Author Topic: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)  (Read 985 times)

jeromedawg

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Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« on: February 22, 2021, 10:20:28 AM »
Hi all,

We've been at our apartment since August 2020 and keep getting multiple pieces of mail from the prior/old tenants that lived in our unit. On nearly every mail piece received we've written "Moved" or "Not at this address" and scratched out any barcodes (which someone advised somewhere) and dropped it back in the outgoing, yet we still manage to receive mail for up to 4 different individuals. Some of the mail looks important - bank statements as well as citation notices (maybe they're trying to avoid).

Our mailbox is one of those shared cluster/wall mailboxes so not sure about labeling the inside of the box with a note that says "ONLY DELIVER TO [OUR LAST NAME]" or something like that but I'm not convinced it would help. Mail service in our area sucks - the courier who delivers our mail is lazy and slow (he has avoided delivering larger packages to our doorstep and one time left a package at the bottom of the staircase because he was too lazy to walk up a flight up stairs to leave it in front of our door). So I'm wondering if that's part of the problem (doesn't want to go through the effort of additional sorting).
Anyway, aside from that, is there anything else I can do to stop getting their mail? We probably average 1-2 pieces of mail a day addressed to these people. My sharpie is running dry lol.

SunnyDays

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Re: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2021, 10:28:51 AM »
If you want to put in the work, you could try contacting whatever company the mail is from.  Otherwise, just keep doing what you're doing until it peters out.  Or you could just shred it all, because if the previous tenant doesn't care enough to make sure their address has been changed, why should you?  The occasional piece, I could see, because sometimes one just forgets about a company one only does sporadic business with, but if it's daily, then I would assume that the previous tenant just doesn't care.

jeromedawg

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Re: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2021, 10:37:06 AM »
If you want to put in the work, you could try contacting whatever company the mail is from.  Otherwise, just keep doing what you're doing until it peters out.  Or you could just shred it all, because if the previous tenant doesn't care enough to make sure their address has been changed, why should you?  The occasional piece, I could see, because sometimes one just forgets about a company one only does sporadic business with, but if it's daily, then I would assume that the previous tenant just doesn't care.

LOL I thought I read that throwing mail away that's not yours is technically a form of mail theft. I would think shredding it would be too. But who's gonna check right? Bwahahaha.

Yea, there are some pretty important docs (there were some from the DMV too) that came so I'm a bit baffled by these people not submitting a simple change of request form.

reeshau

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Re: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2021, 10:56:54 AM »
If you want to put in the work, you could try contacting whatever company the mail is from.  Otherwise, just keep doing what you're doing until it peters out.  Or you could just shred it all, because if the previous tenant doesn't care enough to make sure their address has been changed, why should you?  The occasional piece, I could see, because sometimes one just forgets about a company one only does sporadic business with, but if it's daily, then I would assume that the previous tenant just doesn't care.

This made me think:  ...or they are trying to dodge that particular creditor / bearer of bad news.

@jeromedawg , you are using the right words.  If there really is an issue with your carrier, you might try dropping off some of this mail at a public box or the post office itself, to see if that gets circulated back to the sender.  It's still up to the sender to do something about it, though, too.

jfer_rose

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Re: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2021, 11:08:38 AM »
I don't have the solution but I'm in this exact situation. Also moved in August 2020, but I live in the midwest. But yes, I continue to get mail most days for one particular prior resident. And often mail that seems important like insurance renewal documents. I just keep writing "Not at this address" and wishing for the rare pieces of mail that say "Or Current Resident" so I can just recycle them.

Dogastrophe

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Re: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2021, 11:11:33 AM »
We occasionally get mail for old owners of our condo (at our house we were getting prior owner mail 10 years later!). Anything without a return address on the envelope accidently gets dropped into the common recycling bin with the junk mail. Anything with a return address, gets a large X across the address and return to sender written on the envelop and dropped into the outgoing mail.

If USPS is like Canada Post, leaving a note to say "ONLY DELIVER TO [OUR LAST NAME]" won't get you far.  They are obligated to leave the mail in your box if the correct address is on the mail and there is no redirect on file.


FINate

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Re: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2021, 11:16:55 AM »
@jeromedawg You're doing the correct steps. May as well try putting the note on the inside of your mailbox door. Otherwise, I would save ~1 month of these then bring it to your local USPS office to return them and ask in person what can be done about it. After one or two months of that I would start shredding. Yes, technically illegal, but you can't be expected to remedy issues the USPS/former occupants refuse to fix.

MayDay

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Re: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2021, 11:17:40 AM »
Same issue. We get lots of mail from two owners ago, ie over 5 years.

