How To Handle Mail Intended For A Tenant?
Knowing how to properly handle mail intended for a tenant, past or present, is very important. Because it can help property owners and their future tenants avoid unwanted legal trouble. There are serious legal implications for mishandling a tenant’s mail. But sometimes, mail from former or even current tenants just keeps coming. In such situations, property owners must take appropriate steps to legally handle situations of excessive or unwanted mail.
When a tenant moves out or leaves the property for long periods of time, handling their mail can become a time-consuming issue. Some tenants move out without providing a forwarding address. Others go on a vacation or travel for long periods of time without requesting a hold from their local post office.
How To Handle Mail And Why Is It Important.
When mail for an absent or former tenant starts piling up, property owners must take action. This is to prevent a small nuisance from becoming a big legal problem. The United States government takes the matter of mail delivery very seriously. It is common knowledge that under our current postal system, a citizen’s mail is considered personal property. Authorized mail carriers deliver mail intended only for those to whom the mail is addressed.
Under federal law, taking or moving mail from the intended delivery location is a felony offense. As is preventing delivery by withholding a tenant’s mail. And opening, throwing away, or destroying mail not addressed to you. Known as mail tampering, these acts may result in criminal charges, fines, and even jail time.
What Should A property Owner Do?
So what should a property owner do to curb the tide of unwanted mail? And prevent future tenants from tampering with former tenant’s mail? Since mail falls under the definition of personal property, it requires careful handling.
For example, if a tenant has moved out, a property owner can instruct a current tenant to write “return to sender” on the envelope and place it back in the mailbox for collection. Property owners can also notify the mail carrier, that the addressee is no longer at the address. And request them to stop delivering mail.
However, if the tenant is currently under a lease but simply absent from the property for a reason, handling mail delivery can become a bit more difficult. The best way to handle mail delivery during an extended absence is for the addressee to contact their local post office themselves. And request a hold.
If a tenant has failed to do so, mail will continue piling up, creating a potential legal nightmare for property owners. If a property owner collects and keeps the mail for the tenant – it too can present a problem. Because, the owner can be held responsible lost or damaged mail – mail tampering.
In such circumstances, the best thing for a property owner to do is to contact the Postmaster of the local US Post Office. And request them to stop mail delivery temporarily or suspend it till further notice. The post office will hold the person’s mail at the office until they come and pick it up in person.
How we can help.
Dealing with a hassle like mail delivery is not complicated, but it takes time. For property investors, time is one of your most valuable assets. Protect it by hiring Real Property Management Premier.
We can handle all of a property’s needs, which includes everything from the basic day-to-day tasks to the more unusual situations. With us on the job, you can be confident that your tenants, and your property, are being professionally and legally cared for.
If you are not sure how to handle mail intended for a tenant – Real Property Management Premier can help. Our property management professionals understand the legal aspects of handling mail properly, and solutions to help avoid legal problems arising from mail tampering.
By meeting the legal requirements, we can help you use your time more effectively, and avoid the hassles of property mangement. Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you today. Contact us online or call 954-800-4433 and ask our experienced property managers about our FREE market analysis.
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