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Receiving mail addressed to former tenants

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Jot the Dot Dot, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. Jot the Dot Dot

    Jot the Dot Dot Headstrong Buzzard

    I live in a boarding house which had several former tenants. So of course we receive numerous mail meant for them. Usual thing to do is to write on them, "Return To Sender", or RTS. But I found a way to spice this up. Ready?

    OMG! WTF? RTS!

    Just a suggestion.
  2. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

    while you think that it is funny, what our postman told us was that anything sent bulk mail, such as coupons, catalogs or advertisements would be delivered to the current occupant.

    If this is your situation, you are not sending any message to the sender of the mail, you are just throwing it back in the postman's face with a comment that should not be directed at him.

    If the mail is indeed intended for the previous occupant - asking the post office to stop delivery is a better way of dealing with it. The WTF comment is totally unecessary.

    but then you are a rude person, is it might work for you. :rolleyes:
  3. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

    I still get old mail on occasion for the previous tenant and continue to send them back. I usually write a "moved, return to sender" message them and put said mail in the post box rather than leaving it outside for the postman. But after a while they are annoying.
  4. BaileyCatts

    BaileyCatts Well-Known Member

    Every now and then I still get mail addressed to the original owner of my house. And I'm owner #4! :lol: Mostly its just junk mail, but occassionally I get credit card offers in previous owners names. I tear those up and throw them out, but scary to think that someone in my previous residences could be getting credit card offers addressed in my name.
  5. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    I return to sender anything that looks important (wedding invitations, birthday cards) and just throw all the rest out.
  6. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

    When one of my buddies was still delivering mail to my job (which is how he and I met), I asked him that the protocol is about that. He said that anything that has either stamps and metered postmarks needs to be marked "Return to Sender" and sent back. Anything that is obviously a bulk mailing can be tossed out.

    And I agree with numbers that the OP is being very rude. It is not the mail carrier's job to try to figure out who is and who is not a current tenant. They just deliver the mail as addressed. My employer still gets mail on occasion that is addressed to a previous tenant who used to rent out part of our front building (this tenant isn't even in business anymore). As it's just bulk mail, it just gets tossed.
  7. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    Our post office requires our last name to be printed in the mailbox. They will not deliver until your name is in the mailbox. (We got a notice three times after we moved in saying our mail was not being delivered because we did not have a tenant name in the box.)

    So we have the security risk of having our name written in our mailbox, and yet they still deliver mail to other names.

    You said "it's not the mail carrier's job to determine who the current tenant is" why is it the current tenants's job to ensure that mail is properly returned?
  8. Jot the Dot Dot

    Jot the Dot Dot Headstrong Buzzard

    Point taken, I'll refrain from doing it. And I apologize to everyone I've offended.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
  9. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    It's not, it's just the right thing to do. If they just throw it away they're not liable but just a shitty person.
  10. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

    If it's last name only, that's not a security risk. And you can always get a PO Box if it bothers you that much.

    And hey... mail carriers are human beings, they do make mistakes sometimes. But for the grace of the Universe go you. You think you can do better? Take the exam and try to get in on one of those jobs. Good luck , though... you better score in the high 90's to make the cut most places and even be considered for a job interview, and then you'll be a Part-Time Flexible until you have enough seniority to bid for a steady route of your own.

    You want me to ring up my buddy and get his input? He's been retired for 6 years, but he put in 30 years with the USPS, he still is active with NALC (National Association of Letter Carriers union) and his gf is also an Albany, NY City Carrier.
  11. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    The funniest mail from a previous resident I ever got was a video catalogue for a sex shop. I noticed it came from Canberra (which funny enough at the time was probably the only place in Australia that sold sex videos by mail) and thought it was a bit strange. So decided to open it and have a look. Gave my boyfriend at the time and myself a good laugh going through the titles.

