What to Do with the Mail from the Previous Tenant?

It can be a hassle to deal with the mail from a previous tenant with no forwarding address; that’s why it is essential to provide a new address to the United States Post Office. But if you still receive some mail, and are thinking about what to do with it, it would help if you learned to stop it.

If you are tired of getting someone else’s mail or letters, there is a proper protocol for dealing with it. You can write down “return to sender” on the letter and put it back, or you can also write a note that the tenant moved out of the house. That will help the post office to know that the person is no longer at your address.

There are many other steps to deal with the previous tenant’s mail or if somebody else receives yours. It is essential to know what you can do in this situation and will help you solve this issue as soon as you notice it. 

If you want to know more details about what you can do with the mail and how you can stop mail from former residents, read this article.

Stop Mail from Previous Residents

You have to stop getting mails because sometimes postal staff need help in this matter if they are uninformed of the problem. That’s why taking action is essential to resolve the issue.

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Here we have listed some of the methods you can use to stop getting emails of former residents:

  • Inform Postal Service to Stop Mail

Since you can’t toss these mails away, it is recommended to keep them close, collect them, and return them to the person that they belong to. Or the simplest way to fix this problem is to take the mail for the previous tenant and write “not on this address” or “return to sender” on the exterior. 

By doing this, you can notify the post office or sender that they are sending the mails to the wrong address. Small companies and the sender of the correspondence are more likely to respond to this issue. In large companies, they depend on the National Change of Address database for any address update.

  • Cross Out the Barcode

If writing “not at this address” does not work, trying to cross out the barcode or marking it will cause the postal system to register the letter as undeliverable. Every mail has a printed barcode by the United States Postal Service that corresponds to the address it is being delivered to.

  • Place a Note in Your Mailbox

For a constant reminder to the postman, take a sticky note and write the name of the former resident’s name and that they don’t live here and paste it on your mailbox. By doing this, you can avoid getting the mails of your previous resident because a visual reminder can work more efficiently.

🡺 READ MORE: Notice to Vacate from Landlord to Tenant • Sample Letter.

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Obeying the Laws Regarding Former Tenant Mail 

It is recommended to follow only the legal ways to deal with the mails of previous residents and don’t open the letter that is not for you. Also, please don’t throw the mail or stuff that does not address you as it is a federal crime. Avoid any rash action like filling out a change of address, as it can get you in trouble and put you in prison.

It is a felony crime to read or open mail that’s not addressed to you and even considered theft. The letters that are not yours can’t be discarded as it is a federal crime. You have no right to destroy someone else’s mail because if you do this, you are committing obstruction of mail that’s also a felony crime.


Writer and content creator interested in Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Jobs and landlord issues. I have a bachelor’s degree in Communication from the Andrés Bello Catholic University, VE, and I also studied at Chatham University, USA. In this blog I write and collect information of interest around agreements, property and mortgage.

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