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Thread: Lot's of mail from past owner to our house

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    Question Lot's of mail from past owner to our house

    Hi Folks,

    Bit of a background:

    We bought our house back in April 2017. After we moved in, we got lots of post for the past owner. As they didn't leave a forwarding address or come to collect mail, we wrote on them that they were no longer at this address and put them back in a post box. After about 6 months, we didn't really get anymore.

    However, roll on this year. About 2 months ago, we started getting a lot of mail again. Likewise, we started getting bailiffs to the house looking for the past owner. We were getting stuff from Next (which they still haven't collected nor had picked up again) for them as well. We also were getting documents about new things set up with their name (one of the letters arrived opened) like a buisness account.

    It seems that they are opening new accounts and listing their old address (my address).

    Is there anything we can do about this? It seems weird them setting up things like accounts etc at their old address. Maybe to avoid paying old debts etc?

    Or is there nothing we can do but dump them back in the post box?

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    Re: Lot's of mail from past owner to our house

    Tell the police, it happened to us too, they were opening loads of new accounts.... The fuz... police will be more likely to be able to track em down ...

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    Re: Lot's of mail from past owner to our house

    Dump them back in the letter box marked "Not known at this address - return to sender" In bold letters.
    (\__/)
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    Re: Lot's of mail from past owner to our house

    We have been doing this (writing on the letters and reposting). I have a friend at Royal mail who said they are rarely sent back though. I wasn't sure if the police would care to be honest.
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    Re: Lot's of mail from past owner to our house

    Police probably won't get involved unless a crime has been committed - such as fraud, but the complaint needs to be made by the person/company who has been defrauded.
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    Re: Lot's of mail from past owner to our house

    We had this. eventually we started opening them and phoning the companies concerned to explain. In the end that stopped it.

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    Re: Lot's of mail from past owner to our house

    It might be a scam based around the Post Office re-direction service - sign up for 3/6/12 months and all mail handled through the post office is automagically redirected to the new address. So, they sign up for a Next account, and all mail and parcels are redirected, until the redirection service runs out.

    In that time they run up huge debts and all the payment reminders, statements and bailiffs start turning up at the old address again.

    Ask the Post Office if they have had any mail redirections set up on your address.
    Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes; after that, who cares?! He's a mile away and you've got his shoes!


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    Re: Lot's of mail from past owner to our house

    I would totally do as @peterb says - its worked for me in the past

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    Re: Lot's of mail from past owner to our house

    The Next order was delivered by Yodel. SO I imagine they would have had to give it an address. I will contact the Royal Mail. Maybe I should open more of the mail and contact the companies. Could get tedious after a while though.
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    Re: Lot's of mail from past owner to our house

    Be careful with opening it - have a look at the Postal Services Act 2000. Pretty sure it's illegal, though it would likely take the dullest of feds to do anything about it. But then again, is it someone elses mail if the person doesn't live at the specified address?

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    Re: Lot's of mail from past owner to our house

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Jon View Post
    Be careful with opening it - have a look at the Postal Services Act 2000. Pretty sure it's illegal, though it would likely take the dullest of feds to do anything about it. But then again, is it someone elses mail if the person doesn't live at the specified address?
    It is not illegal to open mail provided it has been delivered to the correct address (so if it's addressed to your house you're ok,) and you don't use it to the detriment to of the addressee. So unless you intend to blackmail them rather than just inform whoever sent if they aren't at your address it's fine.

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    Re: Lot's of mail from past owner to our house

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Dump them back in the letter box marked "Not known at this address - return to sender" In bold letters.
    Return to sender, address unknown,
    No such number, no such .... postcode.




    Seriously, I'd mark it "not known at this address" but if you get bailiffs, or more likely debt collectors at the door, do not let them in, get the details of their company, inform them you've been there 18 months (or whatever) and send them on their way. Follow up with a letter to the company address.

    If they persist, point out it is illegal to harrass people once they've been told. They can, after all, easily check. If they get pushy, call the police.

    While debt collectors can be very pushy, proper bailiffs (i.e. High Court agents, are a totally different level of professionalism. They have substantially more authority, and are near impossible to deflect from a genuine claim but won't pursue you once the situation becomes clear. Some debt collectors can be far more pushy, and aggressive.

    Don't ignore them, but do push back the correct wsy.
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    Re: Lot's of mail from past owner to our house

    I have to wonder if the previous occupant has been the victim of identity theft if accounts are being opened in their name at the old address. It would seem really odd to have parcels delivered to an old address as it is only letters these days that turn up via the postman and get redirected (I was told it is actually your postman that handles the redirect).

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    Re: Lot's of mail from past owner to our house

    Quote Originally Posted by neonplanet40 View Post
    We have been doing this (writing on the letters and reposting). I have a friend at Royal mail who said they are rarely sent back though.
    Last year I moved home and I was staggered by the catalogue/ mail order the previous owners had signed up to. I returned every one with No Longer at address and one year later, we have very very few of those product magazines anymore. So it does work.

    But official/finance/HMRC/Amazon paid for items -the worrying level of stupid became apparent on these when a few ordered items arrived, and we rejected them and then more arrived, and we gave them to a neighbour who knows the previous owners, who DID pass them on and then more ordered items arrived. Rampant stupid. No scam, no ID fraud... just lazy and didn't bother changing all their addresses in the Amazon and Ebay accounts. When yet more arrived I rejected those.

    DVLA, and car finance early settlements arrived- after 5 months I began opening all post, having in my opinion gone above and beyond the polite/helpful... and started calling the companies and in one case is was a debt collector,. so that was a worthy call to make.

    Took time to sort, but it all worked. My letter box is now empty most days

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    Re: Lot's of mail from past owner to our house

    This is common unfortunately, particularly among outgoing tenants.

    In my previous place I had a letter from Halifax addressed to Mr J KVMJKV. So I called them up and asked what checks they do on identity of people before opening bank accounts. Then I asked have you ever seen a surname like this? It's most likely so they can apply for a credit card.

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