Package Acceptance Rules and Policies

September 2022

One of the more popular conveniences of high-rise condo living is having delivered packages accepted at a concierge desk.  Packages are delivered regardless of if you are home, at work, on vacation or just out for the day.  There is no need to sit at home waiting for the delivery.  In small volumes this is a manageable convenience for communities.  As volumes grow this convenience becomes a problem.

Communities do not have individuals or space dedicated to package receiving.  It becomes a task added to more essential responsibilities of management and concierge/security.  As volumes grow, package receiving responsibilities overwhelm these more essential tasks.  There are time, safety and liability issues involved with accepting, recording, storing and retrieving packages.  Space considerations are another concern.  Problems arise when residents don’t receive expected packages, or because of carrier delivery errors.

Communities choosing to accept packages for residents can implement measures to improve these operations while protecting the corporation and its employees.

  • Residents receiving packages can be required to sign a waiver form absolving the corporation and its employees from liability for loss, damage or mishandling of packages accepted on their behalf. Encourage residents to make alternate delivery arrangements for valuable, fragile or perishable items.
  • Provide maximum size and weight restrictions on accepted packages to conserve available storage space, and to protect employees from injury.
  • As packages are accepted write the suite number on at least two sides of a package. This aids in retrieving them from storage and helps identify individuals failing to properly dispose of delivery boxes.
  • Limit storage time by stating a maximum number of days packages will be held for retrieval before being returned. This prevents package acceptance from becoming package storage.

Some communities feel the solution is to separate themselves from delivery of packages.  They refuse deliveries, or require that packages be delivered to the unit if a resident is available to accept it.  When unable to deliver, carriers may resort to leaving a notice on mailboxes requiring residents to call and arrange alternate delivery.  Stickers frequently fall off or disappear.  While effective at the management level, this does not accommodate the interests of residents.

A more complete solution reflecting the needs of communities and individuals is to establish secure lockers where packages can be delivered and retrieved without involving concierge/security.  Once relieved of the responsibility to accept, store and retrieve packages for residents, and inform when packages have arrived, concierge/security and management are better able to focus on duties for which they are employed.