Maisonettes Vs Houses Vs Flats: What Are The Differences?

Kitchen-diner room - Maisonettes Vs Houses Vs Flats and What Are The Differences

When it comes to looking for a property to buy it’s never an easy process. You first have to decide on where to live and what you can afford to spend, but then you have to decide on the type of property to buy too. The main types of property you’ll come across include houses, flats and maisonettes.

But what is the difference between a house vs a maisonette vs a flat? How is a maisonette different to a house, and how is a maisonette different to a flat?

House are usually freehold vs maisonettes or flats are normally leasehold. Houses tend to have their own gardens and lofts, whilst maisonettes and flats share gardens and only top floor maisonette have lofts. House owners don’t share the cost of the building, whereas flat and maisonette owners do.

Below you’ll find a handy table that lists the main differences between houses vs maisonettes vs flats, but first let’s consider how each property type is defined.

What is a House?

A house is a self-contained building which can be detached, semi-detached or as a terrace of houses where each house has it’s own front door directly onto the street. Houses can be single storey bungalows or over two or more floors and most houses are freehold, but can also be leasehold too.

What is a Maisonette?

A maisonette is self-contained flat, but is referred to as a maisonette as it is accessed via its own front door directly off the street, whereas a flat is normally accessed via a shared entrance. Most maisonettes are two floors. Maisonettes are most commonly leasehold, but can also be freehold too.

What is a flat?

Flats are distinguished from maisonettes and houses by the fact that they are typically accessed via a shared entrance. Flats are usually within a larger building containing other similar homes where all the rooms for each flat are usually on one floor. Flats are normally leasehold properties.

There is another property type, which is a cluster house. If you want to know what a cluster house is, please take a read of this article: What is a cluster house? In this article, you’ll not only discover what a cluster house is, but also their pros and cons too.

Please also take time to read this article to discover how you could save over £70,000 on your next mortgage if you sell your house and rent before buying againEven I was amazed when I did the calculations!

Maisonette Vs Houses Vs Flats

Difference vs similarityHouseMaisonetteFlat
EntranceOwn entrance.Own entrance.Shared entrance.
Freehold or leaseholdMostly freehold.Can be leasehold or freehold, but mostly leasehold.Leasehold.
GardenOwn garden.Gardens can be shared.Normally shared garden.**
Service chargesNo.Yes.Yes.
Ground rentYes if leasehold.Yes if leasehold.Yes.
GroundedYes.Can be grounded or above shops or other maisonettes.Only ground floor flats.
ExpensesPays all own expenses.Some shared expenses of common parts.The expenses for the common parts and areas are shared.
RulesOwn rules apply, unless covenants are in place.Stricter rules in place, which can include rules over pets.Stricter rules in place, which can include rules over pets, visitors, parking, tenants and use of the property.
Loft spaceOwn loft space.Top floor has the loft space.Only the top floor can have a loft space, but often doesn't
PrivacyBetter privacy, especially with detached houses.Less privacy.Less privacy.
Noise levelsLess noisy, especially for detached houses.Can be more noise if another maisonette is above.Can be noisier, as flats are often side-by-side and on top of each other.
CostNormally more expensive than maisonettes and flats.Normally cheaper than houses, but more expensive than flats.Normally cheaper than houses and maisonettes.
SecurityMore secure as they have their own entrance off the street.More secure as they have their own entrance off the street.Less secure as the main entrance off the street is shared.
Maisonette Vs Houses Vs Flats notes:
* Some houses can be leasehold too, but this is not common.
** Some ground floor flats can have their own garden.

What is a maisonette vs House?

A house are normally independent properties and freehold, whereas maisonettes are usually built in pairs or more and can be leasehold or freehold. Maisonettes are similar to a flats except they have a separate door to the outside and often have shared gardens when houses have their own garden.

Maisonette vs flat

Maisonettes are like two-storey flats, but the difference is that maisonettes have their own front door, whereas flats have doors leading onto shared corridors. Maisonette are often located above other maisonettes, whereas flats are located above or below or side-by-side other flats in the same building.

What is a maisonette vs apartment?

The difference between a maisonette vs an apartment is that a maisonette has its own front door leading outside vs an apartment which has a front door leading out onto a common area, which is shared by other apartment owners in the same block that then leads to the outside via a shared entrance.

Do maisonettes have stairs?

Most maisonettes have stairs as they are usually built over two floors. These stairs will connect the upper floor to the ground floor of the maisonette, which will lead to their own front door leading directly to the street.

How do maisonettes work?

A maisonette is like a two-storey flat, but where the front door belongs to you and you alone, which means you can exit your home directly to the outside. Whereas with a flat you’ll have a shared corridor and stairs that leads to a shared front door to the outside.

Are maisonettes freehold?

Maisonettes can be freehold or leasehold, but leasehold maisonettes are more common. If you purchase a maisonette that is leasehold you will need to pay ground rent to the owner of the freehold. You will also have to pay service charges on maisonettes too.

How many floors do maisonettes have?

Most maisonettes have two floors, which is why they are called duplexes in the States.

Can a maisonette be one level?

Maisonette are not normally on one level and are typically over two floors. Maisonettes are similar to flats and apartments, but flats and apartments are usually on one floor only and accessed via a shared entrance onto shared corridors.

Is maisonette better than flat?

A maisonette is better than a flat as it has its own front door leading directly to the outside vs a flat that has a door leading onto a shared corridor. A maisonette is better as its slightly more private and has better security as the front door is not shared.

Please don’t forget to read this before you leave…

Please don’t forget to also read this article to discover how you could save over £70,000 on your next mortgage if you sell your house and rent before buying againAs I said earlier, even I was amazed when I did the calculations!

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Maisonettes Vs Houses Vs Flats: What Are The Differences?

Article written by Russell Bowyer who has been investing in property since purchasing his first commercial property in the 1990's for his own Chartered Accountancy business. But his first property investment project was to turn an old dilapidated restaurant into a large 5-bed home, which he purchased for £117,500 and sold for £450,000 (to see an "after" photo of the house before it was sold see here: About). Russell owns a number of investment properties, which includes houses, flats and HMO's. More recently he has turned his creative side to investing in property using lease options. His largest lease option deal to date was to acquire 12 properties worth over £2 million for just £12, which means he paid just £1 to acquire each property!

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