This section is from the book "Practical Real Estate Methods For Broker, Operator & Owner", by Thirty Experts. Also available from Amazon: Practical Real Estate Methods for Broker, Operator, Owner.
The use of telephones in apartment houses has become almost universal. In the higher class houses, it is particularly desirable to eliminate the usual switchboard installation made by the telephone companies, which is very costly to maintain, both from the necessity of paying switchboard operators and from the loss in toll collections due to the fact that five cents is the maximum charge that can be collected from the tenants and four cents the minimum cost, unless the total yearly messages be exceptionally large in number. By compelling each tenant to make his independent contract with the company, it is possible to do away with the necessity of maintaining the switchboard and of acting as a collecting agency for the telephone company, which is practically what the owner of an apartment house with a switchboard system is obliged to do. As it is necessary to have some means of communication from the entrance hall to each tenant's apartment and also with the janitor, superintendent, etc., an intercommunicating phone system must be installed which can be done at a comparatively moderate cost, affording a means of intercommunication within the house, and at practically nominal cost for maintenance.
This method of telephone equipment has been tried with great success in a number of apartment houses and should be considered a most desirable feature from the standpoint of the owner.