Cluster mailboxes have become increasingly common in HOAs. They are an affordable option for multi-unit complexes and large communities – not to mention that delivering to a cluster box, rather than door-to-door, spares the post office a significant amount of expense in time, gas, and vehicle maintenance.

Residents depend on fully-functioning, well-maintained mailboxes to receive their mail consistently and in a timely manner. But when a cluster mailbox is vandalized, broken, or falls into disrepair, postal workers can’t deliver parcels; this affects many residents simultaneously.

In the event that a cluster mailbox is inoperable and mail delivery has come to a screeching halt, who is accountable? Well … that depends! Read on.

Post Office

Although in some individual cases, a post office has stepped in when asked to replace or repair a community’s mailbox, this is generally not the case. The Postal Service will likely not provide assistance in repairing a cluster mailbox; in fact, their official rule book states that the “purchase, installation, and maintenance of mail receptacles are the responsibility of the customer.”  So, while residents or an HOA board can appeal to their local office to fix the problem, it’s definitely not their best bet for a swift resolution.

HOA or Residents?

An HOA’s Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions (CC&Rs) document will often state whether the responsibility and expense falls to the association, or to the homeowners, in the event that a cluster mailbox needs repair or replacement.

Associations whose documents do not make this distinction should add in clear terms not only who is accountable, but also to what extent and under what circumstances. Doing so will ensure that repairs can be made quickly and avoid unnecessary confrontation or possible legal action.

For board members with additional questions, contact your HOA management company for assistance with your specific situation. If you are unhappy with your current HOA management company, contact Spectrum Association Management today to learn more about what makes us refreshingly different and why our customers are so happy.