We throw it away. For a while we returned to sender but come he fuck on. Not worth my time at this point since they clearly don't care.

jeromedawg

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Re: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2021, 11:29:03 AM »
This made me think:  ...or they are trying to dodge that particular creditor / bearer of bad news.

I have a feeling this might be part of it - I've seen a couple citation notices already and also very recently a collections notice. Out of desperation (for the collections notice), I Googled the resident's name and found her supposed current address and wrote "FORWARD TO" that address LOL!! Not even sure if what I found is accurate but at this point I don't really care either. I might just start doing that for all the rest of the mail pieces I get unless they're obvious junk mail.

BikeFanatic

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Re: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2021, 11:36:52 AM »
I sell tradelines, So I used to get tons of mail and junk mail for the Authorized users I have added over the years to my tradelines, as well as the former home owners mail.  I feel bad for the new owner of my place. Probably gets tons of junk mail. Iknow it is not legal but after a while I did start shredding the others mail. I did return to sender from a public mailbox at work but the items would be returned to me " more postage required" - Leaving mail in my mailbox did not work. I also did forward with stamps some mail that looked important.

reeshau

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Re: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2021, 12:44:27 PM »
These days, any organization of some size can easily get your updated address, even if you are lazy. Heck, Kroger updated our address for loyalty card mail without us telling them!  Sometimes, though, financial companies are obligated to send to the address on their file, until specifically told otherwise.

It's an awkward position to be in, because you didn't start it, and aren't in control of it.  It is worth putting some effort into it, though, because you don't want to get pulled into the drama if there is something sketchy going on. (i.e. the repo men show up at your place)

jeromedawg

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Re: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2021, 12:57:41 PM »
These days, any organization of some size can easily get your updated address, even if you are lazy. Heck, Kroger updated our address for loyalty card mail without us telling them!  Sometimes, though, financial companies are obligated to send to the address on their file, until specifically told otherwise.

It's an awkward position to be in, because you didn't start it, and aren't in control of it.  It is worth putting some effort into it, though, because you don't want to get pulled into the drama if there is something sketchy going on. (i.e. the repo men show up at your place)

Haha yea, I'm a bit concerned of something like that happening or the cops/sheriff showing up (per those citation notices)

Dollar Slice

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Re: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2021, 01:18:10 PM »
I'm pretty sure this is because of your subpar mail carrier. I used to work in an office in midtown NYC where we had a great mailman - he did a great job. But whenever he was out sick or on vacation, we would have a substitute, and she didn't know our route like he did. Every single time the substitute was working, we would suddenly start getting all the mail from the previous tenants from several years ago. And it was always a shock to the system to open the mail those days because the previous tenant was a sort of sketchy D level talent representation company that repped washed-up stars like Motown singers that no one has thought about in decades, action stars who were big in the 80s, rappers who went to jail to do serious time, that sort of thing. So all of a sudden we would start getting really bizarre fan mail written by really strange people (you can only imagine the sort of person who still writes fan mail to Steven Seagal).

Anyway, it was clear in that case that this mail-from-previous-tenants thing was something that the mail carrier was dealing with on a daily basis, because it was getting done every day except when the sub was there. Yours isn't willing to do it for whatever reason. Not sure what the best solution is, but I'm pretty sure that's where the problem is.

And yes, we did have people show up on two different occasions looking for the previous tenants, including law enforcement, plus a few times we got various types of certified mail serving legal papers for some kind of lawsuit. Everyone was very understanding, though, I think they're used to people like that being evasive and not updating mailing addresses.

MyAlterEgoIsTaller

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Re: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2021, 01:25:40 PM »
I used to sometimes get cops showing up looking for previous tenants of apartments I lived in.  It was never too big of a deal - they would go away when I told them that person didn't live there anymore.  Once they asked me if I knew the person, and how I knew they lived there before me if I didn't know them, but that's about as aggressive as they ever got.
I had worse problems with a phone number that I had for awhile, that had previously belonged to somebody with a lot of legal problems.  Callers wouldn't believe that I wasn't either that person or a friend or relative.  Sometimes once they became convinced that I wasn't that person, they'd start trying to warn me not to associate with that person.

I bought my current home more than a decade ago and still get junk mail and Christmas cards for a former owner.  I've talked to my mail carrier about it and he said that once the change of address order runs out (in a matter of months or a year or two, depending on the type of mail) they're required to just deliver it as addressed.  He told me to just keep writing "Moved, Return to Sender" on it and sending it back unopened.   

jeromedawg

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Re: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2021, 01:34:35 PM »
I'm pretty sure this is because of your subpar mail carrier. I used to work in an office in midtown NYC where we had a great mailman - he did a great job. But whenever he was out sick or on vacation, we would have a substitute, and she didn't know our route like he did. Every single time the substitute was working, we would suddenly start getting all the mail from the previous tenants from several years ago. And it was always a shock to the system to open the mail those days because the previous tenant was a sort of sketchy D level talent representation company that repped washed-up stars like Motown singers that no one has thought about in decades, action stars who were big in the 80s, rappers who went to jail to do serious time, that sort of thing. So all of a sudden we would start getting really bizarre fan mail written by really strange people (you can only imagine the sort of person who still writes fan mail to Steven Seagal).

