Residential or Rental building type?
Once built, each apartments are separately for sale, this is what is called here a "Bunjou Manshion" (分譲マンション). Usually buyer are investing in their own residence (household).
*Sometimes, some apartment from residential building are for rent. The owner isn’t/couldn’t leave here for many reason, and so put his apartment in rental.
A common example: when a member of the family is send by his company to work in another city.
There is also some case of owners that buy an apartment in this kind of residential buildings in order to rent the room to someone else.
Those building are made for the rent (1R・1LDK・3LDK…). Owners buya building to rent apartments separately, this as an investment. Those buildings are called "Chintai Mansion" (賃貸マンション).
Usual apartments for rent are from those type of building.
Residential building are often a better quality compared to rental ones. For example you could find double glazing or floor heating in residential buildings whereas in buildings for rent this is extremely rare.
What means "Apa-to"? "Mansion"?
There are 2 different types of structures buildings in Japan :
● アパート (apa-to)
● マンション (mansion)
"Apa-to" are sort of smaller building or house, rarely higher than 3 floors, with usually a wooden structure.
Mansion have an entire concrete structure. Mansion are higher than "Apa-to". Up to 15 floors, we call it "Tower Mansion". From the 15th floor of a Tower mansion, the construction structure and the necessary construction materials change, so the rent could be totally different in the same building up to the 15th floor.
Due to their concrete structure, Mansion's insulation is better than in "Apa-to". By insulation is included : thermal insulation, sound insulation, insects insulation (quite present in Japan)...
"Apa-to" or "Mansion", which one corresponds me the most ?
Advantages : smaller building, cheaper, less residents in the building, sometimes house so more individual
Disadvantages : insulation (sound, cold, insects...), external people have a direct access to the apartment's door (could feel insecure)
⇒ It is better for small budget, more individual, not looking for comfort at first.
Advantages : security (it depends of buildings, but usually there is a door locked in the entrance of the building to pass before acceding to residents doors + cameras), less insulation problems
Disadvantages : usually more expensive compared to Apa-to, could have other residents at every side (overhead, under, right, left..), common space fees higher (elevator...)
⇒ The building quality is better, the security too, but more expensive.