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How can I stop the delivery of mail for old residents at my current address?

I live in an old building that has had many residents. They don't live here anymore and yet we deal with a lot of their mail. Most of the time we just throw it out. What can I do to stop it from even making it to our apartment? Thanks!
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  • I’m hassled.
    3
    i toss most of the mail that comes for the guys who used to live at my place over 5 years ago, but every once in a while a "real" piece of mail pops in and i always just cross out the address and bar code and write return to sender, and pop it back in the mail.
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  • I also toss out most of the mail, but when something looks important, I do as urban_mermaid above does with "Return to Sender" and cross out my address. Additionally, I write "Addressee no longer lives here."
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  • 2
    I have done the same "return to sender" thing that Carla described above. Another thing I've done is sign up with Green Dimes (greendimes.org). They will stop the junk mail even if it's addressed to past tenants.
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    One thing that my apartment owner did that was kind of helpful is he provided me with pre-printed "please forward to this address" labels for the former tenants who were still receiving mail here. It made it really easy for me to just paste on the label with the new address and pop important-looking things back in the mail. That said, it certainly doesn't stop the new mail from coming. I do think that Greendimes (as Katie posted) has also limited the junk mail. But I do occasionally get stuff for the old tenants.
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  • I’m marvelling that I know this yet have done nothing about old tenants' mail that we've been receiving for 3 years.
    3
    You can also go to the post office and fill out a form stating that particular names are no longer at your address. A bit of a pain but it stops it once & for all.
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  • Make sure the names of the current residents are large and clearly visible on your mailbox and write only underneath them. Apartments and condos have a lot of turnover so having your name up is the only way the carrier knows who's there.
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  • According to the USPS (Frequently Asked Questions/MisDelivered Mail on http://faq.usps.com

    For other misdelivered mail items (such as letters):
    * If the mailpiece is delivered to the wrong location:
    o Don't erase or mark over the information, or write any type of endorsement on the mailpiece.
    o Place the item back in the mailbox or hand the item back to your mailperson.
    * If the mailpiece is delivered to the correct location but the recipient on the mailpiece does not reside at the address:
    o Write "Not at this address" on mailpiece.
    o Don't erase or mark over the address.
    o Provide the mailpiece to your mailperson or drop into a Collection Box receptacle.
    Destroying mail that was not intended for you may be prohibited by US laws.
    * Willfully destroying mail is an act that may be punishable by the Federal Government.
    * If you have any questions about the legality of doing this, please contact your local law enforcement.
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  • Destroying mail that was not intended for you may be prohibited by US laws.
    * Willfully destroying mail is an act that may be punishable by the Federal Government.

    Love that line.....reasons why the USPS won't be around in another 10 years as we know it. "shift the burden on to the addressee......
    • the only way i have found to stop unwanted mail that has worked is taking the time once a week to get all the letters together, catalogs, etc. and call them. one at a time. private institutions: banks; insurance and such usually stop immediately. catalogs and coupon mailings take up to three months since your address is already sitting on a mailing in a warehouse somewhere. oh yeah and all those real estate and restaurant or car wash fliers are put out by several companies local and abroad and if you contact them, you will stop getting all that crap as well.

      your frustration is understandable. it is not the usps's job to take care of all the paper trails that prior tenants have left, nor is it yours. however if you want it to stop, this will work.

      unless you move again...

      and do you cancel your mailings when you leave, cause they don't forward indefinitely.
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  • My Family bought my hubby's Grandmother's home almost 8 yrs ago and we still get the former tenants mail, it's never the same though. I am being to think they are using our address as a "junk" address for solicitors. I've been writing "Not @ this Address" and "Return to sender" on any and all pieces. Still getting it. Every once in a long while we even get mail for my hubby's Dead Grandmother! She passed over 12 yrs ago, and it's mail from Medicaid! I think they need to update their records a bit. I've called them to let them know that it's very upsetting to my hubby and they say they're sorry but they have to have a copy of the death cert to stop mailing the stuff to us. My hubby's family did that when she passed in the first place, we shouldn't have to do it again, especially when they can look up her social in the computer and see she's deceased. I like the idea of going to the post office and filling out the form for the other issue though. I also read on another site to put a permanent note in your mailbox for the mail carrier to see that states that only mail with certain names on it can be delivered. I'm going to try that too.
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