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Snooping Mailbox Landlord

Can a landlord access a mailbox of a tenant? A friend of mines witnessed the landlord (she's just the office manager of the complex) opening and checking people's mailboxes just the other day. This was done after the mailman came, not while he was here. I wouldn't put it past her if she was checking for names that would not be on a lease since we live in a Hud Approved apartment complex, and there are certain people living here that are not on the lease. But no matter what the situation is, isn't it illegal for the landlord to be snooping around people's mailboxes? These are locked boxes we have, I tought she wouldn't have a key, because when I lost my key before she said that I had to wait until the mailman came so that he could issue me a copy. She supposely got a copy from the mailman, when I went to the office she already had the key. I live in Florida, I would like to know what are the restrictions for Landlord's access to mailboxes and mailbox keys?

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Ask the post office.

Conservation: Paying more and getting less.

Yes, i would contact the post office and report Mail Tampering.

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It is a violation of federal law to open another person's mail without their permission. But as for the mailbox snoop, that's a bit more complicated as he isn;t opening mail. The mailbox in this fact pattern is a locked box, and as such, is due privacy. But it also belongs to the landlord, and a legal argument can be made that under certain circumstances, the landlord may have access.

For example, if you landlord needs access to your apartment, in most (if not all) jurisdictions you must receive reasonable notice of his need to enter. But if there is an emergency and you are not reachable he gets to charge right in. It is hard to imagine what kind of emergency would allow a landlord access to your mailbox.

I would file a complaint with the US Postal Service for suspicion of mail tampering, unless, of course, you don't want to start a war with the landlord! The investigation alone would send a message to the landlord, who, unless he had actually opened or taken mail, would not be guilty of any offense. Finally, a local atorney should be consulted about rights to privacy for leased locked spaces.

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