Residents say they are fed up with stolen mail

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How to Stop Mail for Previous Residents

Three Methods:

Dealing with a previous resident's mail can be a hassle, and unless you do something about it the problem may continue. Sometimes, the postal service needs assistance in this matter if they're unaware of a problem. Action must be taken to resolve the issue.


Using the Postal Service to Stop Mail

  1. Write "Return to Sender" on the exterior of the envelope.Then place the mail in an outgoing mailbox. This notifies the post office and the original sender that the recipient no longer lives at that address. Hopefully, the original sender will update the records, and you will stop receiving the mail.
    • You can also write "No Longer at This Address" or "Moved" on the exterior of the previous resident's mail.
    • Individuals sending mail and small companies are more likely to respond to this. Large companies rely on the National Change of Address database for address updates.
  2. Place a sticky note on your mailbox.State "[Former Resident's Name] does not live at this address" on either the door or the mailbox itself. This serves as a constant reminder to the postal carrier to look through your incoming mail, and possibly sift out the previous resident's mail.
    • Leave a more precise note if the first one you placed inside your mailbox does not seem to be effective.
    • You can write "No Other Tenants Besides [Your Name]" on a sticky note in your mailbox or on your door. The mail carrier might see the previous resident's name on mail and know not to place that mail in your box. A visual reminder can be a strong one.
  3. Cross out the barcode.Sometimes writing "Return to Sender" does not get the job done because of the automated system the postal service uses. The United States Postal Service prints a barcode on every piece of mail that corresponds to the address it is being delivered to. USPS uses these barcodes to sort the mail. Even if you have written a note on the envelope, the barcode will still allow the mail to come to your address. Mark through the barcode at the bottom of the envelope and write "Return to Sender" on the mail.
    • Marking out the barcode will cause the system to register the mail as "undeliverable."
    • Mail carriers receive mail in bundles for each individual address. The previous resident's mail could be in between pieces of mail that are actually for you.
  4. Approach your mail carrier directly.Speak to your personal postal carrier or the local post office about the problem and ask that they please stop previous resident's mail that arrives in your mailbox. Give your mail carrier some of the mail you have written "Return to Sender" on. This may be more effective then simply writing a note on the piece of mail.
    • Speaking with your mail carrier in person may encourage them to look into the matter and check and see if a change of address has been filed.
    • When you go to the post office, ask to speak to the station manager and tell them your problem.

Obeying the Law Regarding Other People's Mail

  1. Do not open the mail.It is a federal offense, in the US, to open and read mail that is not addressed to you. If you accidentally open the mail, tape the envelope and write "return to sender" or "wrong address" on the envelope and place it back in the mailbox. If you throw the mail away after you open it, you are obstructing the delivery of that person's mail.
    • You can serve up to 5 years in prison or pay a hefty fine for opening someone else's mail in some countries.
    • Opening someone else's mail is considered theft.
  2. Do not throw the mail away.Throwing away someone else's mail is another form of mail theft because you are keeping the other person from getting the mail and guaranteeing that the person will never receive it.In addition to being a Federal crime, throwing away the mail is counterproductive and will not solve your problem.
    • If you always throw the mail away, the sender may never find out that the person no longer lives at that address.
    • Keep in mind that the person may have filed a change of address and there has been a mistake. The person likely still wants their mail. Be courteous and help the person out.
  3. Do not fill out a change of address.It may be tempting to redirect the mail of the previous resident. Even if you know where the previous resident now lives, do not file a change of address form with the postal service. You must be the previous resident, executor, guardian, authorized officer, or agent to file a change of address.
    • Filing the form on behalf of the resident is a Federal crime. You could be fined or go to prison.
    • If you file the change of address for the other person, a Customer Notification Letter will be sent to their new address.This could get you in a lot of trouble.

