Anyone is free to upgrade or change his or her mailbox subject to ARB approval. Mailboxes are strictly determined by the individual homeowner with approval of the ARB. The community may not force an individual owner to pay for a designated mailbox, period. There is to be no BOD or community vote on this matter as proven below, quoting the HOA's governing documents.
Mailboxes are specifically referenced in the HOA's Declaration of Conditions, Covenants, Easements and Restrictions on file with the State of Florida; at page 1-18, it states: “Section O. Mailboxes. No mailboxes or similar improvement shall be installed on any Unit or Lot unless the location thereof has been approved by the ARB and the materials therefore [sic] and color thereof have been approved by the ARB and are in accordance with such standards for materials and colors as may be adopted by the ARB.” This necessarily means that an individual homeowner may apply to the ARB, the architectural review board of our HOA, for a specific and unique mailbox, and there is, in fact, no requirement that all mailboxes be uniform.
Furthermore, under the HOA's Rules and Regulations, page 4-8, under B. General Rules, Number 8, it states: “Mailboxes and numbers are the property of the individual homeowners. The homeowner is responsible for maintenance and/or replacement in accordance with the standards established by the property manager. New mailboxes must be in accordance with standards established by the Board of Directors.” Thus, again, there is no requirement that all mailboxes be uniform. And to the extent the Rules and Regulations are in conflict with the Declaration on file with the State of Florida, the Declaration controls and the Rules and Regs must bow to the Declaration.
Therefore, it is actually improper for the Board of Directors to vote or for there to be a community vote on changing mailboxes en masse because the HOA does not own the mailboxes and no resident has the right to vote on issues concerning another resident’s mailbox.
So, if a mailbox looks like crap, the HOA has a right to proceed under its Rules and Regs, Section E., Violation Guidelines, at pages 4-16 to 4-17, but that’s it.
If you don’t like your mailbox, simply submit your proposed new mailbox design to the ARB. The ARB will either approve it or disapprove it. The actual ARB process is a matter for a different discussion.