Home Owners Associations (HOAs) and Secure Locking Mailboxes
“A locking mailbox is the safest way to secure your private correspondence. Due to postal regulations, a locking mailbox is required to be larger than a standard mailbox, which puts a homeowner in danger of violating HOA covenants.”
Identity theft is a crime on the rise. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 8.6 million households experience some form of identity theft in 2010. The numbers have only gone up dramatically in the meantime, with the theft of existing credit card information the leading method for these criminals. And while many credit cards and other financial companies have moved towards electronic communications, some items must still be sent via “snail mail.” Your identity is only as safe as the method used to secure these precious and important documents.
Many subdivisions employ HOAs, or Homeowners Associations, to regulate and maintain community standards. These HOAs typically charge fees to every property in the subdivision, and in return the homeowner has voting rights in HOA decisions.
HOAs tend to regulate such aesthetic community standards as permitted painting, lawn maintenance, regulation on fencing, and acceptable structures built on property.
One surprising area often regulated by HOAs are the mailboxes permitted within the neighborhood. Many HOAs employ stringent and exacting standards governing the types and sizes of mailboxes allowed within the subdivision. A number of HOAs actually provide the mailboxes to each resident!
While this may seem like a nice benefit, you must remember that priceless personal and financial materials will be sent to and from this mailbox. Exercise your right to an HOA vote and demand safer mailboxes. Many of the secure options can be attractively designed. Remember, your identity is only as safe as the method used to guard it.
A locking mailbox is the safest way to secure your private correspondence. Due to postal regulations, a locking mailbox is required to be larger than a standard mailbox, which puts a homeowner in danger of violating HOA covenants.
A wall mount mailbox is another possibility. A wall mount mailbox affixes to the side of a building, usually your house, and some models are lockable. As these mailboxes sit away from the street, they run less risk of violating HOA standards.
Many delivery services leave large packages or oversize letters on the front step, making them ripe targets for theft. You can petition your HOA to provide a locking package mailbox for each block. The postman places your delivery into the package mailbox and then provides you with a key and a note informing you of the delivery. That way, the safety of your expensive online shopping is not at the mercy of neighbors or passersby.