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With The Sims 2: Apartment Life, you can create and live in apartment blocks, with a varying number of apartments in each.
The mains differences with living in an apartment to living in a house is that you rent the apartment, rather than own it, and you cannot change the basic structure of the apartment i.e. cannot change walls, windows, doors
You can make a maximum ten-piece (8 sim/2 pet) family, and move them into an apartment.
You can also have room-mates move in when you are living in an apartment. Room mates help pay towards the rent and can be interacted with although are not controllable (unless your sim eventually asks them to move in, in which case they will be like any other controllable sim).
When a household is moved into an apartment, all the other apartments will be filled with NCPs until you choose to move another household into one of these apartment units. When you go to do this all the NCP filled apartment will show as empty and available.

Apartment blocks are "run" by landlords, who are not controllable (even with apartment blocks built from scratch).
Landlords ask for rent each Monday and if this is not paid they will come to collect it.
You also cannot call a repairman to fix any broken items in the home, the landlord is the one that takes care of this (once he has been told via the phone option)