How to Stop a Previous Tenant's Mail

Updated March 23, 2017

If you recently moved into a new place you might be inundated with mail that is meant for the previous occupant. Instead of allowing this to go on or struggling to figure out what to do with the unwanted mail, have the mail stopped.

Write "Not at this address" on the envelope. Write this message above or below the address, but not over the address or name of individual to whom the letter is addressed. If you write over this information, your may prevent the post office or person or company to which the mail is returned from updating their records.

Place the mail back in mailbox and put up flag. When the postman next makes his rounds, he will pick up this mail, getting it out of your way.

Report the previous tenant's new address to the to the post office, if you know it. Visit the post office and provide the new address to a representative so he can attempt to contact the individual to whom the mail should go. If your landlord knows this individual's new address, he could do the same.

Contact the post office if the mail piece is Express Mail. Call the post office at 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) to report the mis-delivery as they will pick up Express Mail for return to sender.


Do not destroy the mail. If you destroy the mail, you are technically violating federal law and, as a result, could be subject to fines or other punishments.

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About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.