Difference Between Condo and Coop

Condo vs Coop

Condo (Condominiums) and coops are both dwelling units and are different from an independent bungalow type property. It is often a difficult proposition when it comes to buying a home for young urbanites that have set aside surplus income for this purpose. When you buy a separate house, you are owner of the entire property and responsible for the upkeep and maintenance as you may deem fit such as cutting the grass in your lawn and keeping the backyard clean and nice. But if you are a busy executive not having time to do all this chorus, it may be better for you and your small family to move into an apartment, which may be a condominium or a coop. Let us see the differences between Condo and Coop and see which may be better for you.


It is a type of housing unit where you buy and own a specified part of the structure and the use of common facilities such as stairs, heating, lifts, swimming pool etc and some exterior areas is associated with joint ownership. In general, condominium or simply condo is also referred to as an apartment. In some places like NZ, owned units are called condominiums while rented ones are called flats. There is no way of telling whether a structure is a condominium or an apartment and the difference lies in the ownership of the unit. In a condominium ownership is restricted to the covered area of the dwelling unit only. The legal document defines these boundaries that are owned by a person. All the common areas in a structure where a number of condominiums are built are jointly rented. All the owners of dwelling units in such a structure are responsible for the maintenance of these common areas. Any owner can sell only his dwelling unit but not the common areas.


A coop or a housing cooperative is a type of housing where there are many dwelling units where shareholders live. Their ownership is limited in the sense that they are granted right to live in the unit according to the terms of an agreement which is closer to a lease. All dwellers have a copy of the agreement which contains the rules and regulations of the coop. A coop is generally managed by a body elected by the dwellers. This body is a non profit organization as its income comes from the rent paid by the members. This fund is utilized for the upkeep and maintenance of the property.

Differences between Condo and Coops

Day to day life and activities of dwellers in condominiums or coops are same and it is hard to tell the difference from the outset. In both, a dweller has to pay monthly maintenance fees which vary depending upon the facilities provided. But there are differences between the two types of housing which are known only after living in either type for a few months that can cost you money or aggravation.


1. The major difference between a condominium and a coop lies in the form of ownership. While a dweller actually owns the unit in a condominium, it is not so in a coop.

2. In Coop, a dweller does not own any real estate but owns shares in a non profit organization and he gets a right to lease space in the building on the basis of his shares.

3. Common areas are owned by the cooperative. In a condominium, the common areas are jointly owned by all the dwellers.

4. A condo is a real property while a coop is an intangible personal property

5. A condo owner has to pay property taxes just as a homeowner does, while in a coop, the property is taken as one and the hose tax is paid by the cooperative which is shared by the members.

6. Monthly maintenance fees are higher in coop as this includes the house tax that is paid by the cooperative.