What is the Difference Between a Maisonette and a Flat? - MCS

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1st December 2021

What is the Difference Between a Maisonette and a Flat?

Identifying your perfect property can be a challenge. There are several different types of housing you might be considering – maisonettes, flats or houses. Each has their own unique pros and cons depending on what you’re looking for in your next home.

Read our guide to help make your decision easier…

What is a Maisonette?

In recent years maisonettes have become popular as family homes due to their extra space and flexibility. Maisonettes are normally split into levels with two or more floors in a single building. They have their own entrance, front door and staircase. This means maisonettes are often larger than flats, but may vary regarding the living space.

 

Flats vs Maisonettes – What’s the difference?

There are a few differences between maisonettes and flats, which you should take into account when deciding on the best property option for you.

  • Stairs

One of the key factors that often varies between maisonettes and flats is the existence of stairs within the property. Whilst many blocks of flats have stairs or elevators to access several floors, the property most often resides amongst one floor. Alternatively, maisonettes frequently have an exclusive set of stairs that exists within the property.

  • Communal

As previously mentioned, flats often exist within a block. There may be a shared staircase, reception area of even shared kitchens. Maisonettes tend to be far more exclusive, often existing in pairs of on their own, rather than in high rise blocks.

  • Uncommon

Next to houses, flats are some of the most common property types across the UK, especially when compared to maisonettes. You are far less likely to find maisonettes as freely as you may find flats. They are certainly more desirable which also increases their rarity.

 

Houses vs Maisonettes

After discovering the differences between a maisonette and a flat, it is also worth considering the differences to typical houses. After all the French translation of maisonette is ‘little house.’ How different can they be?

  • Floors

Whilst a maisonette typically includes some stairs, this doesn’t often mean you can exist between floors. Typically a maisonette may be located above a garage, a high street shop or a ground floor apartment. This means there is not a space to be utilised on the ground floor, unlike the majority of typical houses.

  • Garden

For many houses across the UK, some garden space is particularly common. However, maisonettes don’t often come with this luxury. If there is a garden, you might find that it is a communal space or an area that is more challenging to access than out the patio doors.

 

Where can you find a maisonette?

Another difference that contrasts maisonettes from flats is the locations in which they can be found. Flats can commonly be found in several locations, varying from city centres, to suburban residential areas. However, maisonettes tend to be far less common and as such, occur in far less common locations.

Conventional maisonettes, as discussed, are often part of subdivided properties. Frequently this means they are located on top of shops. Being small and compact also provides convenience for their locations. As such, you’ll likely find maisonettes most commonly amongst cities and towns. They are usually featured in places where the cost of living is particularly high, like London for example.

 

Final Thoughts

Within this article, we have discussed the core differences between a maisonette and a flat. Whilst the two can often be confused, there are some indicators to be able to tell the two apart. This may include their locations, the communal space involved with the property and the inclusion of exclusive stairs. Using this article, you should be able to decide whether you prefer a maisonette or a traditional flat, taking you one step closer to your perfect home.