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Old 11-21-2011, 12:29 PM
 
311 posts, read 472,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FalconheadWest View Post
The cluster boxes are post office property, and I can't imagine a locksmith willing to deface government property. The post office will rekey your box for a small fee, usually around $25, but it varies. You take them your closing statement to show you are the new home owner, and they give you a new key. Don't use someone else's key for your mail as you never know who else has a copy, just like with your front door. Always change your locks!
Not necessarily. All the cluster mailboxes (CBU) in the community where I live were recently replaced and we told by the post office that the CBUs are our property. However, the post office has the exclusive use of them.

As far as rekeying, again, it is absolutely not defacement, whether performed by a locksmith, homeowner, or post office. The lock system for many CBU compartments is very simple, just a removable clip that holds in the round lock. It's available at any locksmith for a few dollars and is something even an non-handy homeowner can replace. The replacement is done from the back side of the compartment door, so the original key is required. It behooves new homeowners to change the mailbox lock and key.

The only key that matters to the post office, and is strictly their property, is the one for the CBU's main loading door and the parcel locker (if so equipped).
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
5,565 posts, read 10,898,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FalconheadWest View Post
The cluster boxes are post office property, and I can't imagine a locksmith willing to deface government property. The post office will rekey your box for a small fee, usually around $25, but it varies. You take them your closing statement to show you are the new home owner, and they give you a new key. Don't use someone else's key for your mail as you never know who else has a copy, just like with your front door. Always change your locks!
This is area specific. Sometimes even from town to town. We had one we had to have the post office come out and rekey in Meridian (a suburb of Boise). But a year ago, we had to have one done in Nampa (the next county over), and that post office told us to have a locksmith do it. The post office was around $60, and the locksmith was around $120.

If you can't get a key from the prior owner, sometimes you can get one from the post office, and sometimes from the HOA. If the property was used as a rental prior to you buying it, sometimes you can get one from the property management company. We have one small subdivision that is all rentals that we have keys for the entire mailbox cluster.

But I agree, it isn't a bad idea to change that lock, even if you get a key.
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:21 PM
 
Location: El Dorado Hills, CA
3,036 posts, read 3,959,143 times
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Here, you take proof of ownership to the post office, they give you a number and a new key. I guess it works differently everywhere. But starting with the post office is a good place.
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Bradenton, FL
2,051 posts, read 2,370,207 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IOSilver View Post
Thanks, I'll check with the post office.

I never talk directly to the seller. My agent does.
I asked where the mailbox was & she told me to find my address on the cluster of boxes across the street.
I told her there are no addresses, just the numbers 1-8 but she had no answer.
I'll ask for the key at closing too & see what happens.

Thanks a lot
I cannot imagine that the seller will not give you the key at closing. Why wouldn't they? They have no right to that mailbox after they sell. Sounds like your agent was just trying to answer your question about which mailbox was yours, but it probably wasn't high on her list of priorities since you don't need the key or the mail until the house is yours.
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:25 AM
 
33 posts, read 81,357 times
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Thanks all for the tips & helpful advice.

They may well have a key to give me at closing (hopefully). If not, I'm sure the USPS can guide me.
I really wish this house had it's own mailbox. Oh well. Thx again
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:15 AM
 
27,885 posts, read 22,116,808 times
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I moved into a condo last year. I have the same type of mailbox, and they are numbered 1 through 8, which does not match the unit addresses. I got the keys with the house keys when I closed.

You could just try your key and see which one it fits.

I was wondering which one was mine, and then my daughter counted the units in my building from left to right, said, "Mom, you are the sixth unit--try Number 6." I did. It was my mailbox.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:16 PM
 
451 posts, read 702,922 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IOSilver View Post
I asked where the mailbox was & she told me to find my address on the cluster of boxes across the street.
I told her there are no addresses, just the numbers 1-8 but she had no answer.
All too familiar... the agent part
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,768 posts, read 4,130,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IOSilver View Post
Does anyone have their mail delivered to a cluster mailbox
(also called neighborhood delivery and collection box units)?

If so, could you please explain to me how these work?

The house I'm buying has no mailbox on the property.
Across the street there's a cluster mailbox unit. I went over there to see if my address was on it but there were no addresses, just 8 boxes numbered 1-8.

How do I find out where my mail will be delivered & obtain a key?

Thanks for your help..
Good question. I'm buying a house with a cluster mailbox and I hadn't even thought of this.

This house is a foreclosure and the bank that owns it is out of CA and they seem very uninvolved with the property so I have a sneaking suspicion they won't have the key.
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:34 AM
 
27,885 posts, read 22,116,808 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Crabcakes View Post
Good question. I'm buying a house with a cluster mailbox and I hadn't even thought of this.

This house is a foreclosure and the bank that owns it is out of CA and they seem very uninvolved with the property so I have a sneaking suspicion they won't have the key.
If you aren't given a key, you go to the post office and get one. There is probably a fee.

I had to do this (and pay for a new key) years ago as a renter--I'd gone to Florida on vacation and lost my keys down there. I think it cost me $35, but that was 20 years ago.
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:37 AM
 
27,885 posts, read 22,116,808 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IOSilver View Post
Thanks all for the tips & helpful advice.

They may well have a key to give me at closing (hopefully). If not, I'm sure the USPS can guide me.
I really wish this house had it's own mailbox. Oh well. Thx again
In the grand scheme of things, that's not really too important.

However, don't just sit there and be hopeful about the key at closing. ASK about it.

I got my mailbox key with my house keys. I also got a bunch of other keys that seem not to belong to anything related to my condo.
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