3 Ways to Stop Mail for Previous Residents #mail #returned #to #sender


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How to Stop Mail for Previous Residents

Write “Return to Sender” on the exterior of the envelope. Then place the mail in an outgoing mailbox. This notifies the post office and the original sender that the recipient no longer lives at that address. Hopefully, the original sender will update the records, and you will stop receiving the mail. [1]

  • You can also write “No Longer at This Address” or “Moved” on the exterior of the previous resident’s mail.
  • Individuals sending mail and small companies are more likely to respond to this. Large companies rely on the National Change of Address database for address updates.

Place a sticky note on your mailbox. State “[Former Resident’s Name] does not live at this address” on either the door or the mailbox itself. This serves as a constant reminder to the postal carrier to look through your incoming mail, and possibly sift out the previous resident’s mail.

  • Leave a more precise note if the first one you placed inside your mailbox does not seem to be effective.
  • You can write “No Other Tenants Besides [Your Name]” on a sticky note in your mailbox or on your door. The mail carrier might see the previous resident’s name on mail and know not to place that mail in your box. A visual reminder can be a strong one.

Cross out the barcode. Sometimes writing “Return to Sender” does not get the job done because of the automated system the postal service uses. The United States Postal Service prints a barcode on every piece of mail that corresponds to the address it is being delivered to. USPS uses these barcodes to sort the mail. Even if you have written a note on the envelope, the barcode will still allow the mail to come to your address. Mark through the barcode at the bottom of the envelope and write “Return to Sender” on the mail. [2]

  • Marking out the barcode will cause the system to register the mail as “undeliverable.”
  • Mail carriers receive mail in bundles for each individual address. The previous resident’s mail could be in between pieces of mail that are actually for you.

Approach your mail carrier directly. Speak to your personal postal carrier or the local post office about the problem and ask that they please stop previous resident’s mail that arrives in your mailbox. Give your mail carrier some of the mail you have written “Return to Sender” on. This may be more effective then simply writing a note on the piece of mail. [3]

  • Speaking with your mail carrier in person may encourage them to look into the matter and check and see if a change of address has been filed.
  • When you go to the post office, ask to speak to the station manager and tell them your problem.

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