Short Term Guest makes a change of address to my house

Had a guest who is staying for 4 weeks, 1 week in, and i seen a change of address done by him in the mailbox of the house.

Is this a red flag? Especially that he never asked, and he will be leaving in 3 weeks?

I have often dealt with getting a parent the required paperwork to register their child up for school. In Los Angeles, a change of address filed with the post office is not sufficient. The schools here require an original utility bill, which cannot be a phone bill, or a property tax bill.

Your explanations of the issues that you are having aren’t really very clear. They are a bit cryptic and lack full amounts of information. I don’t believe that a guest should change the name on a mailbox without requesting that change. It sounds like your guest might hope that she/he can stay for a longer period which may not be in your best interest.

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Thanks Ellen, will bare that in mind.

Thanks Tucker, and personally I just go 30 days as a max for long term guests, as a result of some issues that we have run into.

He means that the guest put a post office issued post card that tells the P.O. to deliver his mail to a new address. In this case his mail will come to this Airbnb house.

@J_Wang Maybe that is what it means. As I mentioned, it really isn’t clear at all what has happened. How would he see that a change of address card has been filled out at the post office? Doesn’t really matter… I would not be comfortable with a guest having mail delivered to my address. And that is assuming that we are talking about the USA. I have no idea what establishes residency in other locales.

Lock the mailbox. Hold all the mail. Deny its existence. Return all the mail to sender after the guest leaves.

Fortunately I don’t need to, as mail just won’t get delivered here if you’re not the registered person, and it requires the cooperation of the building manager to make it so. One guest asked for the full address at booking so that he could send mail to himself - I told him it won’t work and to use Post Restante at the local post office. It worked out fine.

You get a “change of address” card at the P.O., fill it out and give it to the P.O. or else put it in the mailbox for the carrier to pick up.

I’ve gotten mail delivered for guests that have been long gone. I get rental applications from property management companies. Sometimes I help foreign students look for apartments, which is an arduous process, at least here in SoCal :slight_smile:

Helpful Info, Thanks to All

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Never allow guests to receive mail at your house! If there is contraband guess who will be held responsible!


Never thought of that.

Me either. I’m a pretty good judge of character. Of all the dozens of people who’ve stayed here, I don’t think any of them would ever engage in mail fraud. But ya never know!

  1. A person cannot be held responsible for another’s crimes by virtue of living at same address or association, a basic principle of law
  2. You can get into serious trouble for disposing of another’s persons mail
  3. If you do not want a person to have their mail redirected, put it in your house rules ‘no deliveries to address including mail’ etc. it is quite understand that a longer staying guest might think it’s ok to get their mail, albeit rude not to ask. It doesn’t mean they are dodgy.

I generally allow no mail and definitely no packages or let people register for any government service at my address but if they need a new bank card due to an emergency I have allowed this.

Decide what’s ok for you & communicate this in advance to avoid any miscommunication. But don’t destroy someone’s previous mail! That’s really poor advice & very uncool. At least ‘return to sender it’.

Thanks Emily, alot of good advice!

Lots of good points raised. I haven’t had this issue (yet!), but may post it in my guest book and strictly enforce the policy.

Does anyone have an alternative I could offer my guests? When traveling I have had many things mailed to me at the hotel, so I can see where it would be a need for the guest.

As far as not being legally liable, if a guest received something illegal at my home, I wouldn’t be as concerned with the outcome as I would the incredible hassle. I’d still be included in the legal action, so would have to spend time and money representing myself. I have been through this before as a condo manager and it was very hard on me emotionally, financially and took many hours of my time.

I was going to say, I never had anything delivered while traveling, but now I remember that yes I did. I asked the property manager how this might work, and he had me send it to his office with his name on the label. I offered to pay a bit for this convenience, but he refused additional payment.

Another protection that I believe can be helpful is, if you agree to having mail delivered, that it must be addressed to Guest Fiona, c/o Owner Sandy. c/o addresses have always been about people temporarily visiting or staying at an address.

I don’t think having mail addressed a certain way will protect you. Check with a postmaster. To me it’s one of those things that presents risks and gives no benefit to the host.

It used to mean officially that you were having mail delivered to a location that was not your primary residence. I can’t find any reference to this on the USPS website anymore, so who knows?

Can you still have mail held at any post office you want? Used to be, you could map your trip, and just have stuff delivered along the way by using General Delivery plus the zip code.

Not as easily. I think since 911 rules have been changed. I asked recently at my local post office and they replied that you could still do it but only with the signed approval of the postmaster and a form and everything that you have to fill out.

Really, for guests staying a short time, it’s not necessary. They can always use a local Mailbox etc place at a fee.

If it’s for longer guests, well those aren’t guests anymore, they are TENANTS.
And tenants should be able to get mail at your house since that is their residence now. :smile: