What is a Multi-family Dwelling?

A multi-family dwelling can be several buildings in one complex or several housing units in one building. So it can be an apartment building, a condo or even a cohousing project.

And when an owner of a property decides to undergo multifamily construction for tenant use, he could have any of these properties he’s working with:

  • A two apartment house: This usually consists of two apartments with one of the apartments on the first floor and the other apartment on the second floor. These apartments usually share the basement and have a front entrance which is shared. There’s also a back entrance which is shared to cover fire regulations. Each unit must have an entrance to the outside or the building wouldn’t be considered an apartment building.
  • Three and four apartment buildings: These are similar to a two apartment building, but the apartment layout is different. They also all have separate entrances to the outside, and the lot the building is built on is larger than a regular house lot.
  • Duplex or semi-detached: This is a building which consists of two separate houses side by side; under the same roof with separate entrances. The insides of the homes are also separated and have a common wall between the two houses.
  • Apartment building: This building has numerous apartments with multiple floors in it connected with staircases or elevators. Apartment buildings can come in all sizes from there being only a few apartments to there being a couple of hundred apartments. Too there are inside hallways and entrances to the apartments with usually some type of community foyer.
  • Apartment community: This is often a group of buildings on pieces of land that are adjoining. These buildings are still considered multi-family dwellings and are usually owned by one person or a corporation. Common grounds are shared as well as pools, community clubhouse, and parking spaces in these types of communities.

So a multi-family dwelling has many faces, and when undergoing renovation, a building can be turned into any of the above properties. There is always a need for multi-family dwellings for people who don’t want or can’t afford to purchase their own home too. There just need to be property owners who are willing to rent to people who need a good place to live.