Package theft is a common occurrence in NYC. If you don’t have a doorman or a dedicated package room in your building, it’s likely you’ve run into issues receiving mail. On openigloo, an app where renters can anonymously review their NYC buildings, a tenant shared “If you ever want a package delivered to you do not live here. There are no cameras anywhere in the building to help.”
Thousands of renters have shared reviews about their challenges with building security. So what does the data tell us? 7% of renters on openigloo have experienced package theft. Package theft happens at higher rates in buildings with 20-40 units. Smaller buildings (less than 5 units) or larger buildings (over 150 units) have lower rates of package theft.
The neighborhood with the highest rate of stolen packages? Hamilton Heights. 15% of tenants in this neighborhood reported an issue with package theft in their buildings compared to the city average of 7%.
So what can you do to protect yourself against stolen mail in NYC?
Talk to your landlord/management company
Bring the issue to your landlord. More often than not, they can make improvements to the building’s security to help with package theft. Does your building have a flimsy lock on the door or no cameras? Ask your landlord to address this. Perhaps there is a space in the building that can be used as a package room. Propose some solutions to your landlord on how they can help remediate the problem.
Put a sign on your front door to the delivery companies
Put signage on your building’s door telling delivery people what to do. Such as, “Don’t leave packages on the stoop if no one is home” or “Bring packages to the back room” or “Leave packages for 3R with 3F if no one is home”. This may not be a fool proof way to prevent stolen packages, but any extra details you can share with delivery companies the better!
Get a P.O. Box
If solutions 1, and 2 don’t work, you may have to get another mailbox. You can reserve various sized PO Boxes with USPS - but there can be a waiting list for your neighborhood. It can also be expensive, but perhaps worth it if you never receive your packages.
Schedule package deliveries on the same day each week
Depending on where you are ordering from, you may be able to schedule deliveries on the same day each week (i.e. your Amazon day), or specify when you can’t receive deliveries. If possible, try to organize all your packages to arrive on the same day and make sure you or a neighbor keeps an eye out!
Buddy up with a neighbor or two
If you’re experiencing package theft, it’s likely your neighbors are too. Ask around the building and see if your neighbors can bring in your packages if they see them. You can do the same for them. Instead of your package sitting in the vestibule all day, a neighbor can drop it off outside your door if they see it before you and vice versa. This is also a great way to get to know your neighbors!
Get renters’ insurance
Renters’ insurance could be another tool in your toolkit to fight package theft. Renters’ insurance can protect against theft that happens inside or outside of your apartment. So if a package does get stolen, you may be able to get your money back! Lemonade is an insurance company that offers affordable policies for NYC renters.
Research your next building
After trying all of these steps, you may just feel that you need to move if you want better building security. Check the reputation of your next building before signing a lease. On openigloo, you can access tenant reviews and city data on any address in NYC. Avoid the landlords that don’t prioritize building security by doing your research on the openigloo app.
Have a rental experience to share? Submit an anonymous review about your building on the openigloo app, and help a future renter find (or avoid) their next apartment!