Locked mailboxes are becoming more and more popular today – especially in condo buildings and new construction. The issue is now what becomes of the mail key.
If your corporate housing tenant is staying for a short period of time and doesn’t expect mail (ie, a business consultant staying in your home M-F during the week only), then we recommend you don’t give him your mail key. Most tenants will use another address to receive mail if they are staying at your property for only a temporary period of time. That said, some tenants will need mail delivery (especially for long-term stays) and here are some suggestions for handling the mail key dilemma:
Require a Deposit: Charge a $25 mail key deposit when handing out the key.
Add to Agreement: Write in your rental agreement that you are not responsible for any mail lost after the lease end date and that the tenant is required to put in a change of address notice with the post office prior to the lease end date.
Give Mailman Notice: After the tenant departs, don’t let the mail carrier deliver mail for that person. You can prevent this by putting a notice in the mailbox or telling the mail deliverer personally that the tenant is no longer living there.
Return to Sender: If any mail comes through after the tenant has departed, simply mark on the letter “return to sender” or “no longer at this address.”
We hope these tips help you decide how to best handle mail delivery for your tenants.