While there have been a lot of scandals and worries about how well mail is controlled by the USPS, we still rely on them for just about every type of mail. Packages, letters, postcards, and everything else come to multiunit mailboxes all the time and without some rules in place, it would be chaos. Knowing the USPS apartment mailbox requirements is your responsibility as the owner of a building.
Here are five of the most important rules and regulations.
1. Think About Height
If you’re worried about your tenants being able to reach your mailboxes or your carrier being able to load them, you’re on the right track. You can’t put them too far out of reach. Not only do you have to leave them accessible to people of all heights, but you also need them to be accessible to people of all abilities.
Some basic height requirements have you needing to position them from four feet off the ground to up to 67 inches off of the floor. Your locked mailbox systems should be easy to unlock by every one of your tenants. You need to keep the locks no higher than 67 inches from the floor and at least 28 inches off the ground.
Parcel lockers can be closer to the ground but they have to be at least 15 inches from the ground so that they’re accessible to everyone.
2. Leave Adequate Space
When you’re shopping for mail lockers, most companies will have their compartments made within regulation. However, there’s the possibility that the company you work with isn’t following directions. Measure your compartments to ensure that there’s enough space for your residents to store mail in.
They need to be at least 12 inches wide by 3 inches high. They need to be much deeper at 15 inches.
If you don’t get large enough mailboxes, you’re likely to have mail carriers leaving packages or letters around. Otherwise, they’ll have to leave pickup forms to lead your residents to have to go to the post office to pick things up. It won’t be long before your own mailbox is going to be flooded with complaints from people who don’t like having to go out to the post office every few weeks.
Consider that your residents are going to want to be able to receive magazines, tax forms, and official documents without having to make constant trips. To make it easier, get large enough boxes.
You need to have at least one place to store parcels for every 10 boxes you have for tenants. Without enough parcel boxes, again, your tenants will have to make these constant trips to the post office.
3. Make Them Accessible
Postal carriers are going to need to have constant access to the tenant post boxes. In order to make them accessible, you need to have a USPS official arrow lock. All postal carriers are going to have a key for this official lock which should open up all of the boxes at once.
This makes it easier for your carriers to load and fill all of the boxes.
You also need the box to be between 36 and 48 inches from the floor so that carriers don’t have to do a lot of bending to get the mail in the boxes. On top of that, every landlord needs to give keys to the mail carriers.
If the front door or entrance to the building is locked, mail carriers need da key go get in. Otherwise, you need to keep the space unlocked to allow carriers to get in. If carriers can’t get in, they’ll either leave the mail outside or they’ll leave your residents high and dry, upsetting everyone in the process.
4. Label Them Obviously
All of the boxes that you’re setting up should be clearly labeled with the person who the box corresponds to. When they’re not labeled, this leads to sensitive materials being given to the wrong people or people not getting important items. This is going to irritate everyone and violate their privacy.
Make sure as the building manager or landlord that you change labels as people move. it’s a small gesture but goes a long way to ensure that mail for former tenants is forwarded and that mail for new tenants arrives on time.
Keep things current to keep everyone happy and stop the misdirection of mail. When mail doesn’t arrive, it can have serious consequences for peoples’ lives.
5. Make Sure Locks Work
Just like “good fences make good neighbors”, good mail locks make for happy residents. When mail is unlocked and not secured, you leave yourself open to mail theft. While this is a federal offense that is punishable by jail time, it can be hard to catch people in the act and hard to account for what’s been lost in a theft.
If a locking mailbox has a broken lock, the landlord or manager is in violation of the law. Postal carriers can’t leave mail in a locking mailbox without a functioning lock. they’d be in violation of the regulationsthat cover mail carriers and protect consumers.
If the key slot or the locking mechanism doesn’t work, then it’s up to the landlord to fix it. The residents will hold you accountable as the owner and the manager of the property.
USPS Apartment Mailbox Requirements are Simple
When you’re installing a mailbox for your residents, you need to know the USPS apartment mailbox requirements. However, most of the companies who make the mailboxes know that these regulations are important and design their products to meet the requirements.
For more about what’s required from a standard mailbox, check out our guide for tips.