What To Do with Mail From Previous Tenants

Ever found yourself puzzled over what to do with the pile of mail that former tenants leave behind? You're not alone.

We understand the challenges you face and are here to offer practical, easy-to-implement solutions. From redirecting letters after a tenant's lease is up to liaising with the postal service, we’ll walk you through the smartest ways to handle this common issue.

Let's turn that mail mess into an opportunity for seamless property management.

Advanced Strategies to Cease Mail Delivery for Former Tenants

As a landlord, your time is precious, and handling misdirected mail can be a drain on your resources. Here are expanded tactics to efficiently stop mail for tenants who have moved away:

Returning Mail to Sender

If you keep getting mail for someone who used to rent your place, you need to let the mail carrier know they've moved. To do this, you can write "Return to Sender" on the envelope.

Make sure you write it where it can be seen easily, like on the front of the envelope. It's important to do this for every piece of mail that's not meant for you or your current tenants.

When you do this each time, the post office starts to realise that the person isn't there anymore and they should stop sending their mail to your address.

Dealing with Barcodes

Mail has a barcode that the post office machines read to know where to send it. If you keep getting mail for a former tenant, you can use a marker to cross out the barcode. Getting a property rent-ready means redirecting mail from old tenants.

person taking picture of barcode on package

Then, write "Not at this Address" somewhere near the barcode. Doing this messes up the machine's ability to read the barcode, so a person at the post office has to look at the mail instead.

When they see your note, they'll know that the mail shouldn't come to your property any longer.

Talking to Your Mail Carrier

Sometimes the best way to stop getting someone else's mail is to talk directly to the person who delivers your mail. Try leaving a note in your mailbox that says the old tenant has moved and lists their name.

You can also say that you only want mail for the people who live there now. Mail carriers usually notice these notes and remember not to leave mail for people who've moved out.

If you see your mail carrier, you can also talk to them in person and explain the situation. They can be really helpful in making sure you don't get the previous tenant's mail anymore.

Visiting the Post Office

If you've tried the steps above and you're still getting mail for the old tenant, you might need to go to your local post office. Talking to the person in charge, the Postmaster, can help a lot. They can take special steps to fix the problem.

When you go, tell them about the old tenant's mail you've been getting and ask them to stop it from coming to your address.

person holding packages

The Postmaster has the power to make sure your message gets through to the whole postal system, so you shouldn't get the old tenant's mail after that.

Answering Common Questions

When you get mail that used to belong to tenants who've moved out, especially long-term tenants, you might have some questions about what you're allowed to do with it. This part of the article will help clear things up for you.

Can you look at, throw away, or destroy the old tenants' mail?

No, you shouldn't do that. It's against the law to mess with mail that isn't yours. If you open, throw away, or tear up someone else's mail, you could get in big trouble, like having to pay a lot of money or even go to jail.

Is it okay to fill out a form to change the old tenant's address?

You might think about changing the address for the person who moved out, but you should not do it. The only people who can legally change someone's address are the person themselves, or someone who is officially allowed to do it for them, like a legal guardian.

If you fill out this form without permission, you could get fined or go to jail. So, it's best to avoid trying to change someone else's address.

Proactive Steps to Avoid Future Mail Delivery Issues

If you want to stop getting mail that's meant for people who used to live in your rental but have moved out, there are a few things you can do ahead of time to prevent this from happening:

Redirecting Mail Yourself

If you happen to know where your old tenant moved to, you can help their mail follow them. Just take a pen and cross out the wrong address on the envelope.

written letter and a pile of closed envelopes

Then write the new address where they live now. Drop it back in the mailbox, and the mail carrier will take it to the right place.

Letting the Post Office Know

You can also make it clear to the post office that someone has moved away. Write "Not at this address" or just "Moved" on the mail.

This way, when the mail goes back to the post office, they'll see your note and understand that the person doesn't live at your property anymore. They should stop sending their mail to you after that.

Learn How the Post Office Handles Mail

The post office has rules about what to do with mail that can't be delivered. If a letter or package can't be delivered and doesn't say what to do with it (like "Return to Sender" or "Forward to New Address"), the post office can throw it away.

Knowing this can help you talk to the post office about what they should do with mail for people who don't live at your property anymore.

Bottom Line

Managing mail for previous tenants doesn't have to be a headache. With the right steps, it's just another part of your well-oiled property management machine.

And if you're looking to streamline your landlord duties even further, consider the expert services of Pro X Property Management LLC.

They bring ease and professionalism to every aspect of property management, ensuring you can invest your time in what truly matters. Partner with Pro X Property Management LLC and watch your rental business thrive while saying goodbye to postal perplexities for good!

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Pro X bought the apartments we lived in after only living there for around 6 months. My husband and I lived there around 3 years. Anytime something was broken they fixed it in a timely manner. I bought a home and just moved out, it took less than a week to get my deposit back from them. We left the house move in ready, and they gave me my full deposit back. They emailed me a packet of what to have cleaned to get my deposit back which helped a lot! Their receptionist was always very nice and patient, she always was so nice to me when I called. I had a good experience with them, soooo much better than my previous landlord. I heard negatives about Pro X, but in 3 years I never had a bad experience with them, I highly recommend them. I lived there for 3 years. I didn't have pets. Non-smokers. I used their list on how to get deposit back and made sure all of it was done. I hope all of this helps! Clean your place, don't leave it trashed, and use the packet they give you on how to clean your apartment and you will be fine!

Kim B.

For Rental Property Owners