The Landlord Protection Agency  
Main Menu, Landlord Protection Agency homepage Membership With The Landlord Protection Agency Free Landlord Services Member Services  

PO Box - Landlord Forum thread 145258

Free Landlord Newsletter

Prospect Card

FREE BONUS Forms Disk for
2 -5 year LPA Members


PO Box by Anton (pa) on September 24, 2007 @06:18

There were few discussions about using PO Box to collect rent thus preventing the tenants know the land lord's home address.

I found using PO Box does not necessarily deter tenants knowing where you live. I checked my name in and found the ZABA gave out my full name, addresses of my home and certain rental properties that I own, current telephone number(land line), my former house address and much to my surprise the month and year of birth. All these informations were absolutely correct. I also found the same information about my spouse as well and other family members.

The tenant can very well go to the county office and look up the property address and get the folio number and get the owner's address. [We did this when we bought a property from a owner selling by themselves without the realtor. We could find the price paid, when bought and the taxes paid in full or not].

The only argument in favor of the PO Box is that it will make it difficult to find the address. But sitting at home one can access ZABA as well as county records. Any one who can use internet and wants to screw up the land lord will definitely do so. There are lots of computer users who find apt using Craigslist.

So you tell me what good is the PO Box except added cost ?

PS: Please go to ZABASearch and put in your name and see for yourself before responding to this post. Then you will agree with me. No offence to the PO Box users for convenience. Thanks.

[ Reply ] [ Return to forum ]

Re: PO Box by Anonymous on September 24, 2007 @08:46 [ Reply ]
Thank you. I will follow your instructions.
If zaba don't work I will try the county office.
All I got from my landlord is a PO box. He don't want me to know where hie live I guess.

    Re: PO Box by Keith (GA) on February 3, 2014 @18:42
Re: PO Box by Monty Scott (CA) on September 24, 2007 @09:23 [ Reply ]
You may be right in your case. But if you own multiple rentals, it is more professional to NOT have the rents AND the tenants coming to your home with questions, complaints, confrontations and wanting to be your drinking buddy.
    Re: PO Box by Anonymous on September 24, 2007 @09:27
      Re: PO Box by Monty Scott on September 24, 2007 @09:31
Re: PO Box by Anonymous on September 24, 2007 @09:25 [ Reply ]
In some states it is illegal not to disclose this. If you check your state statutes, many say that you are required to give this info to the tenant. (A real address, not a PO box number). A place where legal notices can be served. You can't serve legal notices to a P.O. box. In certain states, the lease becomes void if you fail to disclose this info. In a couple places, you must even refund all of their deposit to them if you don't comply.

And, with the facts you stated above, it seems useless. Any possibly uninformed with an internet connection can log onto any number of websites (zabasearch, the county auditor, the county tax assessor, reverse phone look up, etc.) and find out this info. They can find out when you bought your home, who from, how much you paid, who holds your mortgage, what major improvements have been made to it, etc. You can even call some phone companies with the number and they will tell you the address. They can look up your criminal and civil court histories as easily as you check theirs. This is all public information. So I, like you, see a P.O. box as a useless and unnecessary added cost.

All my tenants know exactly where I live. It's written directly in the lease. I even set up an office at the front of my house for them to come pay the rent, sign leases and forms, and turn in their keys. In 15 yrs, I have never had a problem with this. If you are fair but firm and the tenant knows you mean business, they won't do anything with the information.

    Re: PO Box by Nicholas (NJ) on September 24, 2007 @09:33
      Re: PO Box by Anonymous on September 24, 2007 @22:30
    Re: PO Box by Audrey (South Carolina) on September 24, 2007 @10:05
Re: PO Box by CTLANDLORD (ct ) on September 24, 2007 @10:20 [ Reply ]
consider also the high percentage of tenants who have addiction or mental health issues. I would feel like a target without the po box.
sometimes you get your mailfaste with the po bx but inmy case it is slower.
Re: PO Box by Anonymous on September 24, 2007 @10:50 [ Reply ]
Addresses are public knowledge. Add the internet, and it's pretty much impossible for someone not to be able to find your address and a lot of other personal information!

There is nothing wrong with having a P.O. Box but I think it's wise not to rent to people whom you fear having your home address ;)

    Re: PO Box by JAke in Tallahassee on September 24, 2007 @11:16
Re: PO Box by Anonymous on September 24, 2007 @15:15 [ Reply ]
PO Box (by OrEGone [OR]) Posted on: Sep 23, 2007 8:05 PM
Message: It doesn't stop them. But it does seem to give them a reason to not come to your house.



PO Box (by blue [OH]) Posted on: Sep 23, 2007 8:09 PM
Message: there's a dozen other ways to find someones address, half of which were discussed in those forums.

but for .15 a day you decrease the chance of a tenant "dropping off the rent when your kids answer the door"...........or whatever.

it seems you missed the point of those discussions. --


PO Box (by Drew [CO]) Posted on: Sep 23, 2007 8:30 PM
Message: Where there is a will, there is a way. So, if a tenant is hell bent at finding out where you live, they will find out.

But does that mean you want to just hand that information out? If you give them your physical address, there is an "implied" permission to "use" it. "Well if you didn't want me to go there, you shouldn't have given it to me."

I don't think most tenants are going to take the steps to find out where you live. In my case, most don't even seem to use the Internet, let alone be savvy w/it. I ask everyone b/c it is an easy way for people to email maintenance requests... Out of my 20 tenants, 3 utilize the Internet. All the others state they don't have/use it.

If you have 1 rental and you don't think you can justify a PO Box, then that's fine. But a friend of mine had 1 rental (and chose against PO Box) and nearly threw up when her doorbell