Privately owned apartments are owned and managed by individuals or companies, as opposed to public housing apartments, which are owned by a government. Most privately owned apartments are rented by owners seeking a profit, whereas public housing is often used to try to provide affordable housing options.
Privately owned apartments vary considerably in size. A homeowner might renovate a basement to create a small apartment to rent, and most residential skyscrapers are owned by companies. While public housing is more common in some parts of the world, most apartments in the United States are privately owned.
Although apartment owners generally seek to charge as much as possible for available units, government programs often restrict how much they can charge, particularly to active tenants. Rent control, which is common in cities experiencing increasing property prices, may forbid a landlord from raising the price of an apartment more than a certain amount per lease or per year. Landlords are also often forbidden from raising prices in an effort to effectively evict tenants.
Government programs sometimes subsidize the cost of apartments for qualified tenants, although landlords do not have to accept all of these programs. In the United States, Section 8 housing vouchers allow qualified tenants to pay less for an apartment.