20 Disadvantages / Drawbacks of Living In An Apartment (Privacy,…)

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Lifevif Team and JC Franco

Modern city buildings
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If you aren’t sure if apartment living is for you, perhaps you should draw up a pros and cons list before you take the plunge. Living in an apartment is very different from living in a house, so be prepared if you’re making that particular transition. To better understand the possible drawbacks of living in an apartment, we’ll take a look at several of the expected disadvantages. 

Many people choose to live in an apartment than a house because they have romanticized the idea of a trendy or upmarket apartment in their mind. Only after they have moved in do they start to realize the various disadvantages attached. Make sure that you make an educated decision by knowing the disadvantages and drawbacks upfront. Read on.

Living in an apartment: 20 drawbacks and disadvantages to consider 

1. Less living space.

Apartments are known to be compact spaces. If you are used to spreading out and have oversized furniture items, you might find the space now available a little restrictive. Always ask about the square footage of an apartment before buying or getting into a rental contract. Make sure that you could, in fact, live comfortably in the space.

2. High rent and living expenses.

Apartments tend to be in a prime location, which means that even though the living space is limited, it comes at a higher cost than if you lived further away from the central areas and amenities. 

3. Lack of privacy.

Apartment living is a whole different ball game to living in a house. Most apartments are in a complex, which means that you share a driveway and entrance with other people. The other apartments are generally nearby, which means that you don’t have much privacy. Others can see when you come and go, who your visitors are, and what you’re up to most of the time. 

4. Increased noise.

Living in an apartment in a prime location means that you get to hear the noise of the outside world. You might hear people walking and talking on the hallways, cars zooming around, and you might also hear your neighbors most of the time. 

5. Possible problematic neighbors.

When you live in an apartment, you don’t get to choose your neighbors. In most cases, you won’t even know who your neighbors are until you are already moved into your new home. In some apartment complexes, the neighbors can be loud or obnoxious. They might throw big parties, play their music extra loud, have very active noisy kids, or even report you for trivial things like forgetting the gate open, using the wrong parking bay, or using the wrong recycling bin. 

6. Pets might not be allowed.

When you live in a house, you have space for pets. When you live in an apartment, pets are usually not allowed. That means you can’t have a cat or dog for company, and if you try to sneak one in, chances are that you will be reported for breaking the rules. Of course, many apartments don’t have enough interior space for large (or big) pets anyway. 

7. Lack of vitamin D.

Apartment living means no garden and often, no balcony too. This means that you won’t get much time out in the sun and therefore have less exposure to vitamin D. If you like to read a book in the sun, have an afternoon barbecue, or have a sunny garden party, you are going to have a hard time when you move into an apartment. 

8. Nosey neighbors.

If you’re very unlucky, you might find neighbors who are bored and nosey. They might keep coming around to see what you are up to or peep out of the windows to watch your movements. This type of nosiness can become both annoying and unsettling. 

9. Renovation restrictions.

Most apartment buildings have strict restrictions on renovations. If you wish to renovate, you will need to apply with the board (and the plans will probably be modified or even rejected). Most body corporates focus on uniformity, which means that your renovations might not quite fit in with the profile of the complex. 

10. Rules and regulations.

Empty hall mailboxes and doors at new apartment
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Apartment blocks and buildings come with rules and regulations. These can certainly become annoying. It might feel like you are living with your parents again. The rules can determine where you hang your laundry, when windows must be cleaned, how early or late you can make noise or be loud, which security service you use, and so on. 

11. Limitations on entertainment.

Due to a lack of space and no personal backyard, you might have to limit how many gatherings you host at your home. You can’t squeeze a big group into your compact lounge, so you may have to relinquish your title as entertainment king/queen. 

12. Increased boredom (especially if you’re an outdoor person).

Many apartments don’t have backyards or have limited green areas nearby. So, if you happen to be an outdoors person, who enjoys nature on a regular basis, you might feel like there’s not much to do at home. You might get bored with watching television or browsing the internet. Being bored at home is certainly no fun. 

13. Exposure to air pollution.

Thanks to a prime location, apartments are typically in areas that hustle and bustle with activity both day and night. Every time you open your window or step outside, you can expect to be met with high levels of air pollution from cars, buses, and other forms of transport. 

14. Possible higher crime rates.

As it turns out, criminals are opportunistic. Many apartments are usually located in good areas, which means that some valuable items are hidden in the confines of them. Opportunistic criminals often target apartment blocks and complexes. You may need to install a home security system to keep yourself and your valuables safe, especially if your building doesn’t have security guards or systems in place.

15. Lack of personalization of the space.

When renting an apartment, expect to be limitations on how you can customize the space. You might not be allowed to paint the walls, install a fireplace, or put a flower pot on your windowsill – and so on. If you are the type of person that likes to truly personalize your living space, apartment living might not provide the freedom to do that. 

16. Inconvenient or no safe parking.

Living in an apartment doesn’t mean that you will get a convenient parking spot included. Many apartment buildings have outside parking only, and then it’s a case of first come, first serve with your neighbors. Playing this parking game with your neighbors might be frustrating. 

17. Struggle to get the furniture inside.

Some of the best apartments have the nasty habit of being upstairs. Whether you use professional movers or rope your friends into the process, moving the furniture into the apartment may prove difficult. 

18. Difficulty finding something suitable.

Despite the drawbacks that surround apartment living, apartments are still in high demand in most areas. Because of this, you might find it near impossible to find an affordable space, as well as the type of space you had in mind. Finding the right apartment will prove both difficult and time-consuming. 

19. Lack of outdoor space.

If you like to be outdoors or have kids who enjoy playing in the sunshine, you can expect to miss out on this if you live in an apartment. Apartments usually have limited outdoor space available. Prepare to enjoy barbecues and sunny days in the garden at other people’s houses. 

Many Apartments in Building
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20. Possible maintenance issues.

If you are on the second floor in a 3-floor apartment building, for instance, you might experience some maintenance frustrations. Imagine there is a water leak in the apartment above you, and it causes a nasty-looking stain and mold in the corner of your lounge. Fixing the problem from your end won’t work as the actual source of the problem needs to be fixed. Getting someone else to fix a problem that doesn’t affect them directly could prove both frustrating and expensive. 

Last Word

Living in an apartment isn’t all bad, but it’s good to be aware that it’s not all great either. If you are seriously considering moving into an apartment, give the above pointers some thought and determine if it is the type of lifestyle that you will find comfortable. Remember that moving is one of life’s most stressful things, so only do it if you are absolutely sure it’s right for you or you really need to.

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who share their experiences and knowledge about the "Seven F's of Life".

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco is a New York-based editor for Lifevif. He covers topics like spirituality, philosophy, finance, sports, games, and food. JC earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business with a Marketing Concentration at Mercyhurst University. He is a certified USPTA professional who teaches tennis in the New York City Metropolitan area. He has passed the Level I exam of the CFA program.