How to Stop Getting Mail for Previous Residents

It happens too often: you move into a new home or apartment and continue getting mail meant for your home’s previous residents for months to come.

Receiving previous residents’ mail is annoying and inconvenient at best, and detrimental at worst for those missing their important information. So how do you stop mail for previous residents so you don’t accidentally receive important information? Let’s discover together how to stop mail from previous owners so you don’t have to deal with the responsibility of their mail, and so that they receive the information they need.

Why Are You Getting Previous Residents’ Mail?

Before you figure out how to stop previous owners’ mail, it’s good to first determine why you’re still getting their mail in the first place. It’s pretty common to receive mail still from the previous residents of your home since the USPS network is so large. It can be hard for them to keep track of forwarding everything to everyone’s new addresses, and some things might fall through the cracks.

However, you might receive your home’s previous occupants’ mail because they haven’t properly had their mail forwarded through USPS, or forget to do so on time. The submission for a change of address usually takes around 10 days to become effective, so the mail that falls in that time period can still get sent to their old address. Even if the previous owner doesn’t submit their change of address, you can still stop mail for previous residents from continuing to show up at your address.

If you’re wondering whether the residents at your own old home are also still receiving your old mail in the same manner as you’re receiving mail from old residents, the answer could be yes if you haven’t remembered to update your address with USPS or with other companies like your bank or credit cards. This also applies to magazine subscriptions, mailing lists, and more. This should always be a top priority for you and your moving list.

How to Stop Receiving Previous Owner’s Mails?

Now that you know why you might still be getting mail from the previous occupants of your home, let’s figure out how to stop it! It might seem like more work than it’s worth to stop mail from coming to your address, it’s best to do so so that the previous owners don’t miss out on important correspondence, and so that you don’t become responsible for mail that isn’t yours.

The simplest way to try and stop previous owners’ mail from coming to your address is by writing “no longer at this address” or “return to sender” on the mail you do receive for them. Put these mail items in your outgoing mailbox so that your mail person knows that this resident no longer lives at your home. Additionally, you can also talk to your USPS worker directly.

Another way to curtail the delivery of old owners’ mail to your home is by clearly labeling your mailbox with the current occupants’ names on it so that your mail person knows who should be receiving mail at this address. You can also stick a sticky note to the outside of your mailbox stating that “[name] no longer lives at this address”.

Even if you’re still receiving mail from a previous resident, don’t open, trash, or dispose of it, as this can be considered a felony. Instead, communicate with your USPS person or local post office to try and have the mail sent back.

When it comes to receiving previous owners’ mail after conducting a long moving process, you might just not want to deal with this, and that’s understandable! However, try to do your part to make sure their mail reaches the proper location – or just that it stops coming to you!

Want to learn more about the best moving company for your relocation, before you handle all of that mail hassle? See what Hollander Moving & Storage can do for you today!


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