Mail forwarding when house is rented out

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Well-known member
Oct 9, 2006
Home is Ohio but here for now (Denver)
I know someone must have run into this problem so I'm asking...How can I have j ust my mail  forwarded when I'm renting my house out to someone else?  I have a friend who will be willing to get my mail from the post office box for a while but as someone said going back and forth to the post office might get old real fast.  I'm looking for alternatives.  Any suggestions?
Thanks in advance.
If you expect to return to the house "someday", DO NOT have your mail forwarded to a mail forwarder like the UPS Store etc.  It is a pain to get it back to the house if you can even get the P O to do it.  The hold for pickup is about the best I know of although there may be others.  Check with the P O before you do anything.
We use the UPS mail service. They will forward the mail to where ever we are, upon request. Also, some Post Offices will forward mail for 6 months, as suggested check with them. We have a few PO boxes and some will forward the mail and others not........
I found the USPS has a "Vacation Forward" service, Looks like every so many days (Once a week) they forward whatever has come to you for a flat rate,  I'm looking into it but would like to hear more about it from you Woodartist if you care to tell us.

I just found out about it a couple of days ago and of course the P.O. was out of handouts on it.
The P.O. will forward first class mail on a temporary basis for up to six months. Media such as magazines will be forwarded for the first two months of that period and discarded thereafter.  If you need more than six months of forwarding, you have to file a permanent change of address. With that, they will forward first class mail up to one year (same shorter limit on media) as with temp forwarding). After a year you are out of luck on post office forwarding (they will just throw the stuff away), so in that year you have to make other arrangements and notify the senders of your new address (e.g. a UPS store mail drop, PO Box, FMCA or Escapees mail forwarding service, a friend's house, whatever).

The post office will also hold mail temporarily, but "hold" means keep at the post office until delivery is resumed to the intended address.  I believe the local postmaster has discretion on how long they will hold mail, but it is generally measured in weeks rather than months.

Your best bet short term is to have your mail forwarded direct to the friend's address. If the place is to be rented long term, get an alternate address and start sending out change of address forms.
Roamer kind of summed it up. I'd like to add if you get a PO Box in a very small town, the Post Office will be a lot more "flexible" than larger towns/cities ;)
The Post Offiice has a relatively new program that is different from the old forwarding service.
the following info is on the USPS web site.
You can now get a total of 12 months forwarding and they don't indicate that only first class will will be forwarded _ although that might still be the case. I would check wthe post office.
This is what I think John was talking about.

Temporary Move
If you plan to move back to your old address in less than six months, please indicate the date when you want us to stop forwarding mail to the temporary new address. You can request forwarding your mail to your temporary address for a maximum of six months and a minimum of two weeks. However, if your temporary move is longer, you can extend your temporary forwarding at the end of six months. The total forwarding time cannot exceed 12 months.

If you are not sure when you will return, please indicate your best estimate. In any case, if this date should change, be sure to notify the local post office for your old address of the new date to stop forwarding your mail.

Please note that if you plan to move to this new address for less than six months and then to a different address (not the one that you are moving from), do not check the Temporary box or provide a stop forwarding date. You will simply need to fill out another Change of Address request at that time.

When we started out we went away for months at a time and did a temp forwarding and we used FMCA for forwarding (Great), and never had a problem getting mail back at house.  We now just use FMCA forwarding full time and have a package sent out when we need.  FMCA works great.  We used a different forwarding when on the boat and they were always losing our mail and sending packages to diffrent locations than we asked.  Go figure.  We have friends that travel PT and they use the post office deal which seems to work well for them and they have had no problems getting it back to house when needed, of course they do live in a smaller town.
I see different USPS policies, depending on the location of them. Box rental fees are even different as well as General Delivery. So I thin the local Postmaster has some latitude in what they do. John is right though, use a mai forwarding service. We have one ( UPS) that works well for our important resident base stuff. However we also have a few PO Boxes that are used for business stuff....
I see different USPS policies, depending on the location of them.

I don't think you will find any difference in forwarding policies - they are set by headquarters and increasingly forwarding is handled by the regional sorting facilities - the local PO may not even see the mail to be forwarded.  Of course, in a very small PO the postmaster may do the "forwarding" personally and not even file the official form, but the PO apparently is actively cracking down on this sort of thing.  IMy local postmaster says "they" are making a big deal of it and he has no say any more. "They" want all forwarding controlled at the sorting facility, so that mail doesn't get sent to a local PO, then sent back with a forwarding label attached for re-sorting and re-delivery. Supposedly its more efficient this way.

PO Box rentals, however,  are very much a local affair. So are "hold" and "General Delivery" rules, though there are some broad directives from headquarters on that as well.
Apples and Oranges? I was referring to PO Boxes and mail forwarding only. Don't have any experience with regular addresses, since we haven't had one for many, many years :D It does make sense for efficiency to do the forwarding and such at the sorting facilities. Glad to see them doing that. FYI, the PO's that we deal with don't have computers, and still use the old analog scales. Kind of like it that way, but I'm sure they will eventually be beaten into the modern era ::)
Thanks everyone!  I really appreciate the input.  I'm thinking I'll let my friend do it for about 6 months then swith to a forwarding service.  By then I will have a much better idea of the differerent options.  Thanks for the eye openers.
Pam :eek:
I have an additional issue with mail collection in that I need to maintain my address in Illinois for tax reasons.  Before I left Chicago,  I obtained  a Mailboxes street address.  It has since become a UPS Store.  The people running the business are wonderful and have done such a nice job.  It's a whole lot more expensive than Escapees, I think, in part, because mail forwarding is not the focus of UPS Store's business.   


Latest posts

Members online

Forum statistics

Latest member
Top Bottom