How to Stop Getting Mail Addressed to Previous Tenants

There’s a way to stop getting all that mail that’s not being addressed to you. In this article, you’ll find out how. You’re in the right place if:

  • Getting mail for previous tenants (over and over again) is annoying to you
  • Your mailbox is filled with envelopes and magazines addressed to someone else
  • It’s a waste of time for you checking what mail is yours, what isn’t and getting rid of the mail that isn’t for you.

How to Return Mail Not Addressed to Me

All the different options you have to stop getting mail addressed to previous tenants.

Go to the Post Office

Approach someone at USPS and let them know that you want to stop getting mail addressed to people who don’t live there anymore.

Place a Sticky Note on the Door of Your Mailbox

The sticky note should say something like this:

[Name] doesn’t live at this address” or “No other tenants besides [you and people that live with you]”.

sticky note

Write “Return to Sender” on the Unopened Envelope or Package

You don’t have to pay anything. You can write it above the recipient’s name, below or on the side. Make sure the “return address” stays clear. You can also add:

  • “Return to sender. Not at this address” OR
  • “Return to sender. No longer at this address”.

By adding “no longer at this address”, not only the original sender but also the mail carrier will be notified that the recipient is no longer at that address. Hopefully, the sender will stop sending you more mail. The mail carrier should stop the unwanted mail to your address.

For Companies That Use Mass Address Lists:

You can try crossing out your address on the envelope and also write: “Return to Sender, Not at this Address” so it’s clearer for them.

Tip: you can use the abbreviation RTN for the word “return” to save space.

If You Know the Person’s New Address:

You can write: No longer at this address, please forward to [new address].

It’s recommended to cross out your address on the envelope as well. Don’t cross out the recipient’s name.

Good to Know

It’s illegal to intentionally stop a letter from being delivered to its intended recipient.

This may include not informing USPS that you are receiving someone else’s mail. You can inform them by simply writing “return to sender” or “not at this address” in the exterior of the envelope and placing it in an outgoing mailbox.

Destroying mail that was not intended for you, may be prohibited by US laws.

You can simply leave the mail not addressed to you next to your mailbox. The postal worker will bring it back to the postal office. If the postal worker didn’t see it, put a sticky note saying “mail to be returned”. If the mail is still there, take it to the pos office in person.

You may be interested in: Moving to a New Place? Forward your Mail!


Hi there :) I'm Jess and I came to NYC to pursue my dream and I feel I'm living it every day. New York is magical and you have to be open to everything because you never know who is sitting next to you on the subway or behind you in the line of the supermarket. I decided to create this blog about NYC because I realized how many powerful tips would have helped me if I knew them before coming to the city from someone who was living in NY! So I thought that it would be awesome to share with you some tips about New York from a New Yorker. I'm going to keep updating this blog so stay tuned :)