Apartments are a form of housing whose inhabitants live in discrete, self-contained sections of a larger building. Usually the building will stretch across multiple stories and the apartment dwellers enter and leave their apartments through a common stairwell and lobby area. Apartments can either be owned or rented.
In some cases, apartment dwellers within a single building will pay pool their resources to pay for a person or persons to carry out janitorial and security services. Committees of apartment owners or renters within a single building are not uncommon. Such committees may take care of matters of common concern to those living within the building, for example the provision for receiving satellite television services. In some cases, these committees may have a degree of authority over what goes on in the building, and their approval must be won before certain kinds of change take place. For example, someone proposing to buy an apartment in the building may first be interviewed and approved by a committee.
Naturally, apartments are a particularly common form of housing in urban environments where land is scarce and land prices are at a premium. In many areas, young men and women live alone in apartments before meeting their partners and, later, once they are inclined to start a family together, move into a house instead.