HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Local guidelines are causing headaches for both homebuilders and realtors who claim they are unaware of a new mandate from the United States Postal Service (USPS) that now requires cluster mailboxes for all new construction.
Buyers who purchase a new home will no longer have a mailbox at that home, but the builders say they were unaware the change would be so sudden.
A recent issue in the Bermuda Lakes subdivision in Meridianville, where homeowners and renters just stopped receiving mail, began blaming the homebuilder for not notifying them that they needed a cluster mailbox.
Joey Ceci of Breland Companies told News 19 that they were left in the dark by the postmaster.
Ceci noted the regular process to build a cluster mailbox for new construction was simple.
“The process really was just to build it and at some point, or the postmaster will either ask you to do it or they don’t,” he explained.
Now Breland and other homebuilders are faced with a mandate from USPS to build cluster mailboxes for new construction, but they say that they weren’t notified by the local postmaster of when the mandate will take effect.
Several years ago, there was a hearing in which it was required that homebuilders construct cluster mailboxes instead of one per house.
Recent complaints from both homeowners and renters have reached out in frustration to the homebuilders for not receiving mail for months.
“If you plan for it on the front end of the deal as to whether you like those cluster mailboxes or not, at least you can do it in the best way possible for the community,” Ceci noted.
It wasn’t until after a News 19 inquiry about the Bermuda Lakes subdivision that the post office explained the new cluster mailbox mandate to the community.
Some of the residents are disabled or are elderly who found out that the home mailbox is no longer useful.
One local realtor, Victor Englert, who sells hundreds of homes per year, says that the lack of communication with the local postmaster has been exacerbating.
“We’ve talked to the postal service about that. Hopefully, in the future they will start coordinating so just like any utility does to say upfront, if you build this new community, here is what you’re going to be required to do,” Ceci concluded.