Living in an apartment is wonderful, but when you first experience apartment life, you’ll find a few factors that make it quite different from dwelling in a standalone home. Two examples? Keeping pets in an apartment (and keeping them happy) and living with neighbors just on the other side of a wall. Another situation you’re bound to face eventually is figuring out the nuances of apartment package delivery. 

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Thankfully, most apartment communities (and package carriers) make the process a breeze. Here are some things to know about ensuring that your packages get delivered to your apartment safe and sound.

1. Familiarize Yourself With the Apartment Community

The first step in getting packages delivered to your apartment with no hassle is to understand the way everything works around your property. From the best place to lock up your new bike to how mail/package delivery is handled, these are items that tenants should ask about upon moving in. Most apartments have individual mailboxes that will accommodate envelopes, magazines, and very small packages. You’ll typically find a few parcel lockers for slightly larger packages that are delivered via the United States Postal Service (USPS). The mail delivery person will put your USPS package in a parcel locker, lock it, and leave the key in your individual mailbox.

Boxes that are too large to fit in a parcel locker or that arrive via FedEx, UPS, or via Amazon may either be left at your door (if it’s deemed safe) or at your property’s leasing office (if there is one). Many carriers prefer to leave packages at the leasing office because it’s more secure and it’s much easier for them to simply leave all packages in one central location. 

Keep in mind that an excellent landlord genuinely wants the best experience for their tenants and will work with you on making sure parcels are kept safe and that you’re notified of their arrival in a timely manner if they’re dropped at the leasing office. Return the favor by making sure you pick up your packages as soon as possible — especially during the holiday season.

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2. Look Into Each Carrier’s Delivery Options

If you need to give a delivery driver access through a security gate, aren’t comfortable having a package left at your front door, or are traveling and don’t want to leave it sitting at your leasing office, individual carriers have various options to customize a package delivered to your apartment.

Some will allow you to enter a gate code or specific delivery instructions for the driver (“Please place parcel just inside screen door!”). You may want to electronically sign for a package if you won’t be home to provide a signature or request a signature if the delivery is an expensive or sensitive item. Local FedEx and UPS offices will arrange to hold a package for you if you’ll be traveling so you can pick it up when you return.

Many carriers will also provide a way for you to track a package, as well, so you will know when your package arrived and if it was dropped at your door or handed to Mary at the front desk.

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3. Consider an Extra Set of Eyes

If you don’t have a leasing office in your apartment community and you have a problem with packages not showing up, consider installing a video doorbell to help you keep tabs on when a package got delivered … and when it disappeared. Make sure to talk to your landlord to ensure that you’re allowed to make such a modification to the outside of your apartment (pointing out that an extra set of digital helps keep the entire community more safe).

Once you’re in the clear with your landlord, a video doorbell is an excellent addition to any smart home devices you may already have. The microphone and speaker on the unit will allow you to communicate with couriers to let them know if you’d prefer the box be left with the rental office. The video will help you keep tabs on when the package was delivered, what condition it was in, and if it was mischievous neighborhood teenagers who wandered off with your new Instant Pot. 

By maintaining a good relationship and clear communication with your landlord/leasing office as well as understanding the policies and options available from your package deliverer, getting packages delivered to your apartment will be a convenient and hassle-free experience every time!