Rental properties come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from private studio apartments to spacious villas and mansions. This glossary is here to help owners give their property the most fitting title and also to help travelers gain a better understanding of the rental property types available to them.

Property Types

Apartment: An apartment is a self-contained housing unit that occupies part of a building. An apartment is usually flexible, maintenance free and has lower upfront expenses. Apartments vary in size.

Bed and Breakfast: A bed and breakfast (typically shortened to ‘BnB’) is usually a private home opened up for guests to stay overnight, which includes an inclusive breakfast along with other amenities. Bed and breakfasts are all unique and vary by region and city. They are generally of better value than a hotel since many of your amenities (parking, Wi-Fi, breakfast, room and bath) are all offered as one packaged deal.

Bungalow: A bungalow is a low home, usually with a broad front porch, with no upper floor or upper rooms set in the roof. Bungalow homes provide easy mobility for the elderly, disabled or small children since there is typically only one floor. Bungalows provide lots of charm since many of these types of homes were built in the early 1900’s.

Cabin: Traditionally, a cabin is a small home built from logs. Today, “cabin” is used to describe any mountain or vacation home. A cabin is usually a simple one-story home. Cabins are cozy, warm and relaxing and are usually extremely insulated and energy efficient.

Chalet: Chalets are very similar to cabins, however the main distinguisher is that they often come with paneled sides and heavier, angled roofs. Chalets are also typically associated with hillside vistas and mountain locales. Chalets are high in luxury and often come with built-in Jacuzzis and fireplaces and they also have spacious decks and verandas. Other amenities such as Wi-Fi, electricity and water are included as well, often.

Condominium: A condominium or “condo” is a building or complex of buildings

containing a number of individually owned apartments or houses. Many condos have more amenities than apartments such as concierges, lawn care, pools, etc.

Cottage: A cottage is typically small home, usually only one story. Cottages are built in a wide range of materials including wattle, stone, daub or wood. Cottages are usually cozy and often found in rural or semi-rural locations.

Hostel: A hostel is typically a low-budget accommodation shared among travelers. When a guest books a stay in a hostel, they are usually booking a bed for the night, not an entire room. A guest’s bed can be in a room shared anywhere from 4 to 20 travelers at a time. The bathrooms in a hostel are dorm-style, with several shower stalls and a row of sinks. Hostels are inexpensive and allow you the opportunity to meet different kinds of people, however they usually do not offer the convenience and comfort of a hotel.

House: A house is a dwelling-place used a permanent or semi-permanent residence for an individual, family or several families at a time. A house usually comes with various bedrooms and bathrooms, equipped with a full kitchen, washroom, etc.

Mansion: A very large, often expensive and impressive house.

Studio: A studio apartment, also known as a studio flat, is a small apartment, which combines a living room, bedroom and kitchen into a single room. Studio apartments are usually inexpensive, small in size and more efficient. Since studios have limited space, this type of accommodation is usually most convenient for one person.

Townhome: A townhouse is a tall, narrow, traditional row house that generally has three or more floors. Due to the close proximity to neighbors and shared walls, this can cause increased noise and less privacy. However, townhomes usually come equipped with great amenities including swimming pools, tennis courts, playgrounds, clubhouses and more.

Villa: Historically, villas were upper class country estates built by Romans. Today, they have been revamped into detached or semidetached homes in a residential district, typically Victorian or Edwardian in style.

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This article was written by Alisiana Peters.