Pros and Cons of Living in a Duplex Apartment

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Duplex apartments are exciting living spaces. This arrangement makes for more efficient utilization of the space. However, duplex apartments have pros and cons to them. Let’s explore the benefits and advantages related to duplex apartments.

You can also check out the duplex project on one level to have a better understanding of certain types of duplex buildings.

What are Duplex Apartments?

Depending on where you are in the world and/or what country you are in, the term “duplex” can mean a lot of different things. For this article, a duplex is defined as a house structure that includes:

  • Exactly two living spaces (anything more would be considered a “multiplex,” such as an apartment, condo, or townhome).
  • One shared floor (over-under) or wall (side-by-side) is required

The entire structure and lot may be owned by one person. Two people also may own half the land and structure each.

Types of Duplex Houses

There are many different floorplans to choose from to fit any construction or style. However, duplex houses are of only two kinds:

  • Side-by-Side: A house on the left and a place on the right share a single wall. Sometimes it’s a garage wall, and other times it’s a living room wall.
  • Over-Under (also known as stacked): One house on the bottom floor,  the other on the top floor, and a shared ceiling/floor.

Pros and Cons of Duplex Apartments

Whether you rent a duplex house or purchase one, there are multiple benefits and disadvantages.



Most duplex houses are affordable and mostly located in cost-friendly neighborhoods. They are an affordable and convenient method of buying a house. 

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You get a significant level of usable space at reasonable prices with duplexes. You can divide your yard to maintain a preferred level of privacy with the neighbors.

Extra Income

You can simply live in one area and rent out the other if you’re in a duplex. You can even pay the mortgage with the rent money. 

Housing Multiple Families

You can rent out the other portion of the house to another family or have someone from your family live there.

Reasonable Insurance Cover

You can get an insurance policy for one single building rather than two for both families living in the house. This makes insurance premiums and coverage more convenient. 

Additional Space

Some duplexes have gardens, yards, and garages, shareable with other tenants. They also provide more usable space on the same size of land.

Liberty and Flexibility

You can customize, modify, and alter duplexes according to your own preference. Duplexes allow you this freedom. You’re free to make the space in the front or back into a garden, yard, patio, workshop, or anything you choose. 


Duplexes are mostly located in suburbs, towns, and country areas. This provides a peaceful and less congested neighborhood for a better housing experience.



The landlord/owner has to take full responsibility for the repair, maintenance, modification, or other expenses related to the house. It often causes repairs to get postponed due to financial constraints.

Income Uncertainty

Though it’s possible to make income out of the rent from a duplex, there is no certainty that there will be a somewhat permanent tenant to live there.

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Finding a Proper Tenant

Sharing your housing space with another individual or family has safety, privacy, and other concerns. Finding a suitable and relatable tenant often becomes a major issue.

Noise and Privacy

When they’re not properly insulated, the common walls of duplex houses allow noises to go back and forth through the walls. This is also a major red flag for privacy.

Bad Tenants

If your tenants are not civilized enough or involved with any shady business, things could be significantly uncomfortable. This could become very bothersome for the owner. 

Limited Choices

You can’t really find a duplex in the city areas. You will have to limit your search to a specified, narrowed-down area if you’re looking for a duplex house. 

Neighborhood Concerns

While this is not a certainty, it’s highly probable to end up in a very difficult neighborhood if you buy a duplex on the wrong side of town. Proper background research is necessary to avoid this. 

Rental Income

Investors often raise the rental income for tenants, which creates severe inconvenience in most cases. 


Whether in the suburbs or the country, duplex houses are seemingly attractive. However, considering the above discussion, it’s better to weigh all the factors related to the house before making a purchase or a rent decision for a duplex apartment.

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