Renting a Condo vs Apartment Rental in Chicago

Condo VS Apartment in Chicago

If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for houses for rent in Chicago. You’ll find out that your options are quite vast. You could go for a condo, a townhouse or an apartment. Or perhaps you’re struggling to decide which of these makes the most sense for you. You’re wondering what differences exist between renting a condo vs apartment building rental. In this guide, we’ll shed some light on all of the basic things you should know about these types of Chicago house rentals.

Individual owner vs management company

MLS Individual Landlord Rentals

Perhaps the most obvious and most important difference between renting a condo vs apartment rental has to do with ownership. The ownership, in turn, impacts the management of the property in question.

While condos are usually owned by individual owners, they are also usually managed by Home Owner Associations (HOA). In this case, each of the units might have different owners.

Apartment buildings are slightly different. Apartment buildings are usually bought wholly and so the units are usually owned by either an individual or a corporate entity. If you’re renting an apartment in Chicago, the management of the building is often usually handled by a third-party management company.

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Costs of renting a condo vs apartment rental

Apartment rent, as much as condo rent is almost always a fixed price.

If you’re renting an apartment, most increases will be done at the point of renewal and with prior notice. It’s however not illegal for the lease to go up midway into the tenure. While some apartments may offer short term or month-to-month lease, the contracts are often for a year.

While condo rent may include HOA fees and utilities, in some cases, apartment rentals hardly incorporate utilities into the rent. Individual property owners decide their costs in a condo so unit rental prices may vary.

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Amenities and maintenance differences

Most condos and apartment buildings may have similar amenities.

In most cases, this can include free parking, on-site laundry, gym facilities, pool, park, community room, playground, etc. while all of these amenities are for common use, most condo interiors often have different niceties and all. While some may feature a granite countertop, others may not. The same goes for other things like hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, etc.

For maintenance, HOAs are usually responsible for most issues that have to do with property maintenance in a condo. For apartment buildings, this is usually done by a third-party management company.

Rules in a condo vs an apartment building

Because ownership of both types of rentals is different, the rules governing how they can be used are also often slightly different. For apartment buildings, the property management company makes and enforces rules. These rules in an apartment building can apply to things like paying rent promptly, following the rules of the lease, maintaining proper noise levels, as well as waste disposal, among others.

If you’re renting a condo, you’ll have to abide by HOA rules that guide the use of common areas and amenities.

But there could also be restrictions and rules pertaining to the unit itself which may be set by the owner. The thing however is that majority of the rules made by the HOA often target the condo owner rather than the renter living in the property.

How do you choose the best option between renting a condo vs apartment rental?

It’s a matter of choosing the lifestyle you want as well as your goals for the long or short term.

While renting an apartment may come with some more experience, opting for a condo appears a far more laid back approach with fewer services to deal with than an apartment. Your choice will however depend on your preference as well as the lifestyle you want. Whatever side you decide to take on the “renting a condo vs apartment rental” debate, you can always contact us at HuntChicago for the best houses for rent or sale in Chicago.

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