generally used interchangeably. But in some other parts of the world, many people associate flats with older buildings and apartments with new construction.

But there is a lot more to understand than just linguistic differences. I.e. condos in the USA are referred to individual living spaces in a building, and in the UK, an apartment can be a set of rooms set within a house. So let’s understand all these terms better:


apartment vs flat vs condo


Image Source: Earlyexperts Website

Social Class Differences

There is no condo vs apartment vs house debate hanging around. But it’s good to know where to use which word and how to use it.

For example, certain regions and markets differentiate the term flats and apartments to differentiate social class. ‘Flats’ are used more generically, as in to indicate lower social class dwelling, whereas the term ‘apartments’ is used to indicate an upper class or luxurious abode with more amenities than a traditional flat.

Structural Differences

Some regions refer apartment buildings as small multi-story buildings where three or more residences are contained within one structure. Such structures are called an apartment building or an apartment complex.

Whereas, high-rise buildings which occupy hundreds of houses refer each house as a flat. Such structures are called flat complex, a block of flats, tower block, high-rise, etc.

If you have read till now, then you should also know other word differences between American and British homes. Take a look:


American Apartments

British Flats

In the Kitchen


Do the dishes

Electrical Outlet


Garbage can


Do the washing


Tea towel


In The Bedroom







In The Living Room

Living Room

Television & Floor Lamp

Sitting Room

Telly & Standard Lamp

In The Bathroom



Washcloth (To dry hands)


Hand Basin

Flannel (To dry hands) 


By now, you must have understood how British and American English refer to the same objects with different words. India adopted British English after independence in 1947, but in today’s day and age, in the world of globalisation, in internet’s era people use terms whatever they want and wherever they want. Most of the Indians use both flat and apartment in their conversations and writing.

Via the popular web shows and movies, the tern condo has become quite famous and it is also getting quite a lot of attention among Gen Z and millennials.

Generally, a condominium is a private residence that is rented out to tenants, it can be a flat/apartment or an independent house. But in modern use ‘condo’ is referred to apartments and flats only.

Plus, condominiums are owned and rented by individuals so renting a condo is more of a personal, one-on-one process. The landlord may or may not stay on site (It depends on the architecture and personal preference of the owner.)

Related Post - 5 Tips For Buying A Home Despite Having An Existing Loan Debt

At The Bottom

It would be unnecessary to deep dive into the differences, for individual home buyers. Real estate firms and marketers can bring the most of these words by manipulating their advertising and communication.

So to settle an answer to the questions - What is the difference between a flat and an apartment? And what's the difference between a condo and an apartment? We would say there is no such difference. All spaces physically remain the same, only the perspective and location derives the differences.

If you are looking for a flat, apartment or a condominium in Pune than check out Kohinoor Group’s residential projects. All homes come with branded fittings, lifestyle amenities, sustainable architecture, top-notch security and a lifetime promise of maintenance. Visit www.kohinoorpune.com for more information.



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