What to Do If You Receive Someone Else’s Mail

Mistakes do happen, especially when it comes to mail. Carriers sometimes misread the address, letters can move in the back of a truck, and people move around without updating their addresses – all circumstances can lead to the fact that you receive mail intended for a different recipient. Here’s what you should do if you receive mail that doesn’t belong to you.

If mail is delivered to the wrong address

If the letter you receive is intended not only for someone else, but for a different address than yours, do not open it or throw it away (both are punishable offenses ). To fix the error, you have two options: Deliver it yourself: If the letter is clearly destined for a nearest neighbor and you can physically open their mailbox, feel free to deliver the letter to the correct address yourself. It is not illegal to open someone’s mailbox (as long as it is not blocked), and it is not illegal to personally forward mail to the correct address as long as the mail has the proper postage. You can also knock on their door and pass it to them if you know them (or feel comfortable doing so). However, keep in mind that there are laws that prohibit putting in mailboxes other things – for example, leaflets, notes, advertisements, without payment of postal services, etc. D. Write a note and attach it to an outbound:. If the correct address is far away or do not you just want to ship it yourself (which is perfectly fine), just write a note that says something like “wrong.” address “and attach it to the incorrectly delivered mail item (you can use a sticker or paper clip for this). The postman will pick it up next time and it will be delivered to the correct address in the next couple of days. It is better not to write a note directly on an envelope or article, so as not to spoil someone else’s mail, say rural postmen Tara. O’Sullivan and Julia Bavaro . If you use a highlighter or marker and it leaks out, it could cause the intended recipient more upset than necessary. Instead, attach it with a paper clip or sticker.

If mail for a former resident

If you receive someone else’s letter with the correct address, you need to inform the postal carrier and post office that they no longer live there. And again, a sticker on the letter with a message like “the person does not live here anymore” will help. Paste this into your outgoing messages and hope the post will correct its entries. This may take several tries and you may even have to call the post office if this continues.

Just be careful that the letter does not say “[name of other person] or current resident ”; Technically, this letter is addressed to you while you live in this house, whether you want to receive it or not. If you keep telling the post office “the person doesn’t live here” with “or current resident” mail, they may decide the house is free and stop sending mail altogether. When in doubt, a trip to the post office or phone call can often clarify the situation. This article was originally published on January 8, 2018 and was updated in July 2020. Updates included editing a copy, checking links, updating the text to reflect the current Lifehacker style, and adding a new header image.

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