How to Stop Getting Mail for Previous Residents After Moving to a New Home

Written by: Amelia Mead

So, you just relocated to a different house and sent off your New York movers, and now in your mailbox, you found some letters that are addressed to the former resident. You will need to find out how to stop getting mail for previous residents since otherwise, this small inconvenience might get you into trouble. However, there is no reason for this issue to be causing you stress. The problem is perfectly fixable if you follow our guide on what to do if you get mail for a previous resident.

Receiving misaddressed letters from your postman can be a real inconvenience but they are probably not aware of the issue at hand

What to Do When You Get Mail for the Previous Resident – From Filling a Complaint to Barcode Cross Out

Receiving other people’s letters is an annoyance for sure, especially because you would prefer to be spending your time hiking near NYC or visiting one of the amazing Staten Island parks rather than dealing with bureaucracy. Sadly these fun activities and beautiful places will have to wait. The issue you are experiencing is one you will need to deal with on your own because receiving misaddressed letters is a sign your local postal service is not informed that the former tenants moved. Everything is fine though – you just need to sit back, order some food at one of our top picks for best NYC takeout and let us guide you through the process.

An Easy Method to Avoid Receiving Misaddressed Letters Is to Speak to Your Postal Carrier

An easy way to inform the USPS of the problem you are experiencing is to speak to the postal carrier because they are the person who is the mediator between you and the post service. The carrier could know if the mailbox address has been changed at the post office and it’s just a matter of time before you cease receiving unwanted envelopes, or if this is a problem you will need to work a bit harder to fix. If they are not aware of the change at the moment you ask them, they might be motivated to check the state of the previous tenants COA process at their place of employment.

What Do I Do if I Receive Someone Else’s Mail? Return It to the Sender

You won’t want to be throwing away letters that are not your own, but rather return them to the person who sent them. Start by collecting everything you received that isn’t addressed to you. Create a pile of all these letters and take out your sticky notes. Write ”return to sender” or ”no longer at this address” on your notes and stick them on the letters you received. It might be a good idea to use paper clips to secure the sticky notes as you don’t want the letters to get lost in the post office again. We recommend not to write directly on the letters since pen ink might bleed through the paper.

A Tip We Have for You Is to Place a Notice on Your Mailbox

If you are unable to reach your mailman because of your working hours or other obligations, you might want to write up a notice and place it on your mailbox. Such notice should contain information about the change. The details should inform the courier that you wish to stop receiving mail from the previous resident since that person no longer lives there.

How Do I Stop Someone Else’s Mail From Coming to My House? By Crossing Out the Barcode

If the postal service is using an automated system (which very often they do) a sticky note won’t do the trick. In this case, you will have to turn to the barcode on the envelope. Every one of the letters you receive will have its unique barcode which relates to the home number of the tenant. If the former tenant didn’t change their address, the barcode will be wrong. So a good way to deal with misaddressed envelopes is to cross out the barcode, in addition to placing the sticky note on it.

The Best Way to Make Sure You Will No Longer Receive Unwanted Letters – File a Complaint

If you do not want to rely on the good will of the person who delivers your letters, you could go directly to the source of your problem. Find your nearest public department responsible for postal services (you could even turn it into an excursion by renting a bike and biking there), call them up, and schedule a meeting where you can inform them of your problem.

Another way to inform them of the problem you are experiencing is to file a complaint in the form of a message in which you would explain the entire situation. If you are in doubt on how to compose a complaint message, check out the following video that will teach you on formatting, as well as on how to properly compose the message to express yourself in the best way possible:

How to Stop Getting Mail for Previous Residents – Every Step You Mustn’t Make With Envelopes Not Addressed to You.

If you keep getting misaddressed letters for some time it might be tempting to throw them out, however, you mustn’t do this! First of all, keeping the letters might not help you solve your problem, second of all – you might get into trouble. Now that we went through all steps of what to do to cease receiving unwanted letters, let’s see what steps you definitely shouldn’t take in the situation you are in.

Don’t Open Envelopes Not Addressed to You

If you are wondering how to stop mail for previous residents you might feel inclined to open a letter to get more information on the intended recipient. However, keep in mind that opening and reading other people’s envelopes is a federal offense. If you accidentally opened a letter, however, do not stress. This has happened to many others and you will not be penalized for an accident. Make sure to tape the envelope closed and then, once more, take out your sticky notes. Write ”wrong address” or ”no longer at this address” on the sticky note, tape it to the envelope, and return it to the mailbox.

