A Guide to the Different Types of Rental Housing

Modern white apartment building

What type of rental you get for your family will depend on a lot of factors, including location, lifestyle, and budget. As you begin to research that perfect place, you may be surprised by how many rental types are out there and available.

Getting a home that checks all of the boxes can take your rental experience from good to great! allows you to narrow your home search by the style that interests you most. Ready to begin? Before you do, check out our guide on the types of rentals you may come across on our website.

The Apartment. An apartment is a self-contained housing unit that occupies a single section of a common building. That said building contains multiple units and families.

There are many types of apartments to choose from, including:

  • Studio: A studio apartment contains a single room with a complete bathroom and kitchen. The bedroom and living room are combined into one.
  • Garden: This is a ground-floor apartment that has direct access to a lawn or garden.
  • Convertible: An apartment with enough space to be sectioned off and used as a secondary space, like a bedroom or dining nook.
  • Micro: A micro apartment is a one-room unit with less than 350 square feet. It includes a space for sitting and sleeping, plus a bathroom and kitchenette. Micro apartments are typically found in metros with a large population and high rent prices for a small amount of space.
  • Walk-Up: An apartment that is located in a building without an elevator.
  • Low-Rise: An apartment located within a building that has one to four floors. Depending on location building code, a low-rise community may or may not have an elevator.
  • Mid-Rise: A five- to eleven-story community with at least one elevator. Mid-rise apartment communities are typically found in urban settings.
  • High-Rise: An apartment community with twelve or more stories. There are typically multiple elevators in a high-rise.
  • Loft: A loft apartment is characterized by an open floor plan with lots of space. You’ll find a loft typically in a converted warehouse or factory. Other features of a loft apartment include high ceilings and windows, exposed brick and support beams.
  • Duplex: A duplex is one dwelling containing two separate full units and entrances for two households. Units are either side by side, or occupy the lower and top floor.
  • Triplex: A triplex apartment is a unit that expands three floors and connected by a staircase.
  • Co-op: A co-op is a type of apartment that makes up a collective organization known as a cooperative (co-op). Renters of co-ops will typically go through an approval process through the building’s board. Each co-op has their own building rules that dwellers must follow in order to be approved. Co-op apartments can be found all over the United States, especially in New York, NY.
  • Maisonette: A triplex-style apartment containing its own private entry from outside.

The Condominium. A condominium is a complex of units that are individually owned. The owner of said condominium (or condo) rents out his or her unit to others. Condos have similar features and amenities as apartments – the biggest difference between the two stems from ownership. 

The House. A house is a freestanding dwelling residing on its own private land or lot, designed to be occupied by one family. Also referred to as a single-family home, characteristics of a house may include front and back lawns, and attached or detached garages or carports.

The Townhome. A townhome (also referred to as a townhouse or row house) is a hybrid between a house and condominium. Townhomes typically have multiple floors and share a common wall or two with the neighbors. Some townhomes may have a front yard or backyard, or a rooftop deck.  

Main Image: Photo by Grant Lemons on Unsplash

Looking for an Apartment? Start Here! is the leading online apartment listing website, offering access to information on nearly 1,000,000 available rental units and helping connect property managers and landlords to millions of qualified renters every day.

Search Rentals