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Old 06-05-2011, 02:12 PM
 
270 posts, read 481,884 times
Reputation: 187
Default HOA vs. Locking Mailboxes

Please provide your input and feedback to my situation below.

My concerns:
1) Security of my mail. I have a credit score of 805 (Top 1% of the US Population) and I don't want my identity stolen.
2) At the last minute, I have to go out of town for a few days and I don't have time to stop the mail. Burglar opens my mailbox to see it is full of junk mail and realizes I'm not home and it would be great for him to rob my house.

My proposed solution: Replace my existing mailbox with a lockable mailbox.

My current mailbox is a standard sized mailbox that came with the house.

I have researched locking mailboxes and the smallest lockable mailbox is about 1.5X the size of my current mailbox.
I have made a request with my HOA to replace my existing standard mailbox the locking mailbox that is 1.5X bigger. HOA has denied my request stating that all mailboxes in the subdivision must be EXACTLY the same size. I have investigated locking inserts, but to my knowledge, the locking inserts were disallowed by the USPS in 2008. The reason the locking mailbox is 1.5X bigger than my existing mailbox is due to the USPS regulations that the slot must be at least 10 inches wide (and my current mailbox is not even 10 inches wide). USPS Postal Mailbox Regulations for Locking Mailboxes

Questions: If my identity is stolen (due to someone stealing my mail), can I sue and win against the HOA citing that I attempted to take preventative measures and the HOA denied my request?

Should I go ahead and let my HOA know that I will be holding the HOA responsible if anything happens as a direct result of my home not having a lockable mailbox?

Should I take this to my neighbors and encourage all of them to request approvals for locking mailboxes?

Bottom Line: I think it is my right if I want to protect my mail in my mailbox. But I am caught in the middle where the USPS has one set of regulations and my HOA has another set of regulations.
Suggestions?
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
11,490 posts, read 25,992,256 times
Reputation: 14006
1. Post Office Box.
2. Move
3. P... and moan.
4. Comply

First they came for my mailbox, but I was not a mailbox, so I said nothing. Then they came for my recycling bin, but I was not a recycling bin, so I said nothing. Then they came for my truck, but I was not a truck, so I said nothing. Then they came for my teenage kids, and I thanked them profusely.
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton
9,342 posts, read 16,164,004 times
Reputation: 9031
It would take less time to have the post office hold the mail then to buy and install a locking mailbox.

https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/landingView.do

The site says that for same day service, you have to complete the online form before 2am.
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Balt / DC / ATL / SF / Seattle
204 posts, read 473,073 times
Reputation: 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnolia Bloom View Post
It would take less time to have the post office hold the mail then to buy and install a locking mailbox.

https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/landingView.do

The site says that for same day service, you have to complete the online form before 2am.
Seconded. Only takes a few seconds to set up and they'll deliver it all to you when you get back if you don't want to schlep down to the post office. I do this whenever I go away for more than a couple of days.
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Missouri
5,835 posts, read 14,514,394 times
Reputation: 4389
Unless you have enough free time and energy to coordinate efforts among your neighbors to request locked mailboxes (assuming the majority of your neighbors even want one), I would just get a P.O. box.
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:52 PM
Itz
 
690 posts, read 1,060,342 times
Reputation: 808
The HOA is not responsible for your mail. You can always contact your neighbor to get your mail.
If you are THAT concerned about someone stealing your mail you can always coordiate with the HOA and Post office to install a locking mailbox. All you have to do is communicate - go to a meeting as a home owner and show them the mailbox that you want to get that is similar in size.. the mailbox is a USPS standard... not an HOA one. You can always take it further if your that concern by contacting a lawyer to take on your case to get another mail box.

To hold an HOA respsonsible for someone takeing your mail is like holding them respou canonsible for picking your flowers out of your garden...

You can set up a hold on your mail via online.
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:37 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 10,116,526 times
Reputation: 5746
I travel often and sometimes for a long time. During emerencies, I may only get a few hours notice. I simply have a good neighbor pick up my mail for the day that happens to get delivered before the hold can take place. I use the hold all the time and the system is quick and easy so long as you meet the time deadline for next day hold.
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:15 AM
 
Location: NY & Fl
10,962 posts, read 7,558,525 times
Reputation: 8939
I know people whose mailbox is stuffed full every single day.
A burglar that assumed it meant the house was vacant would be making a big mistake.
I can understand your frustration about such a nit-picky rule but you're the one that chose to live there.
I doubt you'd get all your fellow inhabitants concerned enough to agree to shell out the dough to buy coordinating lock boxes but you can always give it a shot.
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Old 06-06-2011, 05:02 AM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
5,081 posts, read 7,493,988 times
Reputation: 2235
Quote:
Originally Posted by srnyong View Post
...
1) Security of my mail. I have a credit score of 805...
Credit score of 824 here (since you busted out that yard stick) and I've had a regular non-locking mailbox for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I wouldn't even bother to get the mail out of it for a week or so and it'd be packed tight.

IMO, don't worry about it. It's never been a problem for me, friends, family or anyone I've ever known. Parent's credit card info stolen by Koreans and used online, yes. Mail stolen by evildoers, no.

And WTF is up with the HOA and their identical mailbox rule? Sounds like a bunch of pansies with no real problems to deal with, so this is what they feel like doing now.
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:27 AM
 
21,477 posts, read 35,351,953 times
Reputation: 10511
I like the look of identical mailboxes, frankly that is the one thing the HOA that runs my mother's subdivision gets right...

I think anyone that is worried mail being stolen / break-ins happening because of a full mailbox is too paranoid for their own good. I further think a non-standard mailbox would be a GIANT target for crooks.

If you want to hide you mail get a locking insert:

Locking Mailbox Insert | Lockable Mailboxes

Special Lite Products LB-998 - Mailbox Locking Insert

How Our Locking Mailbox Insert Works

Gaines Manufacturing Mailbox Lockable Insert, KS-LOCK
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