Projects & Improvements

Here’s How to Stop Getting Other People’s Mail Delivered to Your Address

published Nov 23, 2019
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It’s easy enough to deal with junk mail by tossing it into the recycling bin. But when you get mail addressed to someone else, you want to make sure it reaches its rightful recipient. So what should you do to make that happen?

First of all, don’t throw the mail away, reminds PureWow. Instead, write “not at this address: return to sender” on the envelope and cross out the bar code on the bottom to make sure the message reaches human eyes. Then put it back in the mailbox.

While this should get the message across to individual senders and small companies, WikiHow points out that it might not stop mail from larger companies that rely on the National Change of Address database for their mailings.

Next, either talk with your mail carrier directly or leave a Post-It note for them just inside your mailbox. One template for the message, via WikiHow, is “No other [tenants/residents] besides [your name].”

If, after trying these methods, you’re still getting someone’s mail, go to your local post office and speak with the station manager. Bring the unwanted mail with you with “not at this address: return to sender” written on it.

However, LifeHacker advises, don’t fill out a Change of Address form on behalf of the person whose mail you’re receiving. A United States Postal Service representative told Lifehacker that, while there is a form for those who have moved without leaving a forwarding address, it’s for internal USPS use only.

Finally, if none of these steps have worked, you can file a complaint with USPS. You can do this in person or by phone, email, or mail (more instructions available here).

Want to stop junk mail too? Learn how to do that here.