An apartment (or flat) is a self-contained housing unit that occupies only part of a building. Apartments may be owned (by an owner-occupier) or rented (by "tenants").
Some apartment-dwellers own their apartments, either as co-ops, in which the residents own shares of a corporation that owns the building, or development; or in condominiums, whose residents own their apartments and share ownership of the public spaces. Most apartments are in buildings designed for the purpose, but large older houses are sometimes divided into apartments.
In some parts of the world, the word apartment is used generally to refer to a new purpose-built self-contained residential unit in a building, whereas the word flat means a converted self-contained unit in an older building. In Britain and the Commonwealth, a flat is often taken to be a working class publicly-provided residential unit, whereas an identical private unit when targeted at a middle class resident would be called an apartment.
Guidelines for renters
- Local gas stations usually have free apartment guide book. Pick one for your hunting
- Local apartment locators may have more extensive information than the free guide book. And their service is usually free for renters. The apartments will pay referral bonus to them.
- Safety is the first priority. Monitored entry gate is preferred. You may request crime stats about one apartment from the local police station with little fee. Or check online data.
- Ask about application fee, deposit, water bill, gas bill, reserved parking lot fee, garbage collection fee in addition to regular apartment rent. Those little things may cost you a fortune.
- Be very, very careful when signing your lease: make sure the rent, the lease term is exactly as you agreed. Make copies for all of them especially the supplemental documents of discounts.
- Check your unit for everything carefully before move-in, notify the apartment in the formal form and keep it. They may charge you for new damages.
- Check water pressure if your unit is located in the second floor or above.
- Check parking lot for good drainage.
- check the direction of your bedroom. You inner temperature may be very high if your unit is under the direct sun shine in Summer.