Mail can be an unavoidably personal thing. While you receive bills and bank statements through the post, even your junk mail could tell a stranger a lot about you. There is a certain expectation of privacy when it comes to this material, and, as a property manager, residents expect you to look out for the letters they’re receiving. Having to protect so many people’s mail can seem like a very daunting task but can be done by simply putting a few different practices in place.
There are a few laws about mailboxes that you need to be sure to follow. The United States Postal Service’s approval is required for apartment mailboxes, and they have a set of regulations that must be met. The main criteria deal with accessibility and security, but look into your local legislation to see the specifics of what your state requires.
While the mailboxes themselves need to be secure, it’s never a bad idea to make sure the area surrounding them is as well. Putting security cameras around your mailboxes can scare away potential vandals and thieves, adding an extra line of protection for your resident’s mail. Should anything go awry, you’ll then have video and audio to identify the perpetrators.
Quick Tip: A lot of mailbox carriers have cameras installed onto the trucks in case someone tries to steal the mail directly from the source. If your tenants aren’t receiving their mail, and you believe foul play is afoot, talk to your local postal office.
- Parcel Pickup
Most postal delivery services won’t leave parcels on apartment doorsteps if no one is home or if the contents are expensive. In these cases, the mail is delivered to the main office to be held for resident pickup. Make sure your pickup procedure is setup to act as a line of defense for your resident’s mail and verify a person’s identity before letting them pick up a package.
- Label 33
The USPS offers what is called a Label 33. Since mailboxes are considered federal property, vandalizing them in any way is considered a crime. After getting one of these labels from the Postal Inspection Service, you attach it to your mailbox and it warns that willful damage or theft is a crime that will be prosecuted.
- Check Up and Maintenance
Be sure to inspect your mailbox as frequently as you can. Look for signs of tampering or destruction and be sure to notify your local Postmaster if you find anything suspicious. Don’t waste time when it comes to repairs, as it could compromise the security of the mail. Encourage residents to be on the look out for peculiar behavior, and report anything they see immediately.
Your residents expect you to lookout for them, and that courtesy should extend to their mail. The items they receive in the mail can contain key clues about their identity, as well as information about their credit and other sensitive material. By putting secure measures in place, you can help to protect that information and prevent any theft or vandalism.
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About the Author
Olivia Creighton is the Marketing & Communications Intern here at the Resident Screening Blog. She recently obtained a degree in Media Communications from Webster University. In her spare time, she binge watches Stranger Things and works towards procuring her Master’s.