The Interesting Difference Between Flat and Apartment You Might Not Know

The Interesting Difference Between Flat and Apartment You Might Not Know

Haven’t we all heard the saying, “Home is where your heart is”; therefore, selecting a home that comforts your soul truly matters!

We have always wondered, what is the difference between flat and apartment? However, we often use it interchangeably, so we wonder what the possible differences could be. While you are on a hunt to find your dream space, you will come across various terms related to the real estate world. And, in that, ‘flats’ and apartments are often the most encountered terms.

Even though you assume there are no recognisable differences between them, surprisingly, there are! Both apartments and flats are said to be personal living spaces that can be purchased or rented. While we dig in deeper, there are disparities when comparing the two, and most people might not be aware of it. So, let’s quickly find out and understand the differences between the two!

What’s a flat?

A flat is a housing unit in society! Before the real estate world bloomed and high-rise buildings became a common element, units were constructed on single floors. It is when the community housing projects were labelled as ‘flat’. The idea was initiated to build a self-sustaining unit with multiple flats.

What’s an apartment?

The origin of the term apartment comes from the Italian word, ‘Appartamento’, which means a set of rooms in a house which can be ideal for one person to live in. It states as a set of rooms for living in, usually on one floor of a building. However, unlike Flats, apartments will not be limited to a single floor. This term can also be used in multi-storey buildings, like duplexes, triplex, etc. However, some prefer to use the term more commonly when describing professional real estate projects. At the same time, people also use it to portray luxurious and expensive flats.

What’s the difference?

Now with the definition, you may wonder what the difference between flat and apartment is! There isn’t much difference, except for its usage and the connotation that is different geographically. Interestingly, there is something more to it that you should know.

Speaking in India, any space for a living will be termed simply as a flat, and this is only when the flat is a part of a building or could be a part of a cluster of buildings. These localities or clusters, to be precise, will be generally referred to as housing societies!

We often use the term interchangeably in India and will continue to do so. You will come across lots of affordable flats and limited lavish apartments. It typically means there isn’t much difference between apartments and flats in India. While apartments can be a little more spacious and airy, flats aren’t.

Some essential things to consider when buying a flat or apartment

  1. Know the price of the property
  2. Understand the unit’s carpet area for verifying the size
  3. Do a thorough background check of the property, locality, area, neighbour etc
  4. Learn the financing if you’re applying for a mortgage or cash/check
  5. Seek help from an expert to prepare agreements
  6. Evaluate any additional hidden charges or costs

A guide to different types of apartments

Determining the correct apartment type to call your home may often be unclear. There are endless options, and it’s hard to find the one that fits your needs. Here is a list of the types of apartments available for the residents to pick from:

  1. Studio apartment: A Single room combining kitchen, living space and bedroom
  2. Alcove studio: It is like a general studio designed in an L-shape partition
  3. Micro apartment: These are one-room apartments, including sleeping space, sitting, bathroom and kitchen within it
  4. Loft apartments: These have large and open rooms with high ceilings, windows, and airy space.
  5. Duplexes: It is a family-friendly home with two units in a single building, with upstairs and downstairs access

Apartment Vs Independent House

  • The apartment provides minimal hassle when it comes to maintenance and is taken care of by the developer. However, independent home maintenance is the owner’s responsibility, from finding a plumber or carpenter to manicuring the lawn.
  • In Apartments, the amenities are endless, offered to you without additional cost. In independent houses, the financial implications could be a lot since you have to install the amenities as per your interest.
  • Apartments are highly secured and constantly monitored by security guards as per instruction. To secure your independent house, you must install a CCTV camera and pay the guard as an additional expense.
  • First-time apartment buyers will only evaluate the builder before buying their home, which makes buying an apartment very simple and quick. An independent house is risky and challenging and involves lots of paperwork and title disputes.

Flat vs Apartment: a detailed guide

If you are still unclear about the difference between a flat and an apartment. Let us dive into details to know more about the two. We will discuss the differences based on the definition, quality, and many more.

Flat vs Apartment – going by the definition

Flats are a suite of rooms in a building-like structure, whereas apartments are a cluster of rooms that comes together and form a residence.

