Important mail for old tenant - what to do?

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    Important mail for old tenant - what to do?

    What would the experienced landlords here advise?

    ​​​​​​New tenants have advised that an official looking letter arrived for the old tenant. So they opened it. It's a court order for unpaid traffic fines. They have asked me to forward on to the old tenant.

    Should I forward on? And potentially risk the old tenant getting shirty about the fact someone opened their mail (which I believe is illegal)?

    Advise new tenant to seal the envelope and return to sender?

    Or do nothing. (Which will probably eventually result in bailiffs arriving at the property looking for the old tenants. Unnecessary hassle for the current tenants).

    My relationship with the old tenants soured at the end as there were issues with how they left the place and disputed the deposit deductions. So I'd be perfectly happy to see their incompetence being penalised with bailiffs. However I wouldn't want the new tenants inconvenienced.

    Any ideas?

    I believe mail is delivered to addresses, not to people.


      Originally posted by security2 View Post
      And potentially risk the old tenant getting shirty about the fact someone opened their mail (which I believe is illegal)?
      It's not illegal, once it has been delivered, unless it is opened with the intent of causing some harm.
      Some people do get shirty about it, though, but I assume they would prefer that you don't give the bailiffs their new address.


        I would deal with it with a straight bat

        - tenants opened it
        - here it is
        - I would also ring the court and the traffic dept and let them know the updated address given that you really need to be a good citizen and encourage folk to pay their fines and not leave their mess at your property.


          If ex T left without providing a PO mail redirect, it is their problem, though current Ts could return to sender, stating 'Not known at this address'.


            they opened it by accident, they didn't read it. they passed it to you. you sent it to the old tenants forwarding address - you haven't read it either, what's the problem?

            you advise new tenants to return any mail to sender as not known at this address.

            if bailiffs do arrive eventually, they just show ID and pass on new tenants address that you will of course provide them with.


              "Good" tenant I'd try to pass info on. "Bad" tenant, nah, s*d em!
              I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...


                The tenants should be advised to always write "not known at this address" and put the letter back in a post box.
                Or do whatever they want with it - but sending it to their landlord is a complete waste of time.
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


                  If it is not paid the court may well send baliffs round and then there will be a summons to court for non payment. Unpaid fines can end up with a prison sentence (though rare it happens). My advice would be to send back to the court with a note on the outside saying that this person no longer resides at this address.
                  Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me


                    When I first moved in here I used to get quite a bit of this stuff.

                    I printed off a few labels with " RETURN TO SENDER - Ex-tenant, no longer living at this address." (printed in red), stuck this over my address on the letters, and bunged them back in the post box.

                    After a couple of months it stopped coming.


                      Thanks all.

                      Completely agree with the "return to sender", that's what I do. But as the current tenant had already opened this one, it provided a predicament!

                      I've now advised him to return any future mail.

                      But I've thrown the ball back in his court about this piece of mail. He can take whatever action he sees fit.

                      Hopefully he'll take the hint and stuff it back in the envelope, tape it up and return it.


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