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A rental guide for different types of apartments

If you are a tenant (or want to become one), it is a good idea to understand the different types of places that may be available to you. Here is a summary of some common apartments that will help you learn to identify the differences between them.

Different Types of Apartments

Understanding the different types of apartments, including size and layout, can help you maximize your time use when deciding which places to tour.


A studio apartment consists of a room that serves as an open living area, says Realtor.com. This means that your living area, kitchen and sleeping area are together in a space with a separate door leading to a bathroom. According to Apartment Guide, studio apartments tend to be between 300 and 600 square meters.

Alcove Studio

An alcove studio is similar to a traditional studio, except it contains a separate tavern (or alcove) for a bed, says Apartment Guide. Because alcove studios allow separation of the sleeping area, it can create more privacy.

Convertible Apartment

According to Apartment Guide, a convertible apartment has extra space that you can wall or curtain off to create another bedroom or separate space. It may require that you divide the living room into two rooms, so that one can be a bedroom.

Micro Apartment

A micro unit usually has less than 300 square meters, which usually contains a fully functioning kitchen, says real estate agent Com. Although these units are smaller, they usually include high ceilings or flexible living areas ̵

1; for example, a bed that can be folded up in the wall to create open living space during the day.


A loft is typically a large room with high ceilings, few walls and large windows, says Apartment Guide. Like studio apartments, lofts have fully equipped kitchens and beds, but are much larger and often built into old factories or warehouses that have been changed to residential areas.

One-Bedroom Apartment

A standard one-bedroom apartment contains a real bedroom, according to the apartment guide. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) explains that a bedroom usually has to be 70 to 80 square meters, has a way of heating (for example, a valve from a central heating and air system or a window unit), includes an openable window and doors, and usually has a ceiling height of at least seven feet. However, ASHI notes that local codes may differ in ceiling or window height and square images.


A duplex is a structure that consists of two separate dwellings, says Apartment Guide. Duplex has separate inputs for each unit, which is the same size. A triplex is similar to a duplex, which means that there are three houses in a building.


A housing cooperative ("co-op") is a shared dwelling where a group of people own a whole property together, according to Zillow. Buying a "share" gives the owners exclusive rights to a housing unit on the property and a voice in how the cooperation works, Zillow says. However, keep in mind that because the owner of a cooperative owns the entire property together (rather than a specific unit), the rental process can be more tedious, says Apartment Guide.

Garden Apartment

A garden apartment occupies the ground level of a building, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council. These units are usually located in a single family home.

High-Rise Apartment Unit

The Apartment Guide states that a high-rise apartment building is normally located in a building that has at least 12 floors. An apartment building will usually have access to lifts, adds Apartment Guide.

Mid-Rise Apartment Unit

An apartment unit in the middle of the house is usually located in a building that is five to 11 stories high, according to the Apartment Guide. These buildings usually have a lift and are often found in urban areas.

Low-rise apartment

A low-rise building has no more than four floors, and sometimes does not include an elevator, says the apartment's guide.

Railroad Apartment

A railroad apartment is one where a hallway goes from the front to the back of the unit, with rooms located off the corridor on one side, Rent.com explains. The layout is similar to the size of a railway sleeping car.

Walk-Up Unit

A walk-up apartment is located in a building without a lift, says Apartment Guide. This type of apartment is also usually found in a smaller building with few tenants.

In-law Unit

A brother-in-law apartment is a smaller, separate unit that shares the same plot as a single-family house, says real estate agent Com. In apartment units, rooms in the main house can be converted with own, separate access or stand-alone from the main house. They are sometimes known as "accessory houses" or "secondary suites," according to Realtor.com.


An "apartment" is usually the same as an apartment, according to Rent.com. In the United States, the word "apartment" is used more often than "flat." Sometimes the word "apartment" is used when tenants in a multi-unit apartment building share common space, Rent.com adds.

Knowing the differences between the types of housing available to you is key when looking for a rental. Take the time to understand your options so you can find the right place for your situation and budget.

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