Mailbox Compliance Concerns?

If you have rebuilt or elevated your home in Meyerland, you may have received a note from your mail carrier stating that your mailbox is not in compliance. This seems to stem from a single carrier who is not fond of climbing stairs to deliver the mail. The MCIA board of directors received a few questions from residents as to what the requirements are regarding the placement of mailboxes.

Meyerland has deed restrictions and policies that address placement of your mailbox.

Also, we must look to the U.S. Postal Service, as they have standard requirements for the placement of a mailbox at your home. These requirements can be found online at www.usps.com/manage/mailboxes.htm. However, the practice of how these rules are applied across postal centers apparently varies widely.

In Meyerland, most of us have boxes or mail slots that are close to our front door, instead of on a post adjacent to the street. The USPS website has two relevant items of note regarding placement of a wall-mounted mailbox:

  • Get a wall mailbox that can hold a normal day’s mail volume, including letter-sized envelopes, postcards, and catalogs.
  • Place the mailbox near the main entrance so your mail carrier can easily see it.

For mail slots, the following rules apply:

  • The opening must be at least 1 1/2″ x 7″.
  • The bottom of the slot must be at least 30″ above floor.
  • Horizontal slots must have a flap hinged at the top.
  • Vertical slots must be hinged on the opposite side from the door’s hinges.

There is also a separate “maintenance” note that states “Keep the path to your mailbox clear.”

According to the USPS website, there are not any USPS rules requiring wall-mounted mailboxes to be at the ground level (versus at the top of a set of stairs). If your home has stairs to your front door, and your mailbox is next to your door or a slot on you door, then it is a reasonable expectation that the mail carrier needs to walk the stairs to deliver your mail. 

However, as you can imagine, it is not always a joy for carriers who walk the neighborhood, sometimes in 100+ degree heat, to also climb a lot of stairs. Also, many of us have stairs that are concrete, masonry, or tile which may be slippery when it is raining.

If you do receive a notice from your mail carrier regarding the elevation of your mailbox, please notify the MCIA office and also discuss with Linda McGowan, the Supervisor at the Westbury Post Office (you can visit the post office, or call her at (713) 729-5711). 

Note that this issue will continue to be a work in progress, and the MCIA office and the local post office will continue to work on a solution for our residents that also keeps our postal carriers safe. You will also continue to receive mail, regardless of any notices you may have received. 

More than likely, there will be a request to compromise. What the compromise is, who it affects, and how it will be communicated will be a joint decision between the association and the USPS office. As stated before, if you receive (or have received) a notice from your postal carrier, please contact both MCIA and the Westbury post office to discuss your options. Until then, please wait to take any action and we will update the community as we learn more.