Flat vs Apartment: going by the language

In the UK and British English, flats are more commonly used for living spaces, whereas apartment is the term used to define a living space in America.

Flat vs Apartment: going by its quality

Flats are affordable homes; they can be for anyone on a tight budget. Middle-class people prefer budget-friendly flats. However, this is a geographical definition but is often used in India for affordable housing options. Apartments are for those who want to live in style and luxury.

Flat vs Apartment: going by the feature

Flats usually have all the necessities you need to call your home. For comfortable living in a unit, a flat provides options to spend the rest of your life easily. However, you can expect fancy things and luxurious elements in an apartment. Apartments are usually like a status symbol with the luxury and style of the owner.

Flat vs Apartment: going by the storey

Flats are mostly one-storey or one-level homes. And, when it turns into a duplex home, it is termed an apartment.

Pros and cons

When buying a space to call your home, there’s a lot to do, and most important is doing research! When you intend to buy a home, you want to purchase it after a good research outcome! It includes looking through the pros and cons of each and figuring out which is the best.

Pros & Cons of an apartment:

When choosing an apartment, there are many pros to it. You have more control over your home, being a luxurious and sophisticated unit. The material, amenities, and facilities are high class and topnotch, addressing modern-day needs. While choosing a flat or apartment solely depends upon the lifestyle you admire.

If you prefer more privacy, an apartment may be slightly inconvenient. You don’t get enough privacy because of the noise of people living around you. There can be issues with parking, as apartments are not dedicated to proper parking, in some buildings, apartment owners may not be allowed to keep a pet which can be troublesome for a few. You may be restricted to doing a few things as per your choice.

Pros & Cons of a Flat:

Whereas flats, to be precise, are focused on comfortable middle-class living, and it has all the basic amenities where you can begin living without worrying. If you are a social person, you will find flats an exciting choice because many people live around you.

You live in a society with different buildings, each with a unit called a flat. Some flatmates share space with you for those choosing to live on rent. It is highly appealing for affordable housing options. If you are looking for privacy, you may find it challenging to get here. Besides the basic amenities, you can not expect many options here.

What’s your pick?

Now that you know the difference between flat and apartment, it is time to make your call and pick the one that suits you. Factors like privacy, budget, features, security and even locality make a difference.

Pick your choice and see which fits your type. No matter what, your home is sure to give you amazing experiences. It is where you begin your day with positivity and freshness. Be it any home, how you take care of it, and how comfortable you feel living there!

To conclude:

A flat could be a set of rooms, one or two BHK. It can also be a part of a more prominent building, a cluster of buildings, termed society! It can thus be part of a bigger residency too. At the same time, an apartment can be a customised residency in a sophisticated locality and similarly have several households. Flats are more common in British English and thus preferable by Indians, whereas apartments are common in the US to American English.

With flats, the focus is on the residents’ comfort on a tight budget. Those who enjoy social socialising and interacting with people can prefer flats. While those who can afford a house airy and vibrant can select apartments. It gives you extra privacy and comfort, especially for upper-class people.


Is a flat and apartment the same?

Most often, flats and apartments are used interchangeably. Although both derive a living space for people, there are a few differences based on usage, features, and privacy.

Flat or apartment, which term is more common in India?

Especially in the Indian real estate world, flats are more commonly used. It is because Indians were influenced by British English, where flats are what describe a living space.

What is the difference between an apartment and a flat in the US?

In the US, flats are for low-income groups, where people look for affordable living. At the same time, an apartment is a unit owned by luxury owners.

What's the difference between apartments and flat in the UK?

In the UK, flats are affordable housing at a low cost. At the same time, apartments offer luxury, comfort, and amenities for higher-class groups.

In India, what's the difference between flat and apartment?

In India, a flat is primarily a single unit or a single-floor home. At the same time, apartments can be multiple residential units on a single floor.

What to pick between a flat and an apartment?

For more amenities and luxury, apartments are preferable, with better security too. At the same time, a flat is a good choice for comfortable living with decent amenities.

What are the disadvantages of a flat?

Lack of privacy is one of the disadvantages of a flat. Since many people live around us, that can intrude on our personal life.