What’s The Difference Between A Flat And An Apartment?

By: ROS Team

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Flat and apartment are sometimes used interchangeably. Are there differences between the two? The simple answer is yes.

What’s a Flat?

A flat is simply a term used to describe a residential unit in a building. The word ‘flat’ may have originated from single-story units because of their flat nature.

The Major Differences


As we discussed above, there really is no significant difference between flats and apartments structurally. The chief difference between them is that of location. A flat is a common term used in the UK for a residential unit in a building while the common term for the same unit in the US would be an apartment. In the UK, however, single-story units are considered flats while units with two or more stories are called apartments.

Here is another interesting difference between flats and apartments: in some parts of the world, units that were built for residential purposes are called apartments while those originally built for commercial or other purposes and were later converted into residential units are called flats.


It is not merely the difference of location but sometimes also that of available amenities. In the UK, the more luxurious and modern residential units are called apartments. On the contrary, in the US a flat is considered a more updated version of an apartment.

Is it Worth Living in a Flat?

This is a question only you can answer. If you have been looking for a single-story residential unit with access to amenities then a flat may better suit you. On the contrary, if you live outside the US, you may need to further specify your desired criteria because the term “flat” is too vague.

Finding an Apartment or Flat in NYC

Apartment hunting is a stressful job; it consumes a lot of energy and time. Here are a few tips to help during the process:

1. Search Online:

This is often the best first step. The real estate sector is vast and now, with the pandemic, it’s harder than ever to see everything that’s available on the market. There are several websites that show the latest listings. You can even narrow down your search by applying filters such as location, rent, and neighborhood.

2. Use Real Estate Apps:

If websites do not help you then try a real estate app. The apps are generally a more dedicated version of websites and you will have access to similar features such as filters to narrow down your search.

3. Ask Friends and Family:

If you are moving into NYC from somewhere else, reach out to friends and family who live in or around the city for help with finding a flat or apartment for you. In soliciting their assistance, you’ll get first-hand information about the surrounding areas and the building. Finding an apartment or flat in NYC

4. Use Social Apps:

If you do not have friends or family in NYC, reach out to your social network to see if anyone has any recommendations.

5. Hire A Broker:

Last but not least, hire a broker. Tell the broker what you need and they’ll take it from there. Bare in mind that you will be paying a fee for their services (called as agent’s commission) but it is worth every penny when you will see the results.

NY Rent Own Sell:

Looking for a flat or apartment in NYC? We’re here to help! NY Rent Own Sell is one of the best real estate firms in NYC. Our team has a wealth of experience and we take pride in providing personalized services to clients.


What makes an Apartment Different from a Flat?

In general, “apartment” is all the more normally utilized in American English, while “flat” is all the more generally utilized in English. However, the two terms don’t really mean anything different; they both mean self-contained living units within a larger building.

Why is an Apartment Called a Flat?

The term “flat” is used in the old English word “flet,” meaning a story or a home. For a long time, it has been used in British English to describe a separate apartment within a building. In American English, the term “apartment” is used.

What is a Flat with 2 Floors Called?

A flat with 2 floors is called a maisonette.

What makes a Property a Flat?

A separate dwelling within a larger building typically has its own entrance, kitchen, bathroom, and living area.

Is it Cheaper to Buy a Flat or Rent?

Renting may be cheaper in some situations, while buying a house may be expensive in others.

Main Takeaways:

The definition varies from area to area.
A flat is typically a single-story unit that can be converted into an apartment.