The Ultimate Guide to Understanding the Difference Between an Apartment and a Flat

Flat vs Apartment

Quite often, apartments and flats are used interchangeably. However, they are not entirely the same, though they both refer to different kinds of homes.

If you are someone interested in buying a property and looking to understand the difference between an apartment and a flat, this page is for you.

Let’s get started.

Generally speaking, both refer to homes with a certain number of rooms, located within a building. While “flat” is a term popular among the British, Americans go with “apartment.” Apart from these aspects, there are some essential differences between what is flat and what refers to an apartment, based on some parameters:


Flats are houses that comprise several rooms and are located in a building where there are other such flats. These are called residential complexes or societies. On the flip side, an apartment is a house with multiple rooms, forming a residence in itself.


As flats offer the needs for a comfortable life, they are mostly referred to as middle-class or upper-middle-class kind of families in most geographies. On the other hand, apartments connote luxury which associates with high societies in most countries. Every high society in its turn is divided into high-floor vs low-floor owners.


While a flat provides only the core essentials for a living, apartments are comparatively those homes that offer features from the standpoint of luxury. That in turn, speaks for its affordability or budget. If your budget allocated towards property purchase is low to moderate, and you are not particular about living a luxurious lifestyle, then flats are the right choice.

On the other hand, if you are generous with the budget and keen on the luxury aspects, you should opt for an apartment.

Maintenance Costs

In the case of flats, such costs lie with the owner or the resident while in apartments the residents living there pay the maintenance charges to the association or committee that takes care of the residences on the premises.


While flats require you to manage the security aspects by yourself, apartment security is generally the responsibility of the builder of the apartment constructions who, in conjunction with the association, arrange for security personnel for the premises as a whole. In this regard, apartments are preferable, provided you are ready to shell out money because they take care of all the security aspects.

On the contrary, with flats, you need to hunt for a watchman or some security personnel which would require you to conduct their background checks, etc, unless you have someone reliable already known to you.

Types of rooms

Flats usually have a standard hall, a master bedroom, other rooms, a kitchen and a washroom. On the other hand, apartments come in a variety of configurations like studio, houses, duplexes, and more.

Lifestyle Expectations

Depending on your lifestyle, you can categorize them. If you are looking for a lot of social interactions, then a flat is your ideal choice. On the flip side, a comparatively peaceful and privacy-centric option is an apartment.

Independent living

While considering a flat Vs apartment for buying, you need to assess the positives and negatives of both. That said, the latter offer relatively more independent living compared to the former. You can do the interiors and decor of apartments as per your choice, while that’s a little restricted in the case of flats.


What are the benefits of a flat over an apartment?

While both come with their own advantages and drawbacks, if you are someone looking for just the basic amenities for a comfortable living, focused on a cheaper budget, and enjoying social interactions, the flat is the best option.

With whom do the maintenance and security aspects lie in the case of an apartment?

In these kinds of residences, maintenance costs are paid by the residents to the association or committee managing the residences in the common premises. The security of residents, the responsibility of which rests with the builder and the association who take care of the residences on the premises. Usually, they together hire security personnel to ensure that the residents are protected.

What are some of the characteristics associated with apartments?

They focus on offering a luxury lifestyle, besides the basic amenities, which makes them an ideal choice for the upper class and people of high societies. They come in different forms like studios, houses, duplexes, and more. They provide more privacy and peaceful surroundings.