Anyway, it was clear in that case that this mail-from-previous-tenants thing was something that the mail carrier was dealing with on a daily basis, because it was getting done every day except when the sub was there. Yours isn't willing to do it for whatever reason. Not sure what the best solution is, but I'm pretty sure that's where the problem is.

And yes, we did have people show up on two different occasions looking for the previous tenants, including law enforcement, plus a few times we got various types of certified mail serving legal papers for some kind of lawsuit. Everyone was very understanding, though, I think they're used to people like that being evasive and not updating mailing addresses.

I really wouldn't be surprised if this has anything to do with it, given prior experiences with USPS package deliveries in particular. One time the guy forgot to leave the parcel key in my mail slot, so the package was sitting in a package locker for a couple weeks. Another time, there was an oversized package (fishing rod) that went undelivered but the first notice he left was that there was "no secure location to leave the package" to make it look like he actually tried (I don't think he even had the thing with him). I bumped into the guy a week later and asked him what the deal was and he responded that his truck wasn't big enough (which confirms that he lied about writing that there was "no secure location"). I asked if there was a bigger vehicle and he just shrugged and said "yea maybe. you can call the office" - I ended up having to drive to the post office and wait for 20-30 minutes before they brought it out. The lady who helped retrieve the package had the nerve to say that they were scheduled to deliver it today (implying that I should have just waited... nearly 2 weeks later). LOL.
The worst yet was the package that was left on the bottom step of our staircase though - I couldn't believe it. Anyone passing by could have just taken it. Fortunately, it was for a low value item but I wasn't happy. I've filed numerous complaints but I always get the same canned response back from my "local postmaster" and never any follow-up.

A lot of these couriers are probably just doing the bare minimum until they can retire once eligible for pension.

MissPeach

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Re: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2021, 01:35:27 PM »
I'm in the same boat with two previous people. The first is an ex who was refusing to forward their mail to justify not returning their keys and demanding access to my neighborhood/house. The second is the former owner but they live across the street and I see them all the time. I usually just make a pile of their mail and hand it to them when I see them but it's getting old to get all their Christmas Cards and other things.

In the first situation I had to get the police involved for something else where I asked them to intervene on my mailbox key and they warned him on the mail front and told me I had to provide access to my mailbox for another 2-3 weeks before I could change the lock. They also warned me it was a federal crime to touch his mail.

I'm not really sure what else to do other than return to sender. I want to do that already for my neighbor but I also don't want to make waves for when I (frequently) run into them.

TrMama

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Re: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2021, 01:46:26 PM »
These days, any organization of some size can easily get your updated address, even if you are lazy. Heck, Kroger updated our address for loyalty card mail without us telling them!  Sometimes, though, financial companies are obligated to send to the address on their file, until specifically told otherwise.

It's an awkward position to be in, because you didn't start it, and aren't in control of it.  It is worth putting some effort into it, though, because you don't want to get pulled into the drama if there is something sketchy going on. (i.e. the repo men show up at your place)

Haha yea, I'm a bit concerned of something like that happening or the cops/sheriff showing up (per those citation notices)

I had this happen at a house we lived in. The family we bought it from was in debt up to their eyeballs and we received a ton of their bills in the mail. I thought it was funny until one night when someone knocked on the door. He was demanding I pay him for the car I'd bought from him private party. This was in Quebec and I was so freaked out at how angry he was that I temporarily forgot all my French. Took me a few minutes to remember the word for "sorry" and all the other words I needed to explain to him that I wasn't the woman he was looking for and that he wasn't the only person the former owners owed money to. I look a bit like the former owner and I guess he didn't notice the difference. Luckily he quickly calmed down after I was able to explain what was going on.

Be careful who you open your door to. In the meantime keep writing "moved" on all the mail. It'll help, but you'll probably still get their mail for years to come. If it's truly junk, use one of the junk mail registries to block the name and address of this person. You can add your own name too for good measure.

