Renting a private mail box assures the customer that he has a secure place for his mail. Rather than relying on the U.S. Postal Service's home delivery, mail is delivered to another location and placed in a locked private box.
Apartment dwellers may choose a private mail box if they expect to move frequently over the course of a year. A person may also rent a private box if he finds that mail is often misdirected from his apartment or house. However, before signing any rental agreement, here are a few terms to know.
Lessee - A lessee is the person renting the mail box for personal or commercial purposes. When renting a box, you may have to show identification.
Overflow Bin - If you rent a mail box and receive a large package or excessive mail, the rental service will use an overflow bin to hold your mail. However, if you routinely use this service, the company may force you to upgrade to a larger box.
Private Mail Box - A private mail box is not subject to the same restrictions as a U.S. Post Office box, but it works in a similar manner. Each box should be locked, and mail will be delivered to the box to be picked up at your leisure.
International Forwarding - This service allows a customer to maintain a box in another country. Any mail or packages received are then forwarded to the recipient in his home country. However, there is usually a fee for this service, and you may have to pay customs.
Mail Box Access - Some services offer 24 hour access to boxes, while others may only allow you to check your box during business hours. You may be charged a fee for extended mail box hours.
Identity theft is a problem in many areas. If your vehicle is outside your home and left unlocked, your identity can easily be stolen. Bills and parcels sit untended while you're at work or school. Anyone can come along, open your mailbox on your porch and steal the contents. It's often an unnoticed crime with dire consequences.
If a payment or credit card bill is in the stolen letters, the thief has access to your credit card numbers, bank statements and payments. Unless a bank is proactive, the thief could cash any payments you receive. Many companies require clear proof, including copies of the cashed check, before forwarding a replacement payment. The only way to prevent this form of theft is by having a locked mailbox with a slot where the post office can put the letters and bills. Some companies sell custom aluminum or brass lock units for residential or apartment installation. Mount these units on poles or into brick to ensure security.
Rental mailbox units are located in a secure post office, store or commercial business. Only those with a key can open the unit to get letters and payments. When you lease a unit, items are forwarded from your home or apartment to the post office box number. If a package comes and won't fit in the unit, you'll get a notice from the delivery service telling you that there is a package at their facility. You will be able to pick up the package yourself at their distribution center.
A post office rental is the best way to receive letters. You simply fill out an application and get your key and new address the same day. Pay a monthly fee for the service. Find a location near your home and never worry about stolen mail again.