The difference between an apartment and a condo is ownership. Apartments are leased to tenants for a pre-designated period of time, while condos are owned by individuals who either live in them or rent them out to others.
Because condos are owned by individuals, these individuals have the right to change the interior and exteriors of their condos at their discretion. Condo owners usually also pay homeowner association fees to collectively share the costs of maintaining the joined living structures. On the other hand, apartments are usually owned by one or more persons that rent out their individual units for profit. Therefore, apartment renters are usually not allowed to change the interior or exterior of their apartments due to their temporary occupancy within the housing structures.