Generally speaking, if a CBU (Cluster Box Unit) is located on the private property of an HOA, then the association has been financially responsible for replacement. If the CBU is adjacent to a public street in a detached home single family community, then the responsibility has fallen on the USPS (United States Postal Service). However, in 2012, the USPS updated the postal operations manual with specific revisions regarding mail delivery and mailboxes.
The manual states that the “purchase, installation, and maintenance of mail receptacles are the responsibility of the customer.”
The manual also states: “The USPS may elect, under certain conditions, to purchase, install, and maintain curb-mounted mail receptacles or cluster box units.”
Based on the regulations, it is clear that the USPS has the ability to install and maintain certain mailboxes if it chooses to but has no obligation to do so.
So, while it is possible the USPS will maintain and replace CBU’s, we recommend the association funds for eventual replacement in the Reserve account to be on the conservative side as each unit costs about $1700 – $2000 to replace and install.