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You’re getting someone else’s mail

You might be getting someone else's mail because they previously lived at your address - or because their address is similar to yours. Either way, there are steps you can take to stop getting unwanted post, letters or packages. 

If you don't have the person's new address

  1. Cross out the address on the front of the envelope.
  2. Write on the front of the envelope: "Not known at this address. Return to sender." 
  3. Post it. You don't have to pay. 

If you do have the person's new address

  1. Cross out the address on the front of the envelope, but don't cross out the name. 
  2. Write on the front of the envelope: "No longer at this address, please forward" - and add the person's new address in the space after that. 
  3. Post it. You don't have to pay. 

If you're getting mail for a different address

  1. Write "misdelivered" on the front of the envelope, along with your address.
  2. Post it. You don't have to pay. You can also report the problem to the Royal Mail on 03457 740 740 (textphone 03456 000 606).

Opening someone else's mail

You can legally someone else's mail in some circumstances under the Postal Services Act 2000. It's only illegal if you open mail ‘without reasonable excuse’ or if you ‘intend to act to another’s detriment'.

Example: If you're getting bank statements or cards in someone else’s name, you should tell the sender immediately. You can either:

  • open the letter and call the bank
  • write “not known at this address” on the envelope and put it in a postbox

Example: You can't open someone else's mail, find a credit card and use it yourself. 

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