Some Bowling Green residents not receiving mail due to dispute with USPS
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – After a recent change in mail delivery, hundreds of Bowling Green apartment residents are now having to drive to the post office to pick up their mail.
“Amazon told me my delivery was cancelled and I said, ‘I didn’t cancel anything’ so I went straight to the leasing office and they were like, ‘oh yeah there is this situation going on with the mail’ and it’s like, oh, now I have to drive all the way across town to get my mail and its just a major inconvenience,” said Adam Diaz, a resident of the Columns Apartment in Bowling Green.
According to a statement from the United State Postal Service, the USPS is prohibited from distributing mail to individual mailboxes for dormitories or residence halls.
The USPS manual states that an apartment complex will qualify as a dormitory or residence hall if it “often consists of single or multi-room units that may share or have access to centrally located kitchens, bathrooms, showers, or social or common areas, whether located on or off campus, and regardless of private ownership, such buildings are nevertheless dormitories.”
The USPS refusal to distribute mail has left the managers in charge of mail distribution.
Apartment managers from at least four Bowling Green complexes have been rejecting delivered mail to make a statement to USPS.
In order for the complexes to distribute the mail themselves, the workers would have to clock more hours daily, thus, costing the apartments money.
Complexes are fighting back with another statute in the USPS handbook Section 631.7:
“The existing mode of delivery must be retained absent an agreement otherwise… Where there is no homeowners’ association or other property management company with authority to request a conversion on behalf of the owners, residents, or the community, customer signatures must be obtained prior to any conversion. In single-family housing areas (including manufactured housing and mobile homes) where the residences and lots are owned, each owner must agree to the conversion in writing. Owners who do not agree must be allowed to retain their current mode of delivery.”
The handbook also states in Section 631.8 Correction of Improper Mode of Delivery:
“In the event an improper mode of delivery is established or extended by a postal carrier or manager, the service will be withdrawn with a thirty (30) day advance notice to the affected customer(s), provided that the error is detected and the customer is notified within one (1) year. If the error is not detected and the customer is not notified within one (1) year of the date delivery is established or extended, the improper service remains in place unless the customer consents to the delivery mode change or a delivery point with improper modes of delivery in a vacant delivery is first identified during the vacant period per section 623.5.”
When WNKY reached out to the United States Postal Service, they issued a statement saying:
“Once this situation came to light, changes were made to ensure the delivery mode was in compliance with postal regulations. USPS is specifically prohibited from distributing mail to individual mailboxes for apartments meeting our definition of a dormitory or residence hall. An apartment complex qualifying as a dormitory or residence hall “often consists of single or multi-room units that may share or have access to centrally located kitchens, bathrooms, showers, or social or common areas. Whether located on or off campus, and regardless of private ownership, such buildings are nevertheless dormitories.” Post Office Operations Manual (“POM”) 631.62
“The Postal Service hopes for the speedy resolution of this issue to avoid further inconvenience for residents. In most instances, cooperation between USPS and the property owner results in a seamless transition.”
The whole Section 631.62 reads:
“Dormitories or Residence Halls Mail is delivered to dormitory buildings and residence halls when addressed to a specific building. Mail is delivered in bulk to a designated representative of the school or property, who then becomes responsible for further distribution to students and residents. Where no direct affiliation with the school is established, the Postal Service determines the proper mode of delivery to be established and may require that designees from the property be identified to accept mail for each location prior to initiating delivery. A dormitory building or residence hall often consists of single or multi-room units that may share or have access to centrally located kitchens, bathrooms, showers, or social or common areas. Whether located on or off campus, and regardless of private ownership, such buildings are nevertheless dormitories and either the school or building owner is Delivery Services 631.7 POM Issue 9, July 2002 323 Updated With Revisions Through July 7, 2016 responsible for the final delivery of student mail. Post Office personnel do not distribute mail into apartment-type mailboxes for dormitories or residence halls.”