Apartments are non-residential premises located in reconstructed industrial or office buildings. Despite their formal status, apartments provide amenities and living conditions that are not inferior to ordinary apartments. They are often located in the city center or on the site of former industrial zones, where residential construction is excluded. According to the documents, such buildings may have the status of hotels or offices, but in reality, they are intended for residence. But registration for permanent residence is not available there. Due to their status as non-residential premises there is no need to have the necessary infrastructure near them, which leads to a lower cost similar to apartments.

This is the basis for the legal status and rights of those using them. The legislation on housing construction does not contain such a term as apartments at all. Accordingly, they are characterized as non-residential, and those, accordingly, are not designed for permanent residence of people, so they can serve only as a place for temporary residence.

What kind of premises are residential?

As residential premises should be considered premises that comply with sanitary, fire and technical requirements, which serve as a place of permanent residence of citizens, as well as used in the prescribed manner as specialized houses.

This category includes: a residential house, a part of a residential house, a flat, a room. In general, a flat is a type of dwelling, including one or more premises located next to each other, in some situations with an independent external entrance (exit), and is a separate component of the house and premises of auxiliary purpose, serving to meet the domestic and other needs of residents accompanying their residence in it. Moreover, flats should always have accessibility to the premises of joint purpose in the building.

What is the difference between an apartment and a flat?

Differences are observed in the status and legal regulations. Apartments are considered non-residential real estate and people cannot be registered on a permanent basis. Because of their commercial status, they have higher rates for housing and utilities and real estate taxation. But their cost, due to the lack of infrastructure, is usually lower.

The main difference between these objects is that, unlike residential buildings, they are not subject to the norms of housing legislation, including the norms of illumination of residential buildings, building height and noise. When a residential complex is built, the developer is obliged to create infrastructure, while there are no such obligations for apartments.

During the purchase process, it is recommended to carefully study reviews of the management company and previous projects implemented by the developer, because by law, owners of apartments are less protected than owners of apartments. For example, in the event of demolition of a building, residents of municipal buildings are provided with new residential premises as compensation, while owners of apartments can expect only monetary compensation.

Rights of owners of apartments and apartments

By law, property owners in multi-flat buildings own the common property in them. They themselves determine the method of management in their buildings. At the same time, apartment owners are not endowed with this right. This is due to the fact that the rules of housing legislation do not apply to them.

In the case of buildings in which apartments are located, the companies selected by the developers are responsible for managing them. And since it is a non-residential facility, you will have to pay the same tariff for utilities.

Why you can’t register in an apartment?

According to the law, you can register only at the place of residence in residential premises. Due to the fact that apartments are classified as non-residential premises, it is not possible to register in them on a permanent basis, but temporary registration is possible.

It is still difficult to judge how the absence of the possibility to register in them affects consumer activity of the population and will affect it in the future.

What is better to buy: an apartment or a flat?

Real estate market experts recommend to purchase both apartments and flats, the former for themselves to live in them, and the latter for rent as a source of passive income. The latter can be purchased for personal residence, especially if the owner does not intend to live in them permanently. Such a purchase can be a profitable investment, because often complexes are located in a convenient location.

But it is necessary to pay attention to a number of details. Recently, there have been programs of preferential mortgage and housing lending, which caused a decrease in demand for apartments. At the same time, the demand for apartments is still stable. Often they are also purchased for investment purposes and rented out independently or through their own management company.