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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33149
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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My HOA installed four banks of community mailboxes on my private

Customer Question

My HOA installed four banks of community mailboxes on my private property. They are claiming they have the right to do so because the boxes are in the "right of way." As I understand it, the HOA cannot install permanent structures for community use anywhere on my property without an easement or my permission. Who is correct? Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms. Please be patient when waiting for a response. I may be looking something up, typing the response, or busy with something else and sometimes it takes a while to respond. A right of way is the same thing, essentially, as an easement so if they do have a right of way then they would be able to install the mailboxes. However, if it is a general right of way, for instance one reserved by the town for potential expansion of the roadway, then it doesn't mean they are entitled to use it. To find out which is correct you need someone to do a title search in the courthouse at the county clerk's office. It may be that your policy of title insurance also has the information on there but they often don't list all of the right of ways.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. We do have our title policy and it shows a general right of way for emergency responders and utility companies. Further, it explicitly states there are no easements nor exceptions to our title. Please cite your source for saying a general right of way doesn't mean the HOA is entitled to use our property. The HOA is challenging that notion and asking me to cite a source. Thank you!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, am I correct in understanding without a specific HOA easement or right of way, the HOA is NOT entitled to install mailboxes on our property?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
I don't have a specific cite on that, it's just something we learn in law school and is a general part of the law. A right of way that belongs to a city doesn't belong to eveyone in the city, it only belongs to the city.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
As to that last question, that's not 100% accurate as stated. The HOA could have some other right to put the mailboxes there. It could be a part of the platting that was originally done in the subdivision, for one. It could be something similar to a deed restriction, for another. There could be other ways as well. HOAs in Texas have a tremendous amount of power due to the lobbying efforts of them and the subdivision builders. Also, as to the city right of way, if that's what it is, the city may have granted the right to HOAs (or individuals or everyone) to install mailboxes in the right of way. It could also be that the USPS itself requires that the mailboxes be at a certain location which is automatically in the right of way.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
That's different than the HOA having a right of way or an easement for the mailboxes, since it isn't unique to them.

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