Is a flat an apartment? It is a prevalent question that occupies the minds of many. Numerous people use Flat and Apartment terms interchangeably. 

However, if you’re a property seeker, you must learn the difference between them. In the real estate world, both have distinct meanings.

Wondering what is the difference between a flat and an apartment? Read this post until the end.

Flats vs. Apartments (Overview)

Before we shed light on the question — Is a flat an apartment, let’s learn the exact meaning of both terms.

What is a Flat?

The word ‘flat’ comes from the Old English word, ‘flett’. It means the floor or dwelling in a building. The modern flat is a self-contained housing unit within a building.

In India, you will usually see them in a multi-story building. The size and layout of the flat may vary depending on the city and towns. Nevertheless, it is smaller than an apartment. 

What is an Apartment?

Similar to a flat, the apartment is also a self-contained housing unit inside a building complex. Despite that, apartments are bigger than flats. In addition, they come with several amenities, such as a swimming pool, community spaces, fitness centre, garden,

Is a Flat an Apartment? Let’s Explore the Differences Between The Two 

People in the United Kingdom and some parts of Europe use the term flat for their residential properties. Things are a little different in India, especially in the real estate industry.

Let us discover the difference between a flat and an apartment in India based on different factors.

Structure of Ownership

Flats are associated with individual ownership in India, whereas apartments involve collective ownership through residential welfare associations and housing societies.

Flats are personal units within a large residential complex. If you own a flat in a building, it means you have possession of that specific part. Besides this, you also get a share of the common areas like parking, etc. Therefore, the maintenance responsibilities will be abided by you only.

On the contrary, apartments are jointly owned by residents with the help of a housing society. If you are an apartment owner, you will get shares in the whole property, including swimming pools and gyms. 

The elected representatives of the housing society take care of the maintenance job.

Size of the Property

Flats have smaller living spaces designed for individuals and nuclear families. A standard flat may have one or two bedrooms with a kitchen, a living area, and a bathroom. 

Apartments, on the contrary, come with a wide range of layout and size options. They are designed to cater to a diverse set of residents. 

You can choose one-bedroom, two-bedroom, multi-bedroom or studio apartments based on your requirements. Some luxury apartments also come with additional quarters for servants. 


Flats have limited amenities compared to apartment complexes. You get a common parking area, a garden, and basic security features based on the flat type you buy. Some high-end flats may have clubhouses and swimming pools.

Apartments offer comprehensive facilities and amenities. These may include 24/7 security, community halls, parks, swimming pools, fitness centres, etc. 

Apartments meet the requirements of people who follow luxurious and community-centric lifestyles.


A flat is a highly favourable option when it comes to affordability. People who need budget-friendly housing options can look for flats in smaller buildings.

Since apartment complexes offer a wide range of amenities, they are comparatively expensive. Browse our listings now to learn the exact cost of flats and apartments in Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Location & Availability

Another significant difference between a flat and an apartment is their location. In general, you will find flats in urban or semi-urban areas. 

Flats are widespread in cities with smaller residential buildings and independent houses.

Apartments are more prevalent in metropolitan cities and rapidly growing urban areas. In most cases, they are part of planned developments.


Flat owners are responsible for maintaining their respective flats. However, the common areas, such as parks and parking are maintained by the residents’ society with the joint contribution of all flat owners.

In apartments, you have a centralised management system to maintain common areas and amenities. All apartment owners share the expense of the management. 

However, the interiors of individual units within apartments are maintained by property holders. 

Legal Framework

The Indian Registration Act governs the ownership of flats in India. The sale of a flat needs a proper authorised registration to the government.  

The buyer gets a sale deed that mentions ownership rights and an undivided share in the common areas. In addition, the buyer may need to sign an agreement with the builder. 

Apartments are registered under the Apartment Ownership Act in the country. The act regulates the development, sale, and management of apartment complexes.

Should I Buy a Flat or Apartment? Make the Right Choice

Whether you should buy a flat or an apartment entirely depends on your budget and requirements. Both flats and apartments have their advantages.

Flats come with a lower price tag and responsibilities. If you’re an individual or small family, flats can be more appealing to you. 

If you are looking for a spacious property with amenities like gyms, swimming pools, and security, apartments are an excellent choice. However, you will have to bear high upfront costs and monthly fees.

With the above comparison, the dissimilarity between both is evident. So make decisions based on your lifestyle and financial status. 

If you’re still not sure, it is advisable to consult a real estate professional. They can better guide you to choose a property based on your preferences and specific requirements. 


Is a flat an apartment? We hope you don’t have confusion about this question anymore. Many people indeed use these terms interchangeably but they have different meanings.
In this post, we discussed how both properties are different based on several factors. Whether you want to buy a flat or an apartment, make sure you are aware of these dissimilarities. It will help you make an informed decision. If you want a real estate partner you can trust, contact us today.