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The Difference Between An Apartment And A Service Apartment

In today’s urban lifestyle, living in an apartment in high-rise buildings is the norm. Go to any big city like Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or even New York, ask someone where they live and the most likely answer you’ll get is a form of an apartment complex. While apartments are commonplace, there is another type of living space that isn’t as widespread but offers much more, and these are serviced apartments.

Since the names are very similar it isn’t unlikely to confuse the two, especially for those who are not familiar with the term. And why not? Both are places where you live, both are mostly found in high-rise buildings and both are popular in big cities.

That being said, there are still differences between the two, and that is what we will be discussing in this article. Here is the difference between an apartment and a serviced apartment.

What is an apartment?

To put it simply, an apartment (also known as a flat or a unit) is a self-contained living space or housing unit located within a residential building. Most apartments are usually rented out to individuals or families by their respective owners/landlords, for an extended period of time. A rented apartment does not necessarily come fully furnished and renters are responsible for maintaining and looking after the apartment. Most apartments, being residential units, will have a population density based on units or population per land size. Utilities used are also subject to residential rates.

What is a serviced apartment?

A serviced apartment (also known as a service apartment, an extended stay apartment or a serviced condo) can be defined as a type of fully furnished apartment, which can be used for both short-term and long-term or extended stays. They provide amenities for daily use such as a pantry, recreation room, fully stocked kitchen, bathroom, Wi-Fi, washing machine, regular housekeeping, and other services. Many compare them to hotel rooms, but more affordable. Most serviced apartments are rented out to tourists, people on business trips and professors giving presentations and talks. Most serviced apartments are considered to be commercial real estate and are hence subject to commercial rates for utilities like electricity, water, sewage etc., which are normally much higher than residential rates. Being commercial properties, a serviced apartments population density will be based on plot ratio or the total built-up area per land size and this might mean more neighbours.


Apartment Serviced Apartment
Living spaces in residential buildings Living spaces in commercial buildings
Mostly rented for extended stay May be rented for long or short term stay
May or may not come fully furnished Always comes fully furnished
Must be maintained by those who live there Normally maintained by housekeeping service
Mostly rented out to individuals and families Mostly rented out to vacationers and those on business trips
Population density based on units or population per land size Population density based on plot ratio, or the total built-up area per land size (may mean more neighbours)
Utilities subject to residential rates Utilities subject to commercial rates

Knowing all this now, which one would you go for? Whatever your answer is, at least now you can make an informed choice.


Looking for apartments or serviced apartments for yourself? Talk to us, send us a message at hello@iqiglobal.com or call us at 012-299-6155 or 03-7450-6655.

Liked what you read? Check out this article next: Condominiums Vs Serviced Apartments: 5 Things You Need To Know Before Buying

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