    I usually just RTS anything to do with a previous resident. Although in this particular case it was the second one I had received (the first one I RTS'd). And I figured if the previous resident wasn't desperate enough to notice he wasn't going to get his catalogue and let them know he had changed address, he probably wasn't going to miss it.
  12. deltask8er

    deltask8er Well-Known Member

    For the first home I owned, the previous occupant (rented from the owners) died of a brain tumor in her 30s. I would occasionally get mail that read "To the estate of..."


    After missing an electricity bill and a phone bill in one summer (along with regularly receiving my neighbors' mail), I had to change to online bill pay for the most important bills.

    Sometimes I put a post-it note on the mail and put it back in the box.
  13. cruisin

    cruisin Banned Member

    I just had a crappy thing happen, with regard to the mail. My mother passed away 3 weeks ago which, in and of itself, was devastating. I am executor of her will. I probated the will 2 weeks ago, the Letters of Testamentary were sent to me at the correct address. Somehow they were delivered to the wrong place. The 9 X 12 envelope was opened along the long side (sliced, not torn). Whoever opened it must have realized it wasn't their mail, shoved the Surrogate Certificates back in and threw it back in the mail. Never resealed or taped the envelope closed. They arrived at my home at least a week late, holding up my ability to handle some urgent affairs. The Certificates were half out of the envelope and could have fallen out completely. Can you imagine opening something that important, regarding the loss of a family member and not even having the decency to re-close the envelope? What kind of person is that callous?
    Rob, allezfred, Andora and 7 others like this.
  14. Norlite

    Norlite Well-Known Member

    I'm very sorry for your loss cruisin.
  15. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    Sorry about your loss.

    As distressing as it is to you, they probably just looked at who it was addressed to, realised it wasn't for them and put the stuff back in the envelope without knowing what it was even about. It wasn't their fault they got your mail. They could have just tossed it in the rubbish. Unfortunately the emotional weight of the situation on your part doesn't necessarily mean that people are going deal with things in an any more special way than what they probably would normally do.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  16. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    It's last name, but it's easy to look the last name and find the phone number and call inside, then when no one answers rob the place.

    I know you can do that anywhere- but it's not quite as easy as when you have the name available right in front of you. (Of course, you could also just take a piece of delivered mail out of the box...)

    I'm not sure if I could get a PO Box...I think the post office has a waiting list. I guess I could get one of those UPS boxes.

    I'm happy to know you know someone who worked for the post office. If that's the game we are playing, my Uncle also did 30 years with USPS.
  17. KatieC

    KatieC So peaceful

    Is it the job of the mail carrier to pick up mail? If so, I suppose you can leave it for them to take back. Around here mail carriers deliver only, and I wouldn't expect them to take something out of my mail box. Anything delivered to me for a neighbour, I just deliver myself. As I've been at my address for 40 years, I don't get mail for any previous tenants. I happen to like the Post Office - they agree with me as to what town I live in! Thanks to amalgamation, most of the rest of the country and computer applications think I live in another city. They are wrong - so there. :p
  18. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    I just got mail for someone else today. It was the caretaker who lived in our house while the estate was getting it ready for sale. Normally, I'd just throw it out but it's a settlement check for some class action suit and the guy probably would like his $47. Not what I know where to send it.
  19. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

    Yes, it is their job to pick up mail, and if you leave something outgoing clipped to your mailbox, they are supposed to take it with them (and I would imagine that individual PO's aren't supposed to be making their own rules about this kind of thing). I haven't visited a mail box in I don't know how long. My co-workers and I put out our personal mail right alongside the outgoing mail for the business, and the carrier takes both stacks. We do have to keep the stamped mail in a separate stack from the metered mail.

