How do you stop unwanted letters for someone not living at our address?

We have been receiving letters to our address, but for someone we don't know, for more than five years. We have had "enforcement officers?" knocking at the door - who have accepted we are not the named person after showing our passports.  The letters have been from one company and then another - based on the return address.  We have chosen never to open the letters. I have currently emailed the latest two companies hoping their "customer services" will help.  Is their anything we can do to stop our address being used?  Does anyone have any advice for us in resolving this situation? Thank you.
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  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,254
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    Can you stop this? No.  You have the choice of simply binning things or your can be proactive about it, as you have been, returning to sender.  You might be a bit better in slowing the flow if you mark the returned letters as "Deceased".  

    fyi - you should never need to show ID to a debt collector.  They are supposed to take your word for it that you are not the droid they are looking for.  And certainly never let them in the house, even if it's blowing a blizzard outside.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • You should not open the letters, it's a criminal offence to open someone else's mail. Mark the letters clearly "NOT KNOWN AT THIS ADDRESS - RETURN TO SENDER" or similar and drop them into the post box.  Persevere, it may take a while but eventually the message should get through.
  • powerful_Rogue
    powerful_Rogue Posts: 7,465
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    edited 4 December 2023 at 5:50PM
    You should not open the letters, it's a criminal offence to open someone else's mail. Mark the letters clearly "NOT KNOWN AT THIS ADDRESS - RETURN TO SENDER" or similar and drop them into the post box.  Persevere, it may take a while but eventually the message should get through.

    Absoutely not true. The law states
    A person commits an offence if, intending to act to a person's detriment and without reasonable excuse, they open a postal packet which they know or reasonably suspects has been incorrectly delivered to them.

  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,386
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    We have been receiving letters to our address, but for someone we don't know, for more than five years. We have had "enforcement officers?" knocking at the door - who have accepted we are not the named person after showing our passports.  The letters have been from one company and then another - based on the return address.  We have chosen never to open the letters. I have currently emailed the latest two companies hoping their "customer services" will help.  Is their anything we can do to stop our address being used?  Does anyone have any advice for us in resolving this situation? Thank you.
    The two things you can do are either bin the letters or return them all as "NOT KNOWN AT THIS ADDRESS".

    Is the name a former tenant at the property?

    Personally, I would not make contact with the senders through e-mail or any other means that mean they can get my details.

    Ignore the comments from others about opening post addressed to others as being illegal.
  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 29,825
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    Ignore the comments from others about opening post addressed to others as being illegal.
    I can't speak for anyone else, but, for the avoidance of doubt, I wasn't advocating opening the post and was simply refuting the oft-spouted nonsense about the alleged illegality of doing so!
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,293
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    eskbanker said:
    You should not open the letters, it's a criminal offence to open someone else's mail...
    No it isn't, that's a recurring urban myth!

    The relevant provision of the Postal Services Act 2000 actually states that "A person commits an offence if, intending to act to a person’s detriment and without reasonable excuse, he opens a postal packet which he knows or reasonably suspects has been incorrectly delivered to him".

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/26/section/84
    And note that if the postie has put it through the correct door, then it hasn't been "incorrectly delivered" as defined in that Act - so you don't even need to start worrying about reasonable excuses etc. It's about things e.g. which should have been delivered to your neighbour.
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 13,570
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    We have been receiving letters to our address, but for someone we don't know, for more than five years. We have had "enforcement officers?" knocking at the door - who have accepted we are not the named person after showing our passports.  The letters have been from one company and then another - based on the return address.  We have chosen never to open the letters. I have currently emailed the latest two companies hoping their "customer services" will help.  Is their anything we can do to stop our address being used?  Does anyone have any advice for us in resolving this situation? Thank you.
    No company will take any notice of a random email from a 3rd party. 

    As above either bin, or return not known at this address. 
    Life in the slow lane
  • Slinky
    Slinky Posts: 9,784
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    If it's been going on for 5 years I'd open the letter and call the company. B*gger the legality or not of doing so. You can keep sending them back, but isn't a definition of insanity keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result?

    I had mail for our former tenant, and a hand delivered note from a bailiff. I called and spoke to them and they stopped chasing him at our address.


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