Jun 21, 2023

Difference Between Flats and Apartments in Real Estate

by Godrej Properties Limited



Imagine yourself searching for your ideal home in a bustling city. However, flats and apartments are sometimes confused. Unaware of what constitutes an "apartment," many people reside in what they refer to as "flats." Particularly in the United States, where "condo" or "apartment" are frequently used, these phrases are frequently used interchangeably, although "flat" is more common in the United Kingdom and Europe. But exactly what are an apartment and a flat? Today, we are going to understand the difference between a flat and an apartment.

What is a Flat?

The word 'flat' was originally derived from the Scottish word 'flet'. This refers to a storey of a house. A similar word from Old English, known as 'Flett', meant dwelling or a hall.

This term is mostly used in the UK and the adjoining Commonwealth countries. This began when the industrial revolution started, and the area witnessed an influx of immigrants from rural to urban areas. This resulted in the idea to build a self-sustaining unit that consisted of a number of flats. 

What is an Apartment?

The word apartment is derived from a mix of three different languages – French, Italian, and Latin. The French word 'appartement' refers to private rooms within a house used by an individual or a family. This word has another source from the Italian word 'appartamento', which means dedicated place. There is also a Latin word, 'partem', which is essentially a piece or division. A combination of all these words together makes the word apartment meaning a dedicated space that can range from a studio apartment to a house, townhouse, or duplex.

What is the Difference Between a Flat and An Apartment?

The following points will help you understand the flat and apartment difference:

Flats (British term):

  • Generally features a standard hall, master bedroom, smaller rooms, washroom, and kitchen.
  • Usually has a single storey.
  • Equipped with basic amenities and facilities.
  • Considered medium to high-end living spaces.
  • Maintenance responsibilities lie with either the resident or the owner.
  • Security management is the responsibility of the individual.

Apartments (American term):

  • It can be any type of home dwelling, ranging from a studio apartment to a house, townhouse, or duplex.
  • It can have multiple storeys.
  • Offers all basic amenities and facilities and can include luxury features.
  • Considered high-end living spaces.
  • Maintenance charges are paid by residents to the apartment association.
  • Security is typically managed by the apartment developer or management.
  • Costs can vary; sometimes, apartments are less costly than flats.

We hope that this information will answer your question, "What is the difference between a flat and an apartment?"

What Should You Buy?

The choice between a flat vs an apartment depends on individual preferences, budget, and specific requirements. Consider factors such as size, location, amenities, maintenance responsibilities, and cost to make an informed decision that aligns with your needs and lifestyle.

We hope that this blog has shed light on what is the difference between a flat and an apartment, enabling you to make a more informed decision. Understanding the distinction between these terms is crucial when considering real estate options.


Frequently asked questions

1. Is flat and apartment the same?

Ans: Although the terms "flat" and "apartment" are often used interchangeably, there are differences between the two. In general, both refer to a self-contained residential unit within a building. However, the usage of the terms can vary in different countries and other facilities. 

2. Why is an apartment called a flat?

Ans: Both terms are often used interchangeably as there is more or less no difference between flats and apartments in India

3. What is the difference between a flat and an apartment in India?

Ans: In India, the terms "flat" and "apartment" are often used interchangeably. However, the term "flat" is commonly associated with smaller units and "apartments" with larger and more modern units. This is one key difference between an apartment and a flat.

4. What is considered a flat?

Ans: A flat is a self-contained residential space in a larger building or a complex. It usually consists of a single level and can have separate rooms. Flats are commonly found in multi-story buildings and are designed for individual or family occupancy.

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