Stopping Mail from a Deceased Person

  1. Report junk mail.Go to the Direct Marketing Association website (i.e. DMAchoice) and go to the "Deceased Do Not Contact Registration" page.Enter the deceased person's information to stop receiving junk mail addressed to them. It should take about 3 months for the changes to take place.
    • This may not stop you from receiving junk mail addressed to them completely, but it should cut down on the amount.
    • You will need to enter the deceased person's name, their address, your name, email address, and relationship to the deceased person.
  2. Write "Deceased, Return to Sender" on the mail.Then place the mail back in your mailbox. This will notify the post office and the original sender that the person is deceased. Also, notify the mail carrier that this previous resident is deceased.
    • If this does not work, make a visit to the post office to speak with the station manager.
    • Take the deceased person's mail to the post office with you. The post office may be able to forward the mail to a new address or to the deceased person's estate.
  3. Contact companies directly.If the mail you are receiving is not quite junk mail such as magazines, charities, or subscription services, contact the company directly and let them know the person is deceased.This is more time consuming but will get the job done. You can still write "deceased, return to sender" on these items as well if you do not want to contact the company directly.
    • Registering the person through the Direct Marketing Association will not stop magazine and subscription services from sending mail. Only companies that use marketing and mailing lists will receive the notification.
    • Opening and reading a deceased person's mail is still a crime.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    The old tenant is telling me that I'm responsible for holding her mail for one year.
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You are not responsible for holding mail. Tell the old tenant to file a change of address. Continue to write "return to sender" on the mail and place it back in the mailbox.
  • Question
    What do I do if someone has their mail forwarded to my address?
    Top Answerer
    Assuming you don't want that mail coming to you, return it to your post office marked "unknown at this address" or "UNK."
  • Question
    My ex-husband did not change his address so I am still receiving his mail, including bills he's responsible for. I have held them, but I feel it's his responsibility to contact the senders. What do I do?
    Top Answerer
    Tell your ex-husband to change his address. Otherwise tell the post office that he no longer lives in your house and his mail should be held.
  • Question
    I'm receiving mail for someone who hasn't lived here for over 13 years - how long do I need to be responsible for a former tenant's mail?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Talk to your local post office about this. They can put a hold on it, if no forwarding address was filed, and stop delivering that person's mail to your address.
  • Question
    A letter wrongly addressed to me contains a check. What should I do?
    Top Answerer
    If you have opened the letter, put it and the check in another envelope and mail it back to the sender with a note explaining the error. If you have not opened the letter, you can forward it for free to the addressee if you or the Postal Service know his/her correct address. If you don't know the correct address, just return the letter to the Postal Service marked "addressee unknown" or "undeliverable as addressed."
  • Question
    What should I do if I filed a change of address without permission?
    Top Answerer
    If your filing a change of address has created a problem for someone, you can cancel the change. Talk to a clerk at your local post office.
  • Question
    I moved out, and some letters posted to my previous address. The landlord didn't inform me. What should I do?
    Top Answerer
    If you know who sent the letters, contact them and provide them with your new address. Otherwise, make sure your post office has your forwarding address, and let it know what happened.
  • Question
    Can a person fraudulently contact the postman and request that someone's mail delivery be stopped?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Someone can contact the post office and file a change of address to redirect someone else's mail. However, USPS ha systems in place to catch this. If you think this has happened to you, contact your postal service directly.
  • Question
    Can I electronically submit that a person no longer lives at this residence online? If so, where on USPS can I fill out this electronic form?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    There is no online form for notifying USPS that the person no longer lives at your residence. Additionally, you cannot submit that form on behalf of another person unless you have the legal authority to do so.
  • Question
    How do I stop mail addressed to a deceased person arriving to my address?
    Top Answerer
    If the estate of the deceased person has filed a change-of-address form with the Postal Service, cross out the address (and bar code) on the mail, write "change on file" on it, and return it to your mailbox or to the post office. If you do not know whether a change-of-address has been filed, simply mark "deceased" or "DEC" on the envelope, and return it to your mailbox or post office.
Unanswered Questions
  • How do I stop mail for previous residents or how do I stop mail from someone I don't want to get mail from from coming to my address?
  • What can I do if my elderly mother was the victim of identity theft and she keeps getting mail related to it?
  • My husband nephew, sister, brother and sister mails keep arriving to our house since they once live their, now that have they're own apartment but refuses to change address,how can we take them off?
  • How do I stop mail being sent to my address by someone using it to commit tax fraud?
  • Is it against the law to ask the post office a persons new address and can I be reported?
Ask a Question
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Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.
  • If the letter or package is Express Mail you can call 1-800-ASK-USPS.
  • Be patient and continue to return the mail to the post office. It will take time for you to stop receiving the previous resident's mail.
  • There is no way the United States Postal Service can notify you that a letter that you wanted to be returned to the sender was actually returned to the sender.
  • You can use the abbreviation RTN for the word " return" to save space on the mall envelope.

Video: Residents upset post office will not deliver mail due to broken mailbox, officials say

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Date: 07.12.2018, 08:05 / Views: 31251