With managing apartment complexes, there are many factors to consider. The number of apartments, repairs, parking, and recreation areas are all obvious things that property owners consider when developing or renovating a complex.
Mailboxes are vital as well. Prospective residents care about receiving mail and especially packages safely. In fact, in 2020 alone, over 60% of US residents reported they were victims of package theft.
What this means is that residents want safe and convenient mail and package delivery systems wherever they live. The good news is that there are several mailbox types to choose for your apartment complex that provide protection against mail and package theft. In this article, we will discuss the five most popular types of mailboxes for apartment complexes.
Not every mailbox type will work for every apartment complex, and each has its benefits and drawbacks.
#1: Freestanding or “Cluster” Mailboxes
You may have seen these mailboxes outside of apartments and businesses before. They consist of a cabinet that contains a few to over a dozen customer compartments, which are horizontal, and more often than not, parcel lockers. These mailboxes fall under the USPS-approved, 4C category of mailboxes. Older models stand on pedestals, but newer models that consist of only one freestanding cabinet are becoming more popular, hence the name “freestanding.”
Freestanding mailboxes are most often found outside. They are ideal when an apartment complex has concrete slabs available to mount them on, or the space to pour concrete slabs. These mailboxes are best mounted near central sidewalks or parking lots. They are very durable. The downside to freestanding mailboxes is that the area around them must be kept clean of snow, ice, and other hazards at all times, but if they are all installed in the right place, this should take little time and effort.
It is vital to provide plenty of lighting when installing these mailboxes outdoors, to help residents avoid injury and to prevent vandalism and tampering with these mailboxes.
Freestanding mailboxes can also be installed side by side, so that a property manager can add more mailboxes and parcel lockers as necessary. Parcel lockers can also be purchased alone to add to an existing setup.
#2: Recessed Mailboxes for Lobbies and Kiosks
Many apartment complexes have sheltered lobbies and clubhouses. These are ideal locations for USPS-approved, 4C recessed mailboxes.
These mailboxes contain many customer compartments, all horizontal, inside a cabinet that recesses into a wall. This feature helps these mailboxes save valuable space, though the installation process is more involved than that of other mailbox types. This feature also reduces the chance of damage to these mailboxes, though all 4C mailboxes are sturdy and resistant to damage.
Horizontal, recessed mailboxes can be used indoors and outdoors. For property managers seeking to beautify and raise the value and curb appeal of an apartment complex, these mailboxes can provide the opportunity to add an attractive kiosk to a complex. So long as these mailboxes and parcel lockers meet the Americans With Disabilities Act, almost any style of kiosk can be built to house them.
Indoor horizontal mailboxes must be installed in an easy to reach, obvious location, and must not be behind a locked door. The USPS must be able to access these mailboxes during business hours, and renters must have access and adequate lighting at all times.
#3: Centralized Mailboxes for Private Delivery
Not all mailbox types are approved for USPS delivery. Some centralized mailboxes do not meet the USPS 4C requirements, and therefore can only be used for private delivery, where an employee of a property receives mail from the USPS or another carrier and deposits it in each resident mailbox or parcel locker.
There are no special requirements for the installation of private-delivery only mailboxes, making them a more versatile choice in many apartment complexes.
Also, when customers need more protection for packages delivered by carriers other than the USPS, parcel lockers in a private delivery system can meet this need. The only requirement is that an employee must be available to receive packages and distribute them into parcel lockers or customer compartments if necessary.
#4: Multi-Unit Curbside Mailboxes
Some apartment complexes are small and limited on space. Some may consist of a single building, housing fewer than a dozen residents. If this is the case, multi-unit curbside mailboxes may be a good solution for direct USPS delivery.
These mailboxes consist of two or more mailboxes all mounted together on one or two posts. They are common in condominium communities, and have a high potential for enhancing curb appeal, which is a good way to improve the chances of gaining new residents and increasing the value of any property.
Locking curbside mailboxes are available to increase security, and thus the value, of an apartment complex. Oversize mailboxes that can hold small packages are also available.
The best-case scenario will involve an apartment manager or employee who can receive and distribute larger packages to residents to prevent porch theft, if it is an issue in the area.
#5: Wall-Mounted Mailboxes
Wall-mounted mailboxes are centralized but have the easiest installation of all the centralized mailbox types. The USPS-approved models include horizontal customer compartments and at least one parcel locker per every five customer units (now required for new apartment installations. Previous requirements stated that number was one per ten.)
The one downside of wall-mounted mailboxes is that they stick out from the wall or whichever vertical surface they are mounted to. This takes up space, so these mailboxes are best installed in larger rooms and corridors where they will not obstruct residents, the USPS, or employees.
Like other centralized mailboxes, these mailboxes can mount beside one another, and parcel lockers can be purchased to mount beside an existing setup to meet any growing package needs.
Get Started Today
The right mailbox type is out there for your apartment complex. Today’s mailboxes are designed with security in mind, and Just contact us today to get started choosing the correct method of private delivery for your company or organization.