One of the benefits of living in a co-op or condo is you probably have a 24/7 doorman, a handyman and a super on site. These building employees accept your many Amazon packages, fix the leaky toilet that’s flooding your bathroom, and hopefully help keep the elevators in excellent service.
While you do pay monthly maintenance or standard common charges, are you supposed to tip the staff? What duties count as a part of their job, and what actions are going above and beyond to deserve a tip?
And then there are the holidays, which can elicit feelings of anxiety of exactly how much to tip and the total cost to you after you tip all ten co-op staff members.
If you don’t tip well, you’re worried your service might suffer. We’ve compiled a complete guide of when you should tip your co-op staff and how much — or with what.
When To Tip: The Holidays
December is right around the corner, so it’s a good time to start allocating how much you’re going to be spending on family, friends — and your doormen.
Most buildings will send out a holiday card around Thanksgiving wishing you a happy holiday and a happy New Year. The card will be signed with all the names of the buildings staff, signaling these are the people it’s appropriate to tip. Depending on the size of your building, this will probably have the name of your super, the doormen and doorwomen, bellhops and any handymen.
You should be prepared to tip anywhere from five to 12 people, again depending on the size of your building.
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How Much To Tip During The Holidays
While the building staff receives their salary from the buildings funds, which ultimately you pay for as a shareholder, it’s important to remember that tipping is about rewarding service and, to some extent, placing a small guarantee on excellent future service. Keep in mind that if your doormen are unionized, they likely only earn about $50,000 a year. The staff has also grown accustomed to tips being a part of their annual income and expect it.
When considering how much to tip, you’ll want to consider a few things:
- How large is your building?
- How long have you lived there?
- How senior is the staff member you’re thinking of tipping?
- How good has this staff member service been to you?
First, you want to consider how many people live in your building. This is because, in a larger building, more people are contributing to the tips which can ease some of the financial burdens on you and your family. If it’s a small community, you might want to reward the staff more than in your previously large building.
Next, think about how long you’ve lived there. If you moved into the building in October, and now it’s Christmas time, you should adjust your tipping to how long you’ve been there. The staff has only provided so much service to this point. You could also consider giving a great bottle of whiskey or something in that area if you are brand new to the building. On the contrary, if you’ve been in your building 20 years, you’ve probably built a relationship with your doormen, and this should be rewarded.
You’ll also want to consider the seniority of the staff members you’re tipping. That brand new handyman who has yet to set foot in your apartment, doesn’t deserve quite as much as the super who has helped push through renovation plans.
Finally, consider each employee’s quality of service to you. It is ok to tip some staff slightly more than others to reward the excellent service and encourage more of it.
A good guidepost for each staff can be the following.
- Super: $75 – $175
- Doorman: $25 – $200 (Tip more if you live in a luxury building and for the more senior doormen)
- Maintenance staff: $25 – $50
- Garage attendant and mailman: $25 – $50
You may want to give an extra $5 to $10 at the end of the Holiday season to the staff member that removes your Christmas (or Hanukkah) tree from the apartment
When To Tip: Your Handyman Makes A Repair
Technically handymen are responsible for repairing the common areas and things between the walls of everyone’s apartment. It’s also in their job description to clean the air conditioning filters in preparation for summer.
But what’s going on inside your four walls is technically your responsibility. If a handyman replaces a light bulb or unclogs your shower drain, throwing them an extra tip goes a long way.
Think of it this way: If you lived in the suburbs, would you have to hire someone for the job your handyman just completed? Then, it’s ok to tip them a little.
How much to tip after a handyman repair
How much to tip your handyman after a repair in your apartment really depends on the size of the repair they just did.
If it’s fixing a light bulb, under $5 will do. But if they just unclogged your toilet after a mess, around $30-$50 is polite.
When to tip a nice extra doorman
If you have a doorman that works the regular Monday to Friday day shift and is the receiver of most of your online package deliveries, it’s a good idea to tip them throughout the year.
This will ensure they’ll take good care of your things. Packages are usually a sore spot for doormen and can turn lobbies into what feels like an Amazon warehouse. Showing them some regular tipping will help improve their service even further.
How much to tip the extra helpful doorman
How much to tip throughout the year also depends on the quality of service and what the doorman has been doing for you and your family.
Keep in mind their seniority, your frequency of packages and any extra good service they’ve performed throughout