    Is your zip code shared by two different municipalities? That is the case for several zip codes in my area, including the one where I grew up - 12303 is a Schenectady zip, but it is also a Guilderland zip. Schenectady also shares a zip with the Town of Niskayuna. But that really becomes a hassle with people trying to find my place of employment. 12204 is a Menands zip (where the business is located) but it is also an Albany zip. And Menands doesn't have its own post office, so our mail comes from an Albany carrier annex. Another problem is that there IS a 566 Broadway (our street address) in the City of Albany proper. I'm forever getting calls from people driving around downtown Albany trying to find us, when we are actually several miles to the north. :lol:
  20. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    When I moved, the mail delivery guy stopped to talk one day to get my name, so he'd know to take anything addressed to the prior owners' back without delivering it. Some stuff still gets missed--mostly I toss it, but if it's actually something that doesn't look like junk mail I write "Not At This Address" and put it back out.
  21. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    For the LONGEST time we received mail at our house for the people who lived here a short while. We bought our house from the builder but he had some friends who moved here from up North and they lived in the house 2-3 months before we bought it. All I know is someone was getting a lot of mail from Child Support Services and it looks like someone else definitely was being tracked down for owing money or something. I never opened anything, not legal, but the amount was very telling. I actually forgot all about it and just realized because of this thread that the mail stopped, probably a year or so ago. Thank goodness, maybe they finally tracked them down at their new address.
  22. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    ^ That reminds me of the mail I got for a previous resident which were obviously fines of some kind - probably for speeding. Those I sent back with a big "No longer lives here" on them. Didn't want the Sherrif turning up to confiscate stuff thinking it was me who did it.
  23. Bunny Hop

    Bunny Hop Perpetually learning Dutch Waltz

    A similar thing happened to us the first year we were in the UK. I opened a plain brown envelope addressed to the previous tenant in order to look for a return address. Soon found out why there wasn't a 'If undelivered return to...' on the outside, as it was a catalogue for naughty videos. :rofl: I don't think I found the return address either - there was just a phone number. I chucked those in the bin after that.

    With mail for previous occupants I usually just cross out the address, write 'Not known at this address: Return to Sender' on the envelope, and stick them in a post box next time I'm posting anything. I cross out the address so they don't come back to me (this has happened). I tend not to throw away anything except obvious bulk, as returning to sender does eventually stop the wrongly addressed stuff arriving.
  24. misskarne

    misskarne #AustraliaForTheTeamEvent

    :(:(:(:(:( I live in Canberra :( I don't like that we were the only place legal to buy sex stuff, (I think at the time marajuana was legal too) and banned fireworks completely.

    Probably the same type of callous people that continued to send letters to my grandmother addressed to my grandfather. This went on for months after my grandpa died. The worst were the ones sent from the mesothelioma compensation people. They were addressing them to HIM when they knew full well he was dead.


    I've had similar experiences with a PO Box, believe it or not. I got the box so I could get letters from my overseas friends and other things without them getting mixed up in the family mail, and for ages I kept getting letters addressed to some Yang guy, from a place in Queensland! I kept stepping into the post office and returning them. On the fourth attempt I told them baldly I was not "Yang" and I never would be and I would appreciate not getting his mail. After that they put a post-it on the slot of my PO Box saying "No Yang!"
  25. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

    The best way to stop mail coming to you that is meant for the previous tenant is to give it directly to the carrier and inform them that the tenant is no longer at that address (this is what my 30-year USPS vet buddy told me last night when I asked him about this subject). They will make a note of that. If you just throw the mail in a random mail box, the carrier will still think that tenant lives at your address.

    One of the places he used to deliver to was an apartment complex (he now is a leasing consultant for a sister complex), and he used to keep a list at his mail casing station of who was living where, who had added or lost a roommate, etc. He used to do the rest of the route first (as it was mostly businesses), and then go back and do the complex last, even though the complex wasn't the last stop. I could always tell when he had a sub because we would get our mail so much later in the day than normal (because the sub would do the complex when they came to it).
  26. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

    One faction of the organization probably did know that your grandpa died, but another department didn't. They may have just been sending things from the mailing list that hadn't been updated.
    I am sorry that happened to you. It happened to my husband when his mom died too.
  27. Moto Guzzi

    Moto Guzzi Well-Known Member

    I've lived in my house since 1986, and we still get mail addressed to previous owners. We throw out the junk mail but write "Not at this address; return to sender" on anything that isn't junk.

