Security of Package Deliveries

April 2024

Condominium boards have an obligation to ensure the security of residents’ mail and accepted parcels.

In Burnaby, BC, one condominium owner was renting his unit to Airbnb guests.  One of the guests broke into the building’s mailboxes, and stole letters and parcels.  The condominium owner was assessed a $5,000 repair bill and over $2,000 in by-law fines.  The owner was using the unit as an Airbnb which was in contravention of a by-law.

The community had an effective security system in place.  They were able to track fob use and match this with security camera footage to confirm the culprit, and link them back to the owner.

Despite this level of security, mail room and package areas can remain vulnerable.

The mail room is frequently wide open, unsecure, unmonitored and fairly close to a building’s entry doors.  Anyone entering a building can see the mail room, its lack of security and capitalize on what they see as an opportunity.  They can damage mailboxes and steal mail.  Parcels sitting in the mail room, lobby or vestibule areas can “disappear”.

From a general security perspective, delivery personnel should not be allowed beyond the building lobby.  Guests should not be allowed to access the building unless accompanied or approved by a resident.  Security cameras should monitor the lobby, mail, parcel and elevator areas.

There are three general approaches to protecting delivered packages.

Some choose to do nothing.  They entirely separate themselves from the delivery of packages by refusing all deliveries.  Residents must be home at the time packages are delivered or make arrangements for an alternate delivery location.

Most communities offer some degree of protection through their package receiving and handling procedures.  They accept packages, store them and inform residents of their arrival.  Condo management software and applications, such as UpperBee, provide technology for managing package deliveries.

Some communities have chosen to replace parcel acceptance with secure smart parcel lockers.  Packages can be delivered and retrieved without involving concierge/security.  Residents are informed electronically when a package arrives for them and provided with retrieval instructions.