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Mailboxes for Apartments: Indoor vs. Outdoor

The postal service delivers 187.8 million pieces of first-class mail per day.

This invokes an interesting hypothetical question: who sends the majority of this mail and who receives it?

Although we can’t answer that, we can say that every resident needs a mailbox — even if they’ve gone mostly paperless. You’ll want to consider the best option for the residents and the business if you run an apartment complex.

Here’s a look at your options for mailboxes for apartments.

The First Consideration When Choosing Mailboxes for Apartments

Before you start picking out which design might look best, you should understand the rules. 

The USPS must approve the mailboxes before installation. Many retailers will say whether or not their products meet the standards, but you should double check.

Here’s a link to the requirements. You’ll find details about apartments under sections 3.5 and 5.1. 

To highlight a few points, the boxes must be reasonably close to the entrance and a post carrier must be able to service boxes without doors getting in the way.

Additionally, mail slots on doors aren’t approved for apartment complexes. This means you’ll need to get cluster mailboxes, which are modular boxes that reduce space.

If you’re unsure about meeting standards, talk to your local USPS Growth Manager.

Although there are rules on how a mailbox must be, you have some options to choose from to suit your needs. These include vertical or horizontal design, the number of boxes, and whether you want them indoors or outdoors.

Indoor Mailboxes

If you choose to put them indoors, they must be in the building lobby mounted or installed into a wall.

The benefits of indoor mailboxes are they are secure, easy, and sheltered from the weather. Tenants can grab their mail and head up to their apartment easily.

If you’re concerned with the look of boxes messing up your decor, don’t worry. It’s legal to decorate them however you wish, so long as it doesn’t interfere with the post carrier’s ability to serve them.

Keep in mind if you do this it may affect the boxes’ warranty.

A common problem with indoor boxes is they tend to be smaller than outdoor boxes. This means your tenants’ mail might become cramped if they leave it sitting or get a large amount of mail. 

If your tenants receive packages regularly, you may opt for parcel lockers. This allows them to receive packages in a locked and secured space.

Outdoor Mailboxes

If you opt for an outdoor setup, one of your biggest considerations is the weather. 

Providing a canopy around the mailboxes protects them from the elements as much as possible. However, you’ll still need to make sure it’s clear in the surrounding area. This means in snowy months you should shovel or make sure there’s salt down to prevent ice.

Depending on the location, you may opt for high-security tamper-resistant clusters. The heavy duty aluminum adds an extra layer of protection. This isn’t necessary for all circumstances, however, as most mailbox clusters are durable and secure.

Choose Based On Your Particular Needs

There isn’t a better choice between indoor and outdoor mailboxes. It depends on your specific needs. You can decide based on the volume of mail, the number of residents, and the space available to install mailboxes for apartments. 

Check out our apartment mailboxes and request a free quote for your unique situation.