How to Stop Getting Mail for Previous Residents and Empty Your Mailbox

Relocating entails a high chance that the former tenants forgot something on their way out, it might be a book left on a nightstand or something more significant. If you are wondering how to stop getting mail for previous residents, the chances are high they forgot to change their address. However, there’s no use crying over spilled milk, so we better get to cleaning the mess up. With our guide, it’ll be no trouble at all.

Many People Wonder How to Stop Getting Mail for Previous Residents Since It’s a Common Moving Mistake

Everyone who has ever moved to a new home knows how hard it can be to keep track of all the things. Although you create a detailed relocation expenses checklist and write up the perfect to-do list, somehow, you still manage to forget some of the most commonly forgotten things to pack. If you double-check your place before leaving, the chances are you’ll notice forgotten items, however, when it comes to things to do before relocating, these are a bit less easily noticeable.

Nobody likes to deal with bureaucracy, and truth be told, we would all love to just organize our important documents at home and call it a day. However, moving entails a lot of generally despised bureaucratic work, not to mention relocation stress that can obliterate the mind. This is why one of the most common things people forget to do when they move is to remember to change their address. Luckily, there are a few ways you, as a new resident, can retroactively stop receiving mail from the previous resident, and our Bay Area moving company knows them all.

A Submission of the Change of Residency Might’ve Not Yet Come Through

Likewise, there is a chance that the former tenant didn’t try to move in a hurry, forgetting their things left and right, but have actually started the COA (Change of Address) procedure which just hasn’t been processed yet. It can take up to two weeks, that is, ten working days from when the request has been submitted until the moment it has been adopted. This means that the former tenant hasn’t mistakenly left their COA on the list of things to do after relocating, but instead that it is a procedural issue. Whatever the reason might be, there are ways for you to fix it independently.

A stressed girl
A move can be a real headache and one that can get you to forget things you normally wouldn’t

How to Stop Mail for Previous Residents Coming to Your New Home? Here Are the Things to Do to Have the Post Readdressed Easily

Wonder what to do with mail from a previous tenant USPS keeps bringing to your home? Of course, you don’t want to spend valuable time dealing with a problem you inherited from former tenants. To save yourself a trip to the postal office, we present to you some of the easiest ways to deal with misaddressed envelopes without leaving your home. Keep in mind that although these solutions are easy and not time-consuming, there is a slight chance they won’t work due to certain circumstances. However, it doesn’t hurt to try.

The Best Way to Immediately Handle the Problem Is by Speaking to Your Postal Carrier

If you wish to resolve the problem in the easiest way and with the least effort, try informing the USPS by speaking directly to the postal worker who delivers you those letters, a person mediating between you and the USPS. They should tell you whether the change is underway or if the problem hasn’t been previously addressed.

The Easiest Method to Handle the Situation Is to Place a Notice on Your Mailbox

If the mailman leaves you envelopes and bills at a time that coincides with your working hours, think about placing a notice on your mailbox. You can write it up on a sticky note, or a piece of paper, informing them that the former tenants no longer live there. If you know which their current location of residence is, you can write that up too. Just make sure you clarify that you no longer want to receive their things since they aren’t addressed to you.

You Can Always Try Returning the Envelopes to Sender by Placing Sticky Notes on Them

If you do not know what to do with mail for a previous resident USPS keeps delivering to you, then chances are you didn’t receive just one envelope or a box. Hopefully, you didn’t throw the misaddressed items away but piled them up. Now is the time to take out your sticky notes and a pen. Write up ”no longer at this address” or ”return to sender”.

Do this on as many sticky notes as you need and paste the ones you wrote up on the envelopes. Use paper clips to secure them. It’s super important you do not write directly onto the envelopes since the ink might bleed to the papers which are inside. Once you’ve marked the items, place them back into the postal box.

 A mailman putting envelopes in a postbox
Do not avoid talking to your mailman. It’s very easy and might get your problem fixed

How Do I Stop Mail From Coming to My House? Cross Out the Barcode

Most often, the postal service will be using an automated system, so a sticky note won’t be enough for the postal service to recognize your problem. If that is the case, the most efficient solution will be to cross out the barcode on each envelope you get. Every barcode is completely unique, as it’s associated with the person’s address. If the former tenant didn’t submit a COA, the address on the barcode might be wrong. We recommend you try crossing it out to see if that does the trick.

