Package theft in apartment buildings, especially during the holiday season, has become a growing concern for tenants. With the rise of online shopping, more packages are being delivered to apartment complexes, making them a prime target for thieves. It is the responsibility of landlords to secure the property and ensure the safety of their tenants' packages. Addressing package theft is crucial not only for the satisfaction of tenants but also for their overall safety and well-being.

Landlord Responsibility and Liability

Securing the Building

Landlords have a legal and moral obligation to properly secure the building to prevent package theft. This includes implementing measures such as installing security cameras, improving lighting in common areas, and ensuring that entrances and locks are in good working condition. By having a well-lit and monitored building, landlords can deter potential thieves and provide a sense of security for their tenants.

Tenant's Rights

Tenants have the right to live in a secure environment and receive their packages without the fear of theft. If their packages are stolen, they have the right to take action against the landlord. This can include seeking compensation for the value of the stolen items or requesting the landlord to improve security measures. It is important for tenants to be aware of their rights and to assert them when necessary. By understanding their rights, tenants can advocate for themselves and hold their landlords accountable for maintaining a safe living environment.

Taking Action as a Tenant

Notifying the Landlord

Tenants should put the landlord on notice about security breaches and the risk to tenants. They can communicate their concerns through written communication, such as emails or letters, and keep a record of their correspondence. In some cases, tenants may even consider using a petition to gather support from other tenants and demonstrate the widespread concern about package theft. By actively notifying the landlord and documenting their concerns, tenants can ensure that their voices are heard and that the issue is addressed promptly.

Reporting Faulty Locks and Suspicious Activity

Tenants should not hesitate to report any faulty locks or suspicious activity in the lobby to the appropriate authorities. One way to do this is by calling 311, which is a non-emergency hotline that can connect tenants with the relevant city agencies. Reporting incidents is essential in creating a documented record of security problems and can help in holding the landlord accountable for necessary repairs and improvements. Additionally, tenants should also encourage their neighbors to report any incidents they witness or experience, as a collective effort can lead to more effective action being taken.

Filing an HP Proceeding

If the landlord fails to address the security problem, tenants can file an HP proceeding in housing court to compel the landlord to take action. In this proceeding, tenants can present evidence of the landlord's negligence and their attempts to resolve the issue. It is crucial for tenants to document their efforts to resolve the problem with the landlord, such as keeping records of communication and any evidence of the security issues. By taking legal action, tenants can exert pressure on the landlord to address the security concerns and ensure the safety of packages for all residents.

Recovering Stolen Packages

In the unfortunate event that packages are stolen, tenants should take immediate action to recover their belongings. This can include contacting the shipping carrier to inquire about possible options for reimbursement or replacement. Most carriers have policies in place to assist customers who have experienced package theft. Tenants can also reach out to neighbors or building management for assistance. By notifying the relevant parties promptly, tenants can increase the chances of recovering their stolen packages and holding the responsible individuals accountable.

Dealing with a Suspected Tenant

Dealing with a suspected tenant who may be stealing packages can be challenging. It is crucial for tenants to gather evidence before taking any action and to consult legal advice to understand their rights and options. Confronting the tenant directly can be one approach, but it is essential to proceed with caution and to prioritize personal safety. Another option is to give the suspected tenant notice to vacate the premises if there is sufficient evidence to support the suspicion of package theft. This will not only protect the interests of other tenants but also send a strong message that package theft will not be tolerated in the building.

Warning Others

Putting up a sign warning others about package thieves can be an effective way to raise awareness and deter potential criminals. However, it is important to consider the potential benefits and drawbacks of this approach. While it may serve as a deterrent, it could also inadvertently create panic or lead to false accusations. It is advisable to explore other preventive measures, such as installing security cameras or using package lockers, to ensure the safety of packages and the peace of mind of tenants. By implementing a comprehensive security strategy, tenants can provide a safer living environment for everyone in the building.


Package theft in apartment buildings is a serious issue that requires the attention and action of both landlords and tenants. Landlords have a responsibility to secure the property and can be held liable for failing to do so. Tenants should take proactive measures to address package theft, such as notifying the landlord, reporting security problems, and filing legal proceedings if necessary. By working together and implementing preventive measures, both landlords and tenants can create a safer and more secure environment for package deliveries. By ensuring the safety of packages, tenants can enjoy a worry-free shopping experience and have peace of mind knowing that their belongings are protected.