Is It Illegal to Throw Away Someone Else’s Mail?

Well, yes, yes it is. We understand that this situation might be making you anxious, but unfortunately, the people who allowed for this problem to occur were probably under the stress of their own so try to forgive them. It is no wonder that informing their post office of the move is one of the most commonly forgotten things among people who relocate.

For this reason, packing experts always recommend creating numerous to-do lists, even and especially if you have to pack for a move in a hurry. Anyway, if you do not know what to do with mail for a previous resident that USPS delivered, just remember the two most important things: don’t read and don’t throw it away! Both of these mean that you knowingly messed with someone’s letters and you do not want to be doing that.

Sticky notes can be a great way to deal with misaddressed letters but do not forget to use a paperclip to secure them

What to Do With Mail for a Previous Resident if The Person Is Deceased?

Sometimes, the problem of what to do with mail from the previous tenant the USPS is sending you becomes more complicated if the person is no longer with us. First of all, keep in mind that opening an envelope addressed to the deceased is still illegal. If you found yourself in this situation, you should head to the Direct Marketing Association website. Once you get there go to the ”Deceased Do Not Contact Registration” page where you can enter their personal data. Sadly, to resolve this situation completely and cease receiving their letters, you might have to wait a few months.

Opening letters addressed to a deceased person is still considered a felony

Tips On How To Prevent Misplacing Your Letters If You Are the One That’s Relocating

When you are about to move, your mind will probably be occupied with ways to pack up large items and bulky furniture, or maybe on how to pack more fragile items – so much so that you forget about informing the Postal Office of your move. We all understand that once you have to deal with the question of how do I stop getting old tenants’ mail, you won’t want to be dealing with it ever again – and you could even forget about it if you are the tenant who is relocating. Below, we present to you a list of things you will want to have in mind if you want to move efficiently and not have to be chasing your letters and bills all over Staten Island, now that you are living in Brooklyn.

  • Before you move, submit your COA (change of address). You will do this by visiting USPS’s website, so you can even do it while drinking a cold brew from one of the quiet cafes from our list of best cafes to work in NYC. Keep in mind that when a change of address is submitted it might take two weeks or more to receive a confirmation letter, so as soon as you’re done with apartment hunting, and have booked one of New York moving companies, put this task on your relocation to-do list. This envelope will arrive at the place you are relocating from so it is crucial to receive the letter before you move out.
  • Make sure that all your credit card information is updated. Another important relocating tip we have is to inform all of your creditors have the updated information.
  • Inform the magazines you are subscribed to about your change of residence. If you just subscribed to some magazines to get to know the neighborhood you just moved to, it would be a shame to miss out on all their advice because you forgot to inform them of your move. If this happens tho, we’ve got you covered with our lists on top breweries in Queens, and if beer is not your thing, maybe our list on where to go for a walk out of the most beautiful parks in Queens will be your cup of tea.

When relocating, make sure you’ve gathered all the documents you need, as well as to assure you are properly disposing of all those you do not want to be taking with you to your future place of residence. Check out our recommendation of how to organize important documents at home on great tips and tricks regarding document handling.

A very important thing to keep in mind if you plan on hiring New York movers is to be sure to finish dealing with all your important documents on time, as well as to have them at hand during the relocation process since documents with sensitive information are on the list of items movers won’t move.

Be sure to submit your COA on time to avoid losing your letters

If Relocating Is Stressing You Out, Call Your Local New York City Movers

When it comes to reasons to move, there are many pros to list, but one main common con that every move entails is definitely the stress; and relocating stress will get you to forget about things such as updating your residential information. To avoid all the mess stress will put you under, consult your expenses checklist to see if New York movers will fit in your budget, and call up Twin Brothers Movers, the best among numerous moving companies in New York (don’t worry – our prices are not as high as our performance rate).

As one of the finest New York City moving companies we will provide you with top-notch packing and moving services to make sure your move goes as smoothly as possible. We offer first-rate residential relocation services, as well as commercial relocation if you are relocating your business. Our New York movers have amazing reviews both for their efficiency and dedication, so you can’t go wrong if you decide to contact our New York moving company. Call us up and let us help you with the heavy lifting, leaving you to worry only about which drinks to buy for your going away party!


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