Condo/apartment staff - holiday gratuities?

puckhead193

macrumors G3
Original poster
May 25, 2004
9,210
432
NY
This may sound random but I figured we have a diverse group of people here. I moved into a new apartment over the summer. The building is new and has all these amenities and staff. (security, doorman, front desk/concierge, custodians/porters, maintenance etc etc.) Its the holiday season and I don't know what's appropriate. They emailed out a list, overall about 30 names! I don't know what's expected. Cash? how much? gift card? Bottle of wine? I tried talking to a few of my neighbors but couldn't get a straight answer.

Thanks!
 

Lioness~

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2017
1,187
1,103
I've been living in my condo and this housing society for quite some time. We never give each other Christmas gifts.
The association might lower the the fee at times. When it happens, it's usually around Christmas.
We have a guy who is good at cutting costs, so it happens more frequently than when they have to raise the fee :)
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,141
13,987
A coffee card should suffice. I have to remind my office every year to get something for the cleaning staff because they’re the unseen workers that keep this place going.

Just show people they’re appreciated, that’s all.
 
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iTurbo

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2008
298
356
I work in the maintenance department of a large apartment complex as my day job. The company sends out gift cards every Thanksgiving and Christmas to all tenants. We've never expected tenants to gift or tip the employees.....sounds crazy! I agree with rem2.
 

Sword86

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2012
224
81
When I go way in the winter and my neighbour is away at the same time I give cash to the maintenance guy who collects my mail. If my neighbour gets it I buy him a bottle or a bag of coffee. Nothing else. S
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,470
16,001
This may sound random but I figured we have a diverse group of people here. I moved into a new apartment over the summer. The building is new and has all these amenities and staff. (security, doorman, front desk/concierge, custodians/porters, maintenance etc etc.) Its the holiday season and I don't know what's appropriate. They emailed out a list, overall about 30 names! I don't know what's expected. Cash? how much? gift card? Bottle of wine? I tried talking to a few of my neighbors but couldn't get a straight answer.

Thanks!
They sent out a list? Was that in a particular context of some sort?
 

hallux

macrumors 68030
Apr 25, 2012
2,774
485
They sent out a list? Was that in a particular context of some sort?
I was wondering the same thing.

I've lived in the same apartment for 10+ years now, but it's not a building as in the OP's case, it's more of a sprawling community/neighborhood deal. I've never tipped the maintenance people or the office staff. The biggest tip I give them is respect in my interactions with them and with how I treat their building/grounds.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,600
1,184
Georgia
Seems odd to me that you would be expected to give them anything. Especially that many people.

I think it would really depend on the type of apartment/condo complex. If it is a high end place it might be expected. If it isn't then I doubt it is. Although it might be smart to tip the maintenance person/super and doorman.

A coffee card should suffice. I have to remind my office every year to get something for the cleaning staff because they’re the unseen workers that keep this place going.

Just show people they’re appreciated, that’s all.
I thought their gifts were when you accidentally leave your wallet, jacket, phone, &c at your desk? :rolleyes:
 

dukebound85

macrumors P6
Jul 17, 2005
18,052
1,183
5045 feet above sea level
This may sound random but I figured we have a diverse group of people here. I moved into a new apartment over the summer. The building is new and has all these amenities and staff. (security, doorman, front desk/concierge, custodians/porters, maintenance etc etc.) Its the holiday season and I don't know what's appropriate. They emailed out a list, overall about 30 names! I don't know what's expected. Cash? how much? gift card? Bottle of wine? I tried talking to a few of my neighbors but couldn't get a straight answer.

Thanks!
I wouldn’t give anything. Seems odd
 

hallux

macrumors 68030
Apr 25, 2012
2,774
485
Although it might be smart to tip the maintenance person/super and doorman
I guess that depends on how many maintenance people there are. In my case - there are probably a dozen or more (900 unit complex, managed by a company that has other properties in the area).
 

jeyf

macrumors 65816
Jan 20, 2009
1,187
540
depends if you live in a larger managed facility. Maybe be super nice all year to your staff.
 

