What do i do with mail from previous tenant?

What do i do with mail from previous tenant?


When moving into a new place, it’s common to receive mail addressed to the previous tenant. Knowing what to do with this mail can be confusing, as you don’t want to invade someone’s privacy, but you also don’t want important documents to go unnoticed. In this article, we will explore the various options and steps you can take to handle mail from a previous tenant.

Contact the Previous Tenant

First and foremost, it is recommended to try and reach out to the previous tenant if possible. This can be done by either contacting the landlord or using any forwarding address provided on the mail. Inform them that you have received their mail and ask them to update their address with the sender. This approach ensures that the previous tenant is aware of the situation and can take the necessary steps to redirect their mail.

Mark It as “Return to Sender”

If you are unable to contact the previous tenant or they have not provided a forwarding address, you can mark the mail as “Return to Sender” and put it back in the mailbox. This will signal to the postal service that the intended recipient is no longer at that address, and they will handle the mail accordingly. It’s important not to open or tamper with the mail, as it is a federal offense to do so.

Inform Your Mail Carrier

Another option is to inform your mail carrier about the situation. Let them know that you have been receiving mail addressed to the previous tenant and ask for their advice on how to handle it. They may have specific instructions or procedures in place for dealing with such situations.

Write “Not at This Address”

If you continue to receive mail for the previous tenant even after marking it as “Return to Sender,” you can write “Not at This Address” on the envelope or package and put it back in the mailbox. This will further indicate to the postal service that the intended recipient does not reside at your address.

Keep a Log

To keep track of the mail you receive for the previous tenant, it can be helpful to maintain a log. Note down the dates, sender names, and any other relevant details. This log can be useful if you need to provide evidence of your efforts to return the mail or if you need to escalate the issue to higher authorities.

Notify the Sender

If you receive important or time-sensitive mail for the previous tenant, you may consider contacting the sender directly. Explain the situation and provide them with your contact information, so they can update their records and resend the mail to the correct address. This step can be particularly helpful if the mail contains sensitive information or legal documents.


In conclusion, dealing with mail from a previous tenant can be a bit of a challenge. However, by following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that the mail is handled appropriately. Remember to try and contact the previous tenant, mark the mail as “Return to Sender,” inform your mail carrier, and keep a log of the mail received. If necessary, contact the sender directly to update their records. By taking these steps, you can maintain your privacy while also ensuring that the previous tenant receives their mail.


– USPS: www.usps.com
– LegalZoom: www.legalzoom.com
– The Balance: www.thebalance.com