I just moved from the suburbs to my first apartment building a little less than six months ago, and I was wondering how I could could concisely refer to all the other residents of the building. I can, of course, use the phrases "upstairs neighbors" and "downstairs neighbors", but I live in the middle of the building, and I would feel awkward saying "upstairs and downstairs neighbors" or "same-building neighbors". Is there a word for this?

EDIT: I would just say "neighbors", but I would like to make it clear that I mean just the people in my building, not other people in my region of Manhattan, or people in adjacent buildings.


I would refer to them as, "My fellow (building) _____ ."

  • occupants
  • renters
  • residents

I like residents the best.

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You could simply call them all your cotenants.

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  • I would have thought cotenant would mean a flat-mate; where all flat-mates have signed the lease. – Dilip Sarwate May 16 '14 at 19:54
  • @DilipSarwate Merriam-Webster defines tenant as "a person, business, group, etc., that pays to use another person's property." When you say, "the building has 18 tenants," that doesn't imply that they are all in one unit. – Gnawme May 16 '14 at 20:23
  • I agree that "18 tenants" should be interpreted as 18 units with 18 separate leases, but does co-tenant have the same meaning? To my tin ear, a co-tenant sounds like someone who is sharing the lease with me, not someone who is renting a different unit in the same building. – Dilip Sarwate May 16 '14 at 20:35
  • @DilipSarwate To use a different example, a commercial building with 6 units occupied has 6 tenants -- all of whom are cotenants of that building. – Gnawme May 16 '14 at 20:50
  • Ugly term, but could work in an apartment building where everybody rents their apartment. Not every apartment-dweller does. – Erik Kowal May 16 '14 at 21:25

Try fellow-residents.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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  • Except that doesn't make the distinction the poster asks for. You could say "the fellow residents of my neighborhood" or "the fellow residents of my town" just as well as "the fellow resident of my building". Without additional words to specify, no one would know which you meant. – Jay May 19 '14 at 13:11

I suggest co-dwellers.

dweller: a person who inhabits a particular place.

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  • I like the sound of this, but I fear it might be seen as somewhat cryptic? – jajavoli Jun 13 '14 at 20:14

The question is a little unclear to me. Do you mean, how can I refer to other people in my apartment building as opposed to other people in the same area of the city? For of course, if you say "my neighbors", most people would take that to include people in other nearby buildings.

If that's what you mean, I don't think there's one word for this concept in English. People usually say, "the people in my building".

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  • Yes, as opposed to the other people in my area of Manhattan. I will clarify this in an edit of my question. Thank you. – jajavoli May 17 '14 at 20:09

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