LizKat

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2004
5,320
29,819
Catskill Mountains
Although it might be smart to tip the maintenance person/super and doorman.
I lived in two or three buildings in NYC over almost 40 years... and in the same apartment building for about 30 years. I always figured it would be fairly insane not to tip those guys, and I acted accordingly even if sometimes rolling my eyes while setting the cash aside to put into the annual gift cards.

At least the porter and the doorman were very accommodating when I made minor requests of them like watching my double-parked car for five minutes while I ran upstairs for my gear for the weekend etc.

The super though was a typical city super in my experience, i.e. he could make your life miserable if you didn't tip him at year end, but he wouldn't necessarily put a rush on your ordinary service request if you did tip him big at year end and he just didn't feel like doing whatever the job was right away sometime the following July...

I told myself his attitude came from dealing with difficult tenants, and I tried not to be one of them. Most of the time he reciprocated by at least not harassing me the way some supers in rent controlled buildings do harass tenants.

Just my experience. YMMV and my advice to anyone would be to inquire of other tenants in your building about what's expected.
 
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A.Goldberg

macrumors 68020
Jan 31, 2015
2,326
7,638
Boston
I live in a 4 unit brownstone, so no concierge or doorman. We do have a cleaning lady who does an outstanding job cleaning the hallways and other common areas. We also hired her to clean our apartment once a week. I gave her a $150 Amazon gift card. If she didn’t clean my apartment I probably would give $50.

In the past when I lived in a building with staff I never gave gifts.

I know the holidays have passed, but I suppose you could give a group gift- like some sort of food delivered or gift basket.
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
45,429
30,689
The Far Horizon
Give women flowers, they will be pleased with this ))
Not necessarily.

Personally, I cannot stand cut flowers (they die, and you have to look after them, and it is an unimaginative gift unless they are flowers that you actually like - I do like daffodils), and neither could my mother.

Coffee, wine or a gift token, or real hard cash will always work well.

They might be happier with a $20, organized by the employees. No sexist overtone implied.
Agree.

My grandparents lived in a big apartment in queens and every year they got a list of all the doormen and other workers. Everyone got a cash tip.
Exactly.
 
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LizKat

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2004
5,320
29,819
Catskill Mountains
depends if you live in a larger managed facility. Maybe be super nice all year to your staff.
Super nice all year? Hate to break it to the doubters, but at least in NYC buildings, that commonly does translate to a cash tip at year end... there's not really a way around it save to ignore that conventional wisdom at your peril, should you or your place in the building require some little extra (or even normal) attention.

Okay so it's amazing how some people can seem to sit on their hands and earn a paycheck at the same time. Still, the way "to ensure prompt service" (TIPS, get it?) is give ten bucks at Christmas to even the night porter, a guy whom you may not see in action during your entire tenancy. See he's the dude to have on your side when you want to ditch something without having to drag it outside yourself and it's against the rules to park it in the trash hallway. The only other way is tip by the [unforeseeable] occasion, and that can get costly.
 
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DoubleFlyaway

macrumors 6502a
Nov 16, 2017
883
828
I guess that depends on how many maintenance people there are. In my case - there are probably a dozen or more (900 unit complex, managed by a company that has other properties in the area).
I live in a similar place. It's the largest apartment complex I've seen in my life. I take my dog on 2.5 mile walks within the complex. This place likely has well over 100 employees, maybe 200. Tipping never occurred to me.
 
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Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,013
10,096
I live in a similar place. It's the largest apartment complex I've seen in my life. I take my dog on 2.5 mile walks within the complex. This place likely has well over 100 employees, maybe 200. Tipping never occurred to me.
I can't even begin to imagine what city could house such a tall building. And this is based on a variance of 800-1,600 sq. foot apartments? I've seen a few 100-120 unit luxury flats in Austin or Dallas, around the 1,100-1,800 sq. foot luxury apartment range but that's it. This includes concierge services and amenities.
 

DoubleFlyaway

macrumors 6502a
Nov 16, 2017
883
828
I can't even begin to imagine what city could house such a tall building. And this is based on a variance of 800-1,600 sq. foot apartments? I've seen a few 100-120 unit luxury flats in Austin or Dallas, around the 1,100-1,800 sq. foot luxury apartment range but that's it. This includes concierge services and amenities.
Complex, not building.
 
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