Guest checking the mailbox at whole house rental

My Ring doorbell camera has been going off like mad lately (deer keep setting it off, cars, even the sunrise this week for some reason), so I’ve been messing with the sensitivity settings, and therefore “answering” motion alerts more often than I normally would with a guest staying in my house. (Usually, I just check the cameras to verify number of guests at check-in.) I noticed while watching one of the videos that my guest was checking the mailbox and actually walked back into the house with mail in their hand. I have no idea if they are putting the mail in a pile for me in the house or if they are keeping whatever they find. It’s mostly junk mail going to that address, so it’s not a huge deal, but it’s still really bugging me, especially since the guest asked if they could get deliveries (month-long stay), and I specifically said an occasional package was fine, but not regular USPS mail as that would make it really confusing for the mailman (not to mention completely illegal to be checking someone else’s mailbox.)

So (1), would this bother you? And (2), if so, how do you address it with guest? Like, “Hi, I just happened to be watching you on the security camera and noticed you checking my mail.” Creepy much? ugh. Guest still has more than 2 weeks left on their stay, so I don’t know if I want to address it now or just wait until they leave and hope they left a pile of mail for me in the house.

MAYBE you should consider turning the cameras off for the next 2 weeks, since you mention that you dont usually use them except to verify # of guests at checkin.
Turn them back on the morning guest is scheduled to depart.


You think that me monitoring my security cameras is the problem here, not the guest checking my mail??


:laughing: I laughed at that response, too, georgygirl!

I totally empathise with your nosy (possibly rule-flouting) tenant conundrum, but I can’t think of a way to address the problem that doesn’t require you to either: A) fess up to your “Ring-stalking” ways :wink:; or B) spin a yarn so long that it could come back to strangle you. (Or at least make you look like the nutty one - which is almost as bad.) I hope someone around here has a clever fix for you!

BTW: My Ring doorbell camera’s motion detection had become absurdly sensitive in the last few weeks. I keep readjusting the settings, to no avail. I wonder if something is up…

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I ask my guests to take mail from my mail box when I am not there and put it in safe place .
Your guests also said they will receive occasional packages . A month long stay is quite a long time If they expect some mail to not receive it. People who go on vacation ussualy forward their mails. Ussualy though it’s PO box, but if you agreed for them to receive it at your address that this is what they probably doing , getting their mail.

I can’t see any safe way for you to ask them about mail. It’s 2 more weeks and then they will be gone.
If this and. Issue for you next time just don’t let them.

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If you are so concerned have your mail sent to a Post Office box during guests stay, for a long stay dictating or excessive monitoring how much mail someone receives feels strange.

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If I were a guest, it would creep me out that the host can see me when I’m outside. I agree with the other poster, turn off the cameras during their stay. I personally would not worry about the mail since it’s junk mail. Some people like getting the mail, especially if they’re smokers. Gives them an excuse to light up a cigarette.

Your mistake was agreeing that the Guest could receive “an occasional package”.

What should you do? How about going around for a visit. "Hi Guest, thought I’d drop by to meet you and see how things are going. BTW, did you check the mailbox by any chance? "


If the host says in the listing there is a security camera, no guest should be “creeped out” that it’s actually used! If guests don’t want to stay in a place made safer by OUTDOOR security cameras, then they should stay somewhere else.


Get a locking mailbox! And no, you should never allow package deliveries or mail at your address (and have to deal with their mail forever after). Some hosts have found out the hard way that guests were receiving drug shipments…


Agreed. I thought all mailboxes locked? Every one I’ve ever had has done. So that’s the answer. Job done.

As for the current guests, go round there ‘to see if you have any questions or if there’s anything they need’ and say ‘I just checked our mailbox and it’s empty. Obviously it’s out of bounds for guests but I wondered if you’d seen the mailman arrive? We usually get a lot of mail’.

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Funny how we all assume things are everywhere like we are used to in our hometown/country/family, etc. Here in my town all older mailboxes are not locked and the lettercarrier still brings the mail to the box by the front door. In the new neighborhoods there are banks of metal boxes that lock. I assume that in the future everyone will have those. I’ll miss saying hi to the letter carrier that comes to the door and comments on the pups, etc.

Would you be creeped out at a listing where the host lived and had windows?

We have now had multiple threads where people express dismay and surprise about cameras. It’s completely amazing to me that people don’t realize how much they are being watched all the time. Did you see the story about Chris Watts (who killed his wife and daughter in CO) finding out his neighbor had video of him backing his truck into the garage where he loaded up their bodies?

Anyway, people need to realize that there is no such thing as privacy outside.


I often talk to ours and I’ve told him that if ever he brings me a notification that I’ve won millions on the lottery, I’ll split it with him.

No luck yet. :thinking:


Yes this :point_up_2:t4::point_up_2:t4::point_up_2:t4::point_up_2:t4::point_up_2:t4::point_up_2:t4::point_up_2:t4:

I would personally freak out if I got a message as you described. One would easily think, I he has seen this, how many other times has he used the surveillance camera?
I’d just wait and get the pile when they leave and not mention the camera :slight_smile:

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That is strange. Something is definitely up! Mine was fine until the last couple weeks, and now every single car driving by sets it off. I’ve adjusted and adjusted the sensitivity, and it hasn’t helped much yet.

Yeah, I know… I’m not very good at saying no.

I’ve been thinking about this response, and it’s not so much that I’m concerned about losing my (likely junk) mail, it’s that the guest feels entitled enough to be checking someone else’s mailbox, so what other things might they be doing in my house? They seem like nice people, but I was just really surprised by seeing this. I think most people (especially older, as these guests) are aware that it’s illegal to open/check a mailbox that doesn’t belong to you.

My guess is that they are checking it for their mail. Once you told them getting some packages there was okay, that gave them the green light they needed. Or maybe not. They probably would have used your address regardless of what you said. This is under the category “entitled guest = I know what your rule said but it doesn’t apply to me because _______.”


I’m sure that’s what they are doing, but I was very clear that I didn’t want them getting mail there. I said that a UPS or Fedex package would be fine, but no USPS mail.

Just another case of “can’t control what the guest does, only your response.” You can wait until the end, you could go by to get the mail and when there is none there, contact the guest and say “I come by weekly to pick up the mail…” I think a locking mailbox is a great idea for a remote host.


I rent out an entire house, 95% of the cupboards and drawers are empty, yet every clean I can tell that most of them have been opened… would love to know what they are looking for or are they just sticky beaks. Could not rent out my home because of this!