A condominium refers to a building with many different units. Each unit is owned by an individual, but the property is maintained by another single owner. A condominium may refer to one apartment in an apartment building or a townhouse that is connected to several others. You would not know by looking at a piece of real estate whether it is a condominium or an apartment. An apartment is rented, and a condominium is purchased by the owner. A condominium owner has access to common grounds on the property such as the elevators, private pool, recreational facilities and parking locations. The complex is often governed by a board of the owners of the units. There is also a difference in quality between an apartment and a condominium. The condominiums are built to higher standards than the apartments because of the difference in sales and rental markets.