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Knowing your rental rights: What to do if your mailbox is broken or not secure

Posted at 5:00 AM, Jun 03, 2021

PHOENIX — Ensuring you get your mail is a high priority for the U.S. Postal Service and if your box isn't secure -- or broken -- they may temporarily stop delivering your mail.

Larry said he has gone months without access to his mail, including his medication deliveries, due to this very reason.

He said he noticed that his mailbox was broken -- along with other mailboxes at the Lumina on 19th apartment complex -- in February.

He contacted the complex leasing office, he said, but his concerns went nowhere. He said he received the same response when he reached out to the US Postal Inspection Service.

So, he contacted the Let Joe Know team and we started to ask questions.

According to the USPS, apartment complexes are responsible for the upkeep of their mailboxes.

"If a mailbox is unserviceable, we'll hold the mail securely at our local Post Office" or a temporary address while waiting for the mailbox to be fixed, a spokesperson said told ABC15.

Larry said he's disabled, which makes traveling to the Post Office or anywhere else not an option.

Staff at the apartment complex told us that the property was recently sold and that the new management company is working to complete several repairs.

They said the new mailboxes were ordered within the first 30 days after they bought the property, but COVID-19 slowed the process.

Staff told us that they reached out to USPS, but were unable to accept tenants' mail in their own office.

The apartment complex has since told us that new mailboxes have been installed at the complex.

So, what can you do if you're facing a similar issue?

Under the "Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act," landlords are required to make repairs within a "reasonable" amount of time.

If not completed in that time, it could allow you the option to terminate your lease. However, there are a number of steps that need to be followed first.

The first step is to let your landlord know in writing that a repair has to be made. Make sure to keep a copy of the letter or email for your own records.

If that does not cause the complex to act, you may have the basis to sue the landlord for any monetary losses you have suffered or for a court injunction to make the complex complete the repairs.

At last check, Larry told us that he is still waiting for the key to his new mailbox. We'll keep checking with him and the apartment complex to make sure he gets it.

If you've been having issues with your rental, we want to know. Email us at