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Subject: Replacing CBU for whole community
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Author Messages
JackJ9
(Oregon)

Posts:8


03/23/2021 10:32 AM  
We are a community of around 250 homes and have lots of cluster mailbox units. per our reserve study, they will be end of life in 3 years and should be replaced.

I'm envisioning that trying to issue keys to 274 homes, about 10% rentals, unknown percent unoccupied, and maybe 2% in transition between owners, will be a headache.

How have other companies done it? Is it possible to hire out the task of issuing keys to an outside firm so we don't have to deal with it as board volunteers?
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:672


03/23/2021 11:42 AM  
Jack

Does the CBU actually need to be replaced. Just because it is at the end of its life cycle in the Reserve Study, if it can live on a few more years, so much the better for you.

I can understand a volunteer Board not wishing to deal with disbursing the keys. A question and a few thoughts:

1. Do you have a property manager? If so, task the management company to do this.

2. If not, consider drawing up a bid spec for a key disbursement process and let the owners bid on fulfilling the contract. You may have a recent retiree owner who would appreciate some extra income.

3. Forget the renters, hold the owners responsible for picking up the new keys.

4. Ensure your key distribution process requires producing a picture ID and the old key (maybe?) before handing over the new one.

5. You may have to design an exception process to distribute the new key--an owner is ill, travelling, etc.

6. Make your process Covid safe.

Good luck
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8015


03/23/2021 11:56 AM  
We just replaced a 100-unit cluster mailbox with one identical to the old one. Our existing keys can still be used.

Otherwise, Bill's idea seem good.
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1695


03/23/2021 11:57 AM  
"Just because it is at the end of its life cycle in the Reserve Study, if it can live on a few more years, so much the better for you."


So many HOAs will unnecessarily replace amenities based on paper-based projections....regarding key distribution, I'd hope the mailboxes have a few more years in them!
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4170


03/23/2021 12:38 PM  
If CBUs are outside, you might want to check with USPO to see if they will handle key distribution and replacement.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
JackJ9
(Oregon)

Posts:8


03/23/2021 12:43 PM  
Regarding renters, we can't just forget the renters. Some of the owners are corporations in other states, and the renters may be depending on prompt delivery of mail for medications. So we will need a process that allows them to keep getting their mail as well and not hold their mail hostage for weeks while the corporation landlord is trying to get keys to the renters.
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:672


03/23/2021 1:35 PM  
Jack, I understand about the renters and that the properties may be owned by corporate owners located elsewhere.

If you have tight documentation of who the renter is, perhaps releasing the key to the renter may be OK. However, if someone's third cousin of the brother of someone shows up to pick up the key, you may have a problem.

Do you release the keys to a renter or do the owners work through local real estate agents when renting/leasing a property? If so, perhaps that is the solution to distributing the key to the renter.

I don't wish to make this more involved than it needs to be, I'm basing my thoughts on a recent experience with a client who claimed the lock on the mailbox door was compromised and mail was being stolen. You don't wish to put the Association in the position of dealing with someone claiming an unauthorized party was given the key.
GregM14
(South Carolina)

Posts:64


03/23/2021 3:18 PM  
Thanks all.

I think that, at the time the board goes forward with mailbox replacement, I might find myself really busy with something else in my life and might not have any time for it!

This just sounds like a mess.
ND
(PA)

Posts:591


03/24/2021 6:46 AM  
Posted By GregM14 on 03/23/2021 3:18 PM
Thanks all.

I think that, at the time the board goes forward with mailbox replacement, I might find myself really busy with something else in my life and might not have any time for it!

This just sounds like a mess.



Agree that this could easily be a total mess. But if I were a Board Member involved, I'd see it as part of my job to try and ensure it was as successful an event as it could be. Too many others want no part of things when stuff gets a little complicated or labor-intensive . . . many are happy to make decisions but not willing to roll up their sleeves and do a little work . . . probably why so much HOA stuff turns into a total $hit$how.

If you come up with a good plan, involve all the stakeholders (Board, homeowners, install company, MC, USPS/postal delivery, etc.), evaluate the needs/requirements and pros/cons from the different perspectives before implementing anything, and communicate to all stakeholders throughout . . . then I think you can have a successful mailbox swap and key exchange/hand-off.

I could see something like this being done by a small group going door to door (250 homes isn't too much to try and tackle . . . 10 people is only 25 homes each). There will obviously be a few homes/renters/owners that cannot be reached and then you'll have to have another approach for them. I think simply distribute (by hand) the new keys to the appropriate people. Know who the owners/renters are before going to each house, so you know who you need to speak to. Have people put their name and sign for the new keys. When the mailboxes are swapped out, they will begin using the new key and can drop the old keys into the outgoing mail slot. USPS can collect them all in a small box or something in the CBU and then hand them off to Board/MC when process is done. Any old keys not returned . . . who cares (you don't need them anymore and they're no good to anyone). Ensuring everyone has the new keys in their possession prior to the mailbox replacement will be imperative. And ensuring teh right people have the right keys to the right mailbox will be equally important.

Talk to the USPS too. I'm sure this happens frequently enough that they would know how best to handle.

Or tell your MC to come up with the plan and pay them whatever they say it will cost your HOA.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:569


03/24/2021 7:29 AM  
Posted By JackJ9 on 03/23/2021 10:32 AM
We are a community of around 250 homes and have lots of cluster mailbox units. per our reserve study, they will be end of life in 3 years and should be replaced.

I'm envisioning that trying to issue keys to 274 homes, about 10% rentals, unknown percent unoccupied, and maybe 2% in transition between owners, will be a headache.

How have other companies done it? Is it possible to hire out the task of issuing keys to an outside firm so we don't have to deal with it as board volunteers?




If the same cluster boxes are still being sold why can't you just swap the locks out? Even a different box may have the same size and shape for the lock.
HappyE
(Texas)

Posts:24


03/24/2021 11:43 AM  
We are getting ready to replace 204 mailboxes in our community. We plan on advertising several pick up times at different hours of the day/weekend manned by volunteers. Once that period has past, we will hand over keys to property management and people will have to go pick them up from their office.

Does your HOA hold onto a master key for each box? We've had an issue right now where the HOA does not have any master keys. If you buy a house that did not come with a key, you have to buy a new lock set, then wait around for USPS to come so you can swap it out.

With the new mailboxes we put in, we have the option to hold a master key but are not sure we really have the capacity to manage those keys. Also, I'm not sure how to prevent someone from changing out the lock and not giving us the new master key.
HappyE
(Texas)

Posts:24


03/24/2021 11:45 AM  
Also, for ID verification, perhaps you can require them to show ID with their address listed OR a copy of their lease agreement/mortgage papers? Legitimate verification request since stimulus checks are on the line potentially
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Replacing CBU for whole community



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