When it comes to managing a property, no matter which type, it’s important to juggle the needs of tenants along with other items such as cost and maintenance. Failing to do so can lead to dissatisfied tenants who leave after a lease is up, or worse. Tenant turnover can cost a property owner around $2,500, and this can add up when turnover occurs multiple times.
Keeping good tenants who stay at a property for many years is the goal of all good property managers. One aspect of reducing turnover and attracting new tenants is safety. Residential and commercial tenants want safe, convenient, and secure mail delivery from the USPS.
There are many ways to provide safe mail delivery with the right kind of mailboxes.
Mailboxes For Tenant Convenience
Everyone wants convenience, and that goes for commercial and residential tenants. Since almost everyone needs mail delivery, mailboxes are part of that equation.
No matter which types of mailboxes serve a rental property, they must fulfill the need for tenant convenience. The type chosen will depend on the property and the number of tenants served, as well as how many packages a property receives from the USPS.
Single-family homes can do well with simple curbside or wall-mounted mailboxes, so long as they are installed at the end of a driveway, just across the street, or near the front door in the case of wall-mounted mailboxes. If a few families share the same property, or if a few rental properties are close together, multi-unit curbside mailboxes can also work well. These mailboxes have more than one customer compartment on the same post, or posts.
However, with larger multi-family properties such as apartment complexes and entire communities, or with larger commercial properties that house many offices or businesses, a centralized solution may be needed.
Centralized mailboxes are typically the older 4B or current 4C models. Only 4C mailboxes are approved for new installations or major renovations. Both types have multiple customer compartments inside one cabinet and can mount side to side until all tenant needs are met.
4C mailboxes come as wall-mounted, recessed, or freestanding models, and typically include parcel lockers. All customer compartments are locking, so even if these mailboxes stand outdoors, tenants can access mail at their convenience. Parcel lockers also lock, and tenants receive keys to access their packages at the time they choose as well.
One parcel locker is required for every ten units for commercial properties and communities. For apartments, this requirement is now one parcel locker per every five customer units, due to growing package delivery.
All mailboxes should be installed in an easy to reach location, and no tenant should have to walk more than one block to retrieve mail. Many of these mailboxes do well near parking lots and in apartment clubhouses. Others work well in central lobbies and hallways.
Mailboxes For Security
Residential and commercial tenants want to avoid security issues, and one of those issues is mail theft. Mail theft can lead to identity theft and can also compromise sensitive documents such as company records and even health records.
Office tenants also want greater lobby security. Mailboxes are often located in lobbies since they are usually a central place in office buildings. However, lobbies are often busy with visitors and deliveries, putting mail and packages at risk of theft.
Secure, locking mailboxes work well for lobbies, especially if they are the recessed 4C variety that include parcel lockers. Wall-mounted 4C mailboxes also lock and are highly resistant to tampering.
If no lobby is available, freestanding 4C mailboxes also lock, and there are locking curbside mailboxes available as well that can hold larger than normal volumes of mail. Both types of mailboxes can mount outdoors, and freestanding models only need a concrete slab.
If residential tenants have experienced mail theft, locking curbside boxes and wall-mounted mailboxes may work as well. And of course, a centralized 4C mailbox system with parcel lockers will keep mail and packages safe for apartment complexes and other communities.
Keeping Mailboxes Safe
Once the right mailboxes are chosen for a property, there is the matter of keeping the area around them safe. It is a property owner’s responsibility to do so to prevent injury to residents, commercial tenants, and visitors.
The area around any type of mailbox must be free of obstructions and hazards for easy USPS delivery. Curbside mailboxes must be on the same side of the road as the others on the street for the safety of USPS employees, and they must be easy to reach with no hazards. Centralized mailboxes should be installed in a central location that is easy for tenants to reach, such as a kiosk, lobby, or central hallway.
With centralized 4C mailboxes, be sure to follow the Americans With Disabilities Act. This act requires that all centralized mailboxes are installed with certain height and space requirements in mind. This is to allow wheelchair users to easily and safely access mail and packages.
Lighting is one overlooked aspect of mailbox safety, but it can reduce mail theft, vandalism, and other damage to mailboxes, no matter which type serve a rental property. Many centralized 4C cabinets can now come with their own lighting as an accessory, but it’s simple to add lighting to a mail kiosk and to light an indoor lobby at all hours.
If mailboxes are outdoors, the surrounding areas must be kept free of ice and snow during the colder months, if the area receives such weather. With centralized mail delivery, this task should be fast and simple, as there will only be one area to treat.
Reduce Tenant Turnover Today
Safe and convenient mail delivery should be easy to implement, and by reducing the frustration of lost and stolen mail, you are more likely to retain your best tenants for years to come. To get started, contact us today. We’re here to answer your questions about which mailboxes will work for your property.