Crime & Safety in Chicago>Question Details

Sy Nguyễn, Home Buyer in Chicago, IL

The condo building I own a unit in and rent out to tenants has been burglarized...can I move the mailbox from inside to outside in Chicago?

Asked by Sy Nguyễn, Chicago, IL Thu Oct 13, 2011

I own a unit in a 3 unit with ground floor commercial space in Wicker Park. I rent out my unit to a tenant, but there have been recent break-ins in the area, with my building being one of the buildings broken into. We're looking at improving the security of the building, and the part of the problem we are seeing is that the front door of the building itself allows others like a mailman to gain access to the building with a postal key that disengages the lock electronically either by someone buzzing the door or via postal key. They are the only ones to have that key, however, and they use it only to gain access to the building to deliver mail in our mailboxes.

The condo owners are looking at adding a manual deadbolt that can't be disengaged electronically and requiring that people lock and unlock the deadbolt upon entry or leaving and moving the mailbox outside. This means we lose the inside mailbox. Does the city/post service restrict where we can put our mailbox for delivery?

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Mailboxes are usually the jurisdiction of the federal government - post office. Often postal carriers are the best people to speak with regarding this. I would try to catch your mail carrier when they enter and explain the situation or leave a note for them to call you. And if they are doing you a favor, remember to be kind to the postal workers around Christmas time. However, one thing to note is that with an outside post box, you will not be able to get the bulk mail stuff that you may or may not want. Flyers, phone books, newspapers, coupons. Anything that is not specifically addressed to a unit will likely not be delivered. That could be a good thing too. One more consideration, you will have to have individual mailboxes for each unit as the post office must deliver to individuals, not a whole building. Based on the area, the city may have a say in what these outside boxes look like. If you pattern after ones in the area, you may be ok. I would ask the postal carrier first and then maybe talk to the city about aesthetics.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 13, 2011
Roger you would probabily need permission from the condo association and approval from the US Post office as they have to approve locations of new mailboxes and changes of locations such as this that could hamper the mail persons abaility to access it.
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 13, 2011
Yes you would be fine. Just let the post office know.
Web Reference: http://AmericorpRe.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 13, 2011
I think you would be just fine. Just clear it with the post office and tell them where and most likely that will suffice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 13, 2011
I own a 2-flat building in Chicago. I have the mailbox on the outside of the building.
Web Reference: http://www.carollind.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 13, 2011
You can put a mailbox on the outside on a pedestal on on the fence. Call any mailbox company
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 13, 2011
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