Exploring the Fundamental Differences Between Flats and Apartments

While looking for your ideal home, you’ll come across several real estate-related terms. “Flats” and “apartments” will probably be used frequently. Flat and apartment are often used interchangeably but don’t mean identically. 

In general, “flat” and “apartment” refer to private living spaces that can be rented or purchased. A much larger building typically consists of a predetermined number of rooms on the same floor. But when you dig deeper, you find some differences between the two. 

Before going any further, let’s understand the meaning of “flat” and “apartment.” 

What is a flat?

A flat is a dwelling place in a housing society. The word “flat,” used more often in the UK, comes from the old English word “Flett,” which means the floor or a dwelling. 

Multiple houses were constructed on a single floor before high-rises became popular, giving community housing projects’ units the nickname “flats. ”

What is an apartment? 

In the US, an apartment is also known as a “flat’ more frequently. Simply put, a flat is what a British apartment would be in America. 

An apartment is defined as “a set of rooms for living in, typically on one floor of a building” by the Oxford English Dictionary. 

The word “apartment” is derived from the Italian word “appartamento,” which refers to a group of rooms used solely by one person in a home. In the case of large establishments, the term “apartment” is also used to convey the meaning. A room in a house, particularly a large or well-known home, is known as a “flat” in the UK. 

Differentiation of a “flat” and an “apartment” in India 

The only distinction between the terms “flat” and “apartment,” as you can see from the definitions above, is how they function and whether they are perceived geographically. Thus, we should end the day with the same name. Contrarily, there is something else you should be aware of that is likely unnecessary if you live in India.

In the US, for example, a rented residential unit in a multi-unit building is called “an apartment.” They are known as “condos” if they have a private owner. It is referred to as a “townhouse” or “duplex” if there are only two residences in a single building and no other people live above or below your residence unit. 

Instead, a “two-flat” refers to two identical Chicago apartments in the same building. In British culture, however, an apartment is a luxury that only the wealthy can afford. While a flat is for those with little money, a council flat is a rented home, whereas an owner-occupied home is a residence.

While “flat” and “apartment” are often used interchangeably in India, British usage may be more accurate. In India, residences are likely to be more “affordable” apartments than “lavish.” while “vilas” are available within the same community but are independent of one another. Contrary to US usage, renting a residential unit does not alter the unit’s definition. Even though a flat is usually more spacious than a flat, there isn’t much difference between the two in India.  

Comparison between a “flat” and an “apartment”

Tips for purchasing a flat or an apartment 

  1. Set a budget and stick to it. Knowing how much you want to spend on your ideal home is critical to making the process go more smoothly. You won’t have too much to chew on before it’s over. Therefore, this is the most essential phase of your home-buying process. 
  2. Ask questions regarding the carpet area, super built area, etc. 
  3. Verify loan approvals with the banks. 
  4. Ask the relevant authorities for all the necessary documents regarding approvals and conduct a legal check. 
  5. When you’ve made the token payment, agree with the builder. 

The boon and bane of purchasing an apartment or a flat in India

Tax benefits 

The tax advantages associated with property ownership and home loans are substantial. It is an excellent example of an investment that will help you save money and pay off. 

The only disadvantage of an apartment is that you cannot customize it. You are limited to customizing the look of your home with the help of home furnishings or home decor items, but you cannot change the size of your living room. You may have been able to do this if you were constructing your house on a lot of land you own. 


You have nothing to be concerned about regarding the safety and security of you and your family members. Guards and cameras provide round-the-clock security to ensure the children’s safety in the play area and corridor. 

Interpersonal Skills 

Your children develop strong interpersonal skills as a result of the large population in the area. You have the option of meeting up with friends in the park or relaxing by yourself at your convenience. 

Host of amenities 

Apartments include a variety of amenities, making it simple for you to access them, from the gym to the swimming pool. While their grandparents can provide them with a lush park or reflexology trail, your kids have a fantastic playground. 

Which one to choose?

Before you start the search for your dream home, it is crucial to understand your needs. There are essential factors to consider, such as whether it is for your use or potential investment. 


Apartments and flats are similar enough to be interchangeable. The main difference between apartments and flats is that apartments are part of specific buildings, while flats are part of housing societies. All spaces are the same except for their linguistic context and location. 

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