Moving into a new apartment is exciting!
But this life experience comes with its own set of challenges.
One of the most common issues new apartment dwellers face is receiving mail intended for the previous occupant.
To help you navigate this tricky situation, this handy guide will show you what to do if and when you receive mail intended for the previous apartment resident.
We’ll cover the dos and don’ts of handling a previous resident’s mail, explain what steps you can take to stop this mail from coming to your address and highlight some important legalities regarding mail.
Let’s get started!
Never Open a Previous Resident’s Mail
It may be tempting to throw away or even open mail meant for the previous resident, especially if it’s junk mail or a special offer from a chainstore or local shop.
However, performing these acts is illegal. It’s a federal crime to tamper with someone else’s mail – even if it’s junk mail.
If mail meant for the previous occupant appears in your box, resist the urge to open it.
Forward the Mail to the Resident’s New Address
Instead of throwing away mail that’s not meant for you, take the proper steps to redirect it to the right location.
If you know the previous resident’s new address, you can have the mail forwarded to them.
To do so, take the following simple steps:
- Cross out the address that’s currently printed on the envelope (please remember to leave their name untouched and clearly visible).
- Write the new address near the incorrect one on the envelope.
- Add a note for the postal carrier that reads, “Please forward; not at this address.”
- Cross out any barcodes on the envelope to mark it as “undeliverable.”
If forwarding the mail a few times doesn’t seem to stop it from coming, you can always leave a note in your mailbox for the mail carrier. Politely inform the carrier that the previous resident (or residents in some cases) no longer lives at this address and to only deliver mail that’s addressed to you, your partner or roommate.
Prevent the Previous Resident’s Junk Mail from Clogging Your Mailbox
While a previous resident’s junk mail may seem like something you can file in the trash can, this is not the case.
Junk mail is still mail. That being the case, it still needs to be treated with care.
If you receive junk mail addressed to a previous apartment resident, simply report it to the Direct Marketing If returning the mail doesn’t work, you can leave a note in your mailbox for the mail carrier. Politely inform them that the previous tenant no longer lives at your address and to only deliver mail for the current tenant.
Take the Proper Steps When You Move
When it’s your turn to move out of your apartment, make sure to fill out a change of address form with your local post office or online.
Taking a few minutes to fill out and submit this change of address form helps ensure that your mail reaches your new address and reduces the chances of causing inconvenience to the next resident.
Just remember: the postal service processes vast amounts of mail every day. That being said, it may take up to 10 days for your change of address to become effective. Be patient during this period. Soon, your mail will reach your new address.
Besides filing a change of address form with the USPS, you should also directly contact other important entities who deliver mail to you, such as utility providers, schools and government agencies, and provide them with your new address. Once you contact them, they’ll update their files with the correct information and send all future documents and communications to your new location.
Enjoy Life at 363 Bond Street Apartments
As you can see, handling mail for previous apartment residents requires a few simple actions.
Avoid opening or throwing away their mail. Instead, forward it to the correct address if possible or notify your postal carrier of the issue.
Remember to file a change of address when you move out, so you can extend a dose of courtesy to the next resident.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure a smooth mail-handling process and a pleasant living experience in your new apartment.
If you’re searching for a new or first-time apartment, be sure to consider 363 Bond Street.
Contact us today to take a tour of our comfortable and accommodating apartment community!