What Is My Upper Level Address?

“Don’t Get the Cart in Front of the Horse”

This article may sound like a no-brainer, but I made the mistake. I worked hard and long converting my unused upper level space into a nicely-designed apartment. I was under the impression that I could dictate my upper level address, at least as long as it was a typical address that one might normally use. I was all over 223-A. I publicized it, put the name plate on the door and even signed a lease using 223-A. My tenant also began telling their family and friends the address.

Well, it didn’t take long for the postmaster to find my phone number and give me a call. Come to find out, one cannot choose their own address. Worse yet, what they forced upon me made no sense at all. You might think that they would want an address that is easily sequenced . . . like the alphabet or 1, 2, 3, in case a second, third, and so on might be added. Nope. I got 223 1/2. I’m still not quite sure why they wouldn’t budge. Perhaps someone can explain it to me. Overall, it’s not a big deal, but it was a hassle correcting my mistake.

The second surprise to me was that I had to have my mailbox located at the front of the building. If you think about the mail person and how they deliver, one can quickly see why this makes sense. Walking in and out of back areas along the alley might not be the safest thing to do, or the most efficient. It is unfortunate, as a back apartment unit might not have direct access to the front of the building. Tenants are then forced to walk all the way around the block to get their mail. Codes today minimize this situation, but nonetheless, it could still exist, so don’t forget to think about the mailbox location as well. Make sure you have a proper location at the front of your building that will accommodate all the mailboxes you need.

Some postmasters have specific requirements on the mailbox size and function, too, so it is important to remember to give the postmaster a call and let them know what you are doing. Be sure to ask them how they would like to deliver your mail so you can properly set up service the first time.