When managing any type of property, the safe and reliable delivery of mail is one thing that tenants expect. Without it, tenant turnover is high, and property owners will suffer from a loss of revenue.
Mail delivery is usually seamless, but there are a few things that can trip up the delivery of mail and cause other issues, such as mail delivered to the wrong address mail that is delayed. The good news is that as a property manager, you can take steps to ensure that your tenants receive their mail in a timely and safe manner.
The placement of mailboxes that receive USPS delivery is vital. If a mailbox is hard to find or otherwise blocked, then mail delivery to a tenant can stop. The USPS requires that all mailboxes that receive delivery from them are easy to find and reach. Above all, these mailboxes must be located in a safe area free of hazards such as uneven ground, aggressive pets, and other potential causes of injury.
This guide will show you the best locations for any mailboxes you install on rental properties, regardless of property types.
Mailbox Placement for Individual Rental Homes
For rental houses or condominium communities, there are two main possibilities for mailboxes: curbside, and wall-mounted. Curbside mailboxes are the standard type that mount near curbs, and they must be 6 to 8 inches back from the curb according to USPS regulations. The address must also be easily visible on the mailbox.
Additionally, there must be no obstructions in front of the mailbox or around it that could prevent USPS employees from easily reaching it from their vehicle. The curbside mailboxes must also be on the same side of the street as all other mailboxes on the street, to allow for easy finding and delivery.
If the rental property is in a suburb, wall-mounted mailboxes may be a good choice. These mailboxes mount on the outside of a home, usually near the front door. However, they can only work well if they are easily visible from the street or sidewalk, and if the yard is small and easily accessible. It is good practice to advise any tenants to keep any aggressive pets out of the area and keep any fence gates unlocked for this type of delivery. It is also a property owner’s responsibility to repair any tripping hazards that may endanger tenants and USPS delivery alike.
Mailbox Placement for Apartments and Multi-Family Communities
When arranging for mail delivery for larger communities, things can become a bit more complicated. Simple curbside mailboxes often don’t work well for apartment complexes and other communities that house dozens of families, due to the time involved for mail delivery and space considerations.
In these cases, some form of centralized delivery is needed, such as the new horizontal 4C mailboxes now required by the USPS for mail delivery. These mailboxes consist of multiple locking horizontal units stacked on top of one another, and housed in the same sturdy cabinet. They also contain at least one parcel locker per five to ten customer compartments. (Currently, one parcel locker per five compartments is required for new installations in apartment complexes.)
There are a few different types of 4C mailboxes, and the type will affect which placement options are available. Wall-mounted and recessed 4C mailboxes can mount directly to walls or recess into them, and are sturdy enough for indoor or outdoor use. Pedestal mailboxes are freestanding and require no wall, and are usually installed outside.
The good news about centralized mail delivery is that once a system is chosen, placement is simple. Wall-mounted mailboxes or those 4C mailboxes that recess into walls work well in central lobbies or in mail kiosks. If a clubhouse already exists, it may have space for wall-mounted or recessed boxes. Large hallways can also work well for such a setup, though it must be kept clean and unlocked for USPS delivery.
If no clubhouse is available, mail kiosks and concrete slabs work well, though they should be placed in a centralized location that is easy to find and near a parking space. If no centralized space is available, a location near the front of a community will work as well. This will make USPS delivery easier. Employees who deliver should not have to carry tubs of mail or packages any great distance.
Placing Mailboxes for Commercial Properties
If you manage a commercial property, the best location for your mailboxes will depend on how many commercial renters you have and how much mail they receive. In other words, it will depend on which type of mailbox will work the best for your property.
Commercial properties are varied, and the mailbox types they use just as much so. Types range from curbside mailboxes to the 4C setups mentioned earlier. Smaller commercial properties often use curbside mailboxes, while properties that house multiple businesses such as office buildings and those that receive a lot of packages may use 4C mailbox types.
Curbside mailboxes for businesses follow the same requirements as they do for residential mailboxes, in that they must be 6 to 8 inches back from the curb and have addresses clearly visible. It is possible that a business mailbox will need to be on a different street than the business itself, due to space constraints. In this case, the full street address must be visible on the mailbox to receive USPS delivery.
For 4C mailboxes, the pedestal type tends to be the most common for commercial properties. These freestanding mailboxes should be located near the street or preferably near a parking lot. Concrete slabs near the sidewalk or traffic islands located in front of business properties are good, safe locations for USPS delivery, and easy to find.
Questions or Concerns?
Placing your mail delivery system, no matter which type, shouldn’t be a complicated affair. Safety, ease of access, and convenience are the three factors that property owners must consider, not only for their tenants but for the employees delivering mail. To get started or to answer any questions you may have on the best placement for your mailboxes, contact us today.