Apartment and Condo, What’s the Difference?
For most potential property buyers in Bangkok, many have asked us what the difference between an apartment and a condominium is. Bangkokcondofinder.com is glad to clarify this confusion.
The terms “apartment” and “condominium” have become interchangeable throughout the years, thus bewildering property buyers. In their strict sense, these properties differ in the way the law treats them. It’s not something that we can judge based on their size, location, aesthetics and even how property developers brand their offers unlike what most people believe them to be.
A condominium is a unit in a high-rise structure where owners have the right over their units. They also share in the ownership of common areas and facilities such as elevators, swimming pools, fitnessgyms and the like. Because the owner has full ownership of the condo unit, he can modify the interiors according to his whim.
The shared ownership means that the condo owner or tenant owner has to take part in contributing to the maintenance expenses of the area. A team of condominium owners called homeowners association will be in charge of enforcing the condo building’s rules as well as collecting the annual membership fees. Condo owners are also required to pitch in their opinions regarding the association’s concerns on building repairs, garbage collection and other matters.
Generally, condo owners can let others rent their units provided that they are not subject to specific restrictive leasing rights that are enforced in the building.
Here in Thailand, foreigners are only allowed to own 49 percent of the total area of the condominium building. That’s why for a hot property, expect many foreigners to make reservations as early as the first day of the property launching.
An apartment on the other hand is also a unit in a high-rise structure that is owned or rented for a fixed monthly rate. However, there are no homeowner associations in an apartment as well as amenities that are commonly found in condominiums. Therefore, there is no common ownership of the building. This makes it very convenient to those who want to reside in the city only for a short period.
Bear in mind however that some property sellers in Thailand do not differentiate between apartments and condominiums. To be sure, ask if there’s an existing homeowners association in the property that you’re eyeing and you’ll know if it’s a condominium or apartment.
So if you want to live in Bangkok for the long term, think about buying or renting a condo and you can have a worthwhile stay in your unit complete with the amenities that you need. However, if you’re worried about your budget and there’s a possibility that you might relocate, consider renting an apartment instead.