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Types of Residence


An apartment refers to a five-story or higher multi-unit building consisting of independent houses. Generally, an apartment complex has amenities, stores, and parking lots, and janitors are employed in the complex. Residents should pay management expenses every month, including public utility charges such as electric bills, water fees, gas bills, etc.

Officetel (for residence)

An officetel, a portmanteau of “office” and “hotel”, refers to an office space equipped with residential facilities. It is classified as a business facility under the Building Act. However, many office workers and single-person households tend to prefer this type of residence because it includes built-in furniture and home appliances for residents' convenience. Most officetels have parking lots. Officetel residents should pay management expenses every month, just like apartment residents.

Detached residence

A detached residence refers to a free-standing residential building on land owned by an individual. In most cases, a detached residence is owned by one or two persons (joint ownership).

Tenement/multi-household house

A tenement, a type of Western-style multi-occupancy building, refers to a four-story or lower multi-unit building consisting of two or more houses. A multi-household house is a residential building where several households can live together.

Studio apartment

A studio apartment is similar to an officetel, but smaller. Studio apartments are divided into the separated kitchen type and all-in-one type, depending on their structure. As the rent is cheaper for a studio apartment than an officetel, they are generally concentrated near colleges.

Boarding house

Residents can stay in a boarding house by paying the monthly rent only, without need for a deposit. The monthly rent includes housing expenses, utility charges, and breakfast and dinner expenses. Numerous residents live in a boarding house and should share the kitchen, living room, washrooms, etc. Generally, the owner also lives in the boarding house. Many boarding houses are concentrated near colleges.


A gosiwon has the cheapest deposit and monthly rent. A gosiwon unit is very small and only suitable for a single-person household. Residents share a kitchen, washrooms, showers, etc., and may cook if they want. Many gosiwon facilities provide basic food ingredients, such as rice, eggs, and kimchi, for free.