    Several years ago, somebody with the same last name moved into the townhouse two doors down from mine. I met her several months after she moved in. When she learned my name, she told me that she'd been getting mail addressed to me, including bills and personal stuff, and had been throwing it away. :mad: I asked her why she didn't just return it to the mail carrier or drop it through my mail slot which is what I had been doing with her mail I had mistakenly received, and she said it hadn't occurred to her.
  28. cruisin

    cruisin Banned Member

    I would like to say thank you to everyone who has expressed condolences, on the loss of my mother. It was very unexpected and happened very fast. I suppose that it was a blessing, for her, that she did not suffer and it was quick. But, it has been very hard for my brother, my family, and myself to process. I'm still not sure I have accepted it. It was an aortic dissection. My mother had had a 10" stent put in her aorta 7 years ago, to treat a thoracic, aortic aneurism. The surgery went well, but 3 years ago it started to leak at the bottom end. Because it would have occluded the arteries going into her legs, they could not extend the stent. A year ago, they saw that it had stopped leaking, we were very happy. In December, of this year, Mom went to the hospital with a UTI that went systemic. She exhibited some fibrillation (probably because she hadn't taken her blood pressure meds for 3 days), so they put her on coumadin. Both my mother and I expressed concern about coumadin with a history of her aortic stent leak. The doctors insisted. After the hospital, she went into rehab for several weeks, and was in better shape than she'd been for 2 years. More energy, happier, etc., we had "Mom" back. Two months on coumadin later, the leak opened up and she bled out. I'm very angry, but coumadin is protocol for fibrillation and that's that.

    ****Something I found out during this horrible experience: an infection, a cold, the flu, med changes - all can cause the body to metabolize coumadin differently. Even if the level has been stable for a long time. No one told us that. No one was checking my mother's white count, to see if the UTI had come back (she had it for 4 weeks). So, for anyone who is on, or has a loved one on coumadin - talk to your/their doctor about that. What do I do in the event that I/loved one gets sick and I/they are on coumadin.****

    I appreciate what you are saying. But, the documents have a raised seal and are quite official looking. I also realize that it is emotional for me. However, if I accidentally opened someone else's mail and put it out to be re-delivered, I would re-seal the envelope. at least tape it closed. Regardless of what was in it. The fact that these were clearly legal documents, with a very specific and brief cover letter, just makes that more glaring to me.

    I still get mail addressed to my father, he passed away almost 3 years ago. Most of it is "junk" mail. But, recently, I actually got a bill from a doctor from 4 years ago. I called the office and said I would not pay it. That my father had been deceased for 2 years, the estate was settled, and that I had no way of even knowing if they'd treated my father for that service. They didn't argue, they knew that 4 years was a bit too long to wait to send a bill :rolleyes:. It makes me sad when I get mail for him, but much of it is computer generated, they just don't update their lists efficiently. They should be more considerate, though.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  29. antmanb

    antmanb Well-Known Member

    At the last place I worked (law firm)there was a huge furore and heads rolled because the client database was never updated properly. As a consequence the trusts and estates department who had handled the probate of a couple of directors of corporations who were corporate clients had updated the database for the individuals but not the corporations. As a result newsletters were sent to the home addresses of the directors in their names some 6 months after their deaths. Needless to say the widows phoned up in floods of tears at the upset it caused and also astounded that the firm which handled all of the probate could send out letters personally addressed to their husbands.
  30. Gypsy

    Gypsy Watching the Leaves Change!


    I am so sorry for your loss. :(

    Excellent advice.

    Blood thinners are a very serious medication. I am on warfrin (the generic form of coumadin) since my valve replacement in 2009. I have to have my INR monitored monthly or more often if the count is off. I know just how easy it is for many things to change my counts. My heart clinic is adamant about me calling if I am sick, if I see more bruising or there are any changes I notice so that they can get me in right away to make sure I do not need to adjust my dosage.