Sibley

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Re: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2021, 03:22:54 PM »
If I've moved in within the past year, then I'll make an effort, but after that they clearly don't care so I don't care. If it's a lot I'll go into the post office and ask for help in stopping it. After that, I just trash it.

aetheldrea

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Re: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2021, 10:52:47 PM »

LOL I thought I read that throwing mail away that's not yours is technically a form of mail theft. I would think shredding it would be too. But who's gonna check right? Bwahahaha.
FWIW, A lawyer once told me that anything that a US Mail Carrier puts in your mailbox is legally yours.
And I saw a movie once where the Post Office, a department of the US Government, officially declared that this one old guy was Santa Claus, just by delivering mail to him, and that legally proved he was the one and true Santa Claus.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2021, 08:16:17 AM »
These days, any organization of some size can easily get your updated address, even if you are lazy. Heck, Kroger updated our address for loyalty card mail without us telling them!  Sometimes, though, financial companies are obligated to send to the address on their file, until specifically told otherwise.

It's an awkward position to be in, because you didn't start it, and aren't in control of it.  It is worth putting some effort into it, though, because you don't want to get pulled into the drama if there is something sketchy going on. (i.e. the repo men show up at your place)

Haha yea, I'm a bit concerned of something like that happening or the cops/sheriff showing up (per those citation notices)

I had this happen at a house we lived in. The family we bought it from was in debt up to their eyeballs and we received a ton of their bills in the mail. I thought it was funny until one night when someone knocked on the door. He was demanding I pay him for the car I'd bought from him private party. This was in Quebec and I was so freaked out at how angry he was that I temporarily forgot all my French. Took me a few minutes to remember the word for "sorry" and all the other words I needed to explain to him that I wasn't the woman he was looking for and that he wasn't the only person the former owners owed money to. I look a bit like the former owner and I guess he didn't notice the difference. Luckily he quickly calmed down after I was able to explain what was going on.

Be careful who you open your door to. In the meantime keep writing "moved" on all the mail. It'll help, but you'll probably still get their mail for years to come. If it's truly junk, use one of the junk mail registries to block the name and address of this person. You can add your own name too for good measure.

We had many people looking for the previous owner of our house show up.   Including his business partner.  He owed them all money.  That explained why he never gave us his new address or phone number.  We weren't surprised, when we bought the house at a greatly reduced price he owed 2.5 years of municipal taxes, and the municipality seizes the house for taxes owed at 3 years.

I keep getting mail here for the previous tenant.  Fortunately she is still in the building so I just give it to the concierge to give to her.  It is a bit annoying but she moved because her husband died while they were in this one (no not actually in my apartment) so I figure she had enough to cope with without forwarding the mail.

geekette

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Re: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2021, 09:34:43 AM »
We've lived in this house 28 years.  The previous owners had been married at least 50 years (the wife talked about their anniversary party). We still occasionally get an Amex credit card offer for the husband.  Add those numbers up and see if you think he's still looking to get a new card, Amex...

We also get "informed delivery", which means they email you the scan of your mail every morning.  Apparently someone signed up for Bath and Body Works promotions with our address, but while we get the scan, that mail never makes it to our mailbox, so our carrier is more on the ball than most.  BTW, I googled her name, and she either lives in another town 30 miles away, or is in jail.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2021, 09:51:31 AM »
If it's been longer than a few months, you can be a nice person and keep writing "not at this address" and drop it back in the mail. It will (if it is first class mail) be returned to sender so they can note that the item was returned. If it's not first class mail, don't bother as the mail carriers toss them in the trash. First class mail is supposed to be the only type that has return service.

If it's been longer than a year... my goodness people just throw it all out. Even USPS doesn't do the forwarding longer than 1 year. If the people haven't figured out who they need to inform by that point, then it's obvious they don't care. Why should you?

If you're renting - especially at a complex that has high turnover - you should expect to keep seeing previous tenants' mail in your box. You can try the "not at this address" but you are FINE with just tossing it unopened in the trash. You've lived there nearly 7 months. You are not the recipient. You are not responsible for misdelivered mail. You can drop it at the office if you're feeling particularly helpful since they might have a forwarding address for a former tenant, but it's really just a waste of your time at this point.

But seriously - stop holding/delivering it by hand if anyone is doing that. I could see doing it for a month or two if you are REALLY nice, but these people know they don't live at your house any more and if they're still receiving mail there then it's either stuff they aren't ever getting around to changing or legit junk.

If you run into them, and they actually ask if you got any of their mail... "oh, not that I've seen lately! If you're missing something, you might want to contact the business and let them know your correct address." said with a pleasant smile and then ask them about their lawn or how the family is doing.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2021, 09:55:15 AM by Frankies Girl »

SwordGuy

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Re: Keep getting prior tenant's mail (USPS)
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2021, 06:34:04 PM »
Our mailwoman put a piece of paper on the inside of the mailbox door with the names we wanted to accept mail for.

Didn't work perfectly but it usually did.