An apartment is a dwelling unit, comprising a number of rooms and which occupies only part of a building, usually located in a city.
An apartment is a one-storey house; on several floors it is a maisonette. A one-room apartment is a studio.
It is often for residential use (concept of housing). Particularly in France, when the co-ownership regulations fully allocate the building to this use (this is called “exclusive bourgeois occupation” 1), excluding all forms of commercial activity. More marginally, it sometimes hosts professional activities.
An apartment can be inhabited – therefore occupied – by its owner or a member of his family.
In some countries (in particular in France) the conclusion of a lease contract which may differ depending on whether the accommodation is furnished or not grants the tenant exclusive enjoyment of the apartment, according to the terms of the contract and the law in force .
Some occupants own their homes, either in a cooperative, in which residents own shares in a company that owns the property. In France, the apartments are often in private condominiums, and operate according to the principles defined by law. Each co-owner owns lots (apartment, cellar, garage); each lot corresponds to a private part of the building, and to one (or more) quota (percentages) on the common parts. These quotas are used to distribute the weight of the votes and the payment of certain costs.
In England, it can be managed in whole or in part by a Tenant Management Organization.
- Maisonette – often extends over several floors and usually includes the top floor and the roof structure
- Basement apartment – the floor of the apartment is below the surface of the earth
- Penthouse – an apartment that was added to another house (also called an attic apartment in Switzerland)
- Loft apartment – an apartment that was set up in a former factory or warehouse or (in Scandinavian countries) a sleeping loft, often without standing height
- Garçonnière – a one-room apartment, depending on the layout, with a separate kitchen or storage room
- Granny flat – a small additional flat in a home that is of minor importance compared to the main flat.