Similar to how there are different types of apartments, there are various types of buildings. Depending on the type of building you live in, you should have different sets of expectations about the building amenities and features and the available people who help with day-to-day management. Generally speaking, a building will have one of the following two situations for helping tenants:

Landlord and Super

Typically, older buildings with lower monthly rents have a landlord and super who tend to requests for general building maintenance. In this type of building, the landlord may also be a management company where tenants can reach out to various team members who can also help resolve issues that arise. The landlord is ultimately responsible for collecting rent and ensuring the safety and well-being of tenants.

A landlord may hire a building super to take on some of those responsibilities, usually including day-to-day building tasks. Sometimes, a super may live in the building, and some apartment listings may highlight that there is a “live-in super”. Other times, the super may live nearby the building and have easy access to the space. The super may enter apartments at the request of the landlord to take care of small maintenance issues. They may also deal with trash management, providing keys and access to tenants, and general maintenance.

In this type of building, you can expect a clean and well-maintained common area, generally consisting of a foyer or small lobby with a mail area.

Doorman and Concierge

In newer buildings with higher monthly rent prices, the building usually has a doorman and/or concierge in addition to the landlord. This person may physically open the door for the building, but they also provide a majority of the following services:

  • Monitor the overall security of the building.
  • Check guests into the building, including friends, deliveries, etc.
  • Receive packages and hand them to tenants when they enter the building.
  • Organize the moving of large pieces of furniture, bulky items, etc.
  • Hail taxis for tenants.
  • Provide a touch of personal warmth for tenants as the face of the building.

Many doormen develop strong relationships with the renters in the building. A doorman knows many crucial details about a tenant’s day-to-day life, and you should therefore treat the people in your building with respect.

Tipping Conventions

In New York City, renters will thank those who work in their building with an end-of-the-year tip. Sometimes, it may be difficult to determine who you should tip and how much to give them. To determine how much to tip, you can consider how long you have lived in the building, how heavily you rely on that person’s services, and how much that person impacts your quality of life. Generally speaking, you should not tip on a per-service basis, meaning that you do not provide a tip to the super when they come up to repair the kitchen sink.

How much to tip building staff

You should tip your building staff around the following amounts, depending on their position. These numbers are just a ballpark idea and serve as a guideline.

  • Super, resident manager: $100 to $175 on average
  • Doorman and/or concierge: $40 to $150 on average
  • Porters, handyman, and maintenance staff: $20 to $30 on average