Two envelopes
Always check if the envelope has a barcode first

What Do I Do With Previous Residents’ Mail? Take a Direct Step to Resolution by Filing a Complaint

If you do not know what to do when you get mail for a previous resident, let us tell you that the most effective way to resolve the issue is by going directly to its source. And in this case, it’s your local postmaster or postmistress. Hopefully, you’ve learned how to pack shoes on time, ’cause now might be the time for a walk. If you like to go around SF without a car, find the nearest local post office and schedule an appointment with them. While this might take a bit more effort, you’ll be done with it once you file the complaint.

The postal service sign
The postal service needs to be aware of the COA, and a way to do that is via a complaint

More Important Than Knowing What to Do if You Get Mail for the Previous Resident Is Knowing What You Mustn’t Do

Having your mailbox constantly full of misaddressed envelopes will get a person tempted to just throw them out. While we understand that weeks of moving large items and learning how to pack pots and pans might get you to be a bit short-tempered, throwing letters that are not yours might get you into serious trouble. To avoid a federal offense, make sure you follow this advice.

Don’t Open Anything Which Is Not Addressed to You

After a few misaddressed packages and posts, you might find yourself wanting to open an envelope or two. After all, through such a letter, you might learn where the intended recipient lives and how to reach them to sort this mess out. While it might seem tempting, we urge you to leave it as it is. Reading letters that aren’t intended for you is a felony.

In case you opened an envelope that came to your address accidentally, do not worry. We get that it might seem daunting after what you’ve just read, but it’s okay. If you ever moved to a new address and tried to pack a fragile item, you know that mistakes happen. As long as it’s a one-time mistake, you won’t be penalized. Tape the envelope back up, and get back to your sticky notes. Make it known via them that this is a misaddressed envelope you mistakenly got a hold of, and place it back into your mailbox. All will be well. 

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

Opening other’s envelopes is illegal, as well as throwing them away or destroying them in any way. This means you obstruct correspondence and deny a person their right to get a letter, which is considered an offense. If you move with a pet, there is a slight chance that your dog eats your homework, or even worse, a misaddressed envelope. Do not sweat, just take what is left of it and go to the post office. They’ll fix the problem.

These Are Considered Felonies Even When the Intended Recipient is Deceased

Even if the former tenant is deceased, opening and throwing away their envelopes is still considered illegal. What you should do, on the other hand, is visit the Direct Marketing Association page. There, visit the ”Deceased Do Not Contact Registration” and enter the deceased’s personal data. It might take a few months to resolve the situation completely, so keep that in mind.

 A woman opening an envelope
Opening misaddressed envelopes is a felony even if the intended recipient is no longer alive

How to Avoid Having Your Letters Sent to Your Former Place When Relocating to a New Home

As said, mistakes can happen to anyone. If the thing on your mind is how to pack glasses and where to find the proper sized box to pack up your TV, you might be a bit more scattered than usual. While learning a niche skill like how to move a piano might seem a bit more exciting than figuring out how to make sure all your intended packages reach you, this is some crucial knowledge for an efficient move. We present to you a short list to help you avoid any further trouble with the post office:

  • It’s crucial to submit your COA before you move. The way to do this is via USPS’s website, so you can do it even while you’re on your Bay Area staycation. It’ll only take a couple of minutes. Speaking of time, keep in mind that once you submit a COA with the USPS, it takes about ten working days for a confirmation letter to reach you, and it arrives at the place you are relocating from, so don’t snooze this task.
  • Ensure all your financial information is updated. When it comes to relocation hacks, the biggest one is double-checking whether everything is up to date in all important places. This means the banks and credit card companies alike. To get all your financial statements and other important documents at your new address, be sure before you move that they are updated.
  • Don’t lose any of your subscriptions – inform them of the move. Before you get to your going-away party, there’s one more thing to check upon. Make sure all your subscription services are informed of the move. Don’t have any of your favorite magazines misplaced or lost, and it will only take you a minute or two to have your move known. For more information about updating your residential location, check out the following video:

Avoid Forgetting About This Step by Hiring Local Movers in Bay Area to Take Care of Everything Else

You can bet that your former tenant didn’t hire any of the Bay Area moving companies. To have control over your move, we encourage you to invest in professional assistance. And we have just the people for the job. We are the best Bay Area movers when it comes to both residential relocation as well as commercial relocation service.

Our professional and experienced packers and movers will help you pack up even the most fragile items with no breakage. To have your move completed in the blink of an eye, with no misaddressed letters or any loose ends, contact us. We employ only the best movers in San Francisco and beyond, so you can forget about relocation scams or any other worries while you move. We are waiting for your call!

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