Table of Contents
What is a penthouse?
Typically, a penthouse is a luxurious home on the highest floor of an apartment block. They’re usually more expensive than the other units in the building. They’re also more spacious and often come with luxurious amenities, like a private elevator.
What does a penthouse look like?
Although every penthouse apartment will have a different layout, there are a few features that they generally share, including high ceilings, an open floor plan, oversized windows, and a private outdoor area (often a balcony or terrace). They also may come with some of the following luxury amenities:
- A fireplace
- A large balcony
- Multiple master suites
- High-end kitchen appliances
- Office space
Is a penthouse apartment always on the top floor?
Originally, for a unit to be described as a penthouse, it had to be on the top floor, but this is changing. These days, for a unit to be called a penthouse suite, it just has to have more space and better amenities than the other units in the building.
Penthouses do tend to be located on higher floors because most of them feature large windows with impressive views, but being on the very top of the apartment tower isn’t a hard requirement.
How much is a penthouse?
Renting a penthouse flat can cost between $2,000 per month (on the very low end) to $100,000 per month (on the high end). The range is so wide because rent prices depend on where you live and how nice the apartment is. If you live in a luxurious penthouse in Manhattan, your rent will obviously be much higher than if you live in a smaller penthouse in a mid-sized town.
Why are penthouses so expensive?
Penthouses are expensive because they come with more perks than normal apartments. You’re paying extra for the best features in your building, like panoramic views and extra space.
Pros and cons of renting a penthouse apartment
Many people dream of living in a penthouse, but are they really worth the cost? Let’s take a look at some of their pros and cons.
Pros of living in a penthouse
Living in a penthouse has three benefits:
1. Luxurious lifestyle
As you’d expect, penthouses are luxurious. They usually have elegant interiors and plenty of space to host friends and family. As mentioned, they often come with extra perks, such as a private elevator and a walk-in shower or jacuzzi.
2. Striking city views
Penthouses offer magnificent views that you won’t get from the building’s lower levels. They often feature floor-to-ceiling windows that let in plenty of natural light, and have large balconies or terraces.
3. Security and privacy
In contrast to regular apartments, penthouses usually occupy an entire floor, which means you won’t have any neighbors. Your home will also be more peaceful because you’ll be further away from the hustle and bustle of the streets below. Many penthouses also have automated security systems, which means you’ll be safer in your apartment, too.
Cons of living in a penthouse
Penthouse living sounds idyllic, but it isn’t perfect. There are six problems with penthouses that you should be aware of before you rent one.
Higher rent and utility costs
Penthouses are usually significantly more expensive than the other rental units in the same building, and your utilities will cost much more than they would if you lived in a smaller unit. There aren’t many cheap penthouses around, so if you’re on a budget, you might have to look for an alternative.
Harsh weather and roof leaks
Leaks and other forms of water damage are some of the most annoying penthouse issues you’ll face. When you live on one of the highest floors of your building, your home is more vulnerable to extreme weather. In particular, mold can be a serious issue if you live in an area that sees a lot of rain and your home isn’t perfectly watertight.
Risk of liability claims
If you live on the bottom floor and your washing machine overflows, it’s usually only your own property that will be damaged. However, if you live in a penthouse on the top floor, there’s a good chance the water will leak down into the apartments beneath you, and the residents might sue you for damaging their property.
If you’re planning on moving into a penthouse, we recommend making sure you have an adequate amount of renters insurance personal liability coverage to protect yourself from lawsuits.
Noise from rooftop facilities
Rooftop facilities are usually shared among all the tenants in the apartment building. If your building features a pool or another shared community space, you might be disturbed by the noise during weekends and special gatherings.
Speak to your prospective landlord or property manager about the noise before you sign the lease. The rooftop will probably have restricted access hours so that you’re not disturbed late at night.
Limited rental options
It’s difficult to find suitable penthouses because they’re only available in large apartment buildings and there are usually only one or two suites to choose from. With such limited options, we recommend that you start looking a few months before you plan on moving.
Long elevator rides
If you live on the top floor and you don’t have a private penthouse elevator, you’re probably going to have longer elevator rides with more stops along the way than other tenants. You might find it frustrating to live in a penthouse apartment if you have a busy schedule and often come and go from your home.
Should I rent a penthouse?
Ultimately the decision to rent a penthouse apartment depends on your lifestyle and budget. Penthouses never come cheap, so you should consider whether the benefits of top-floor living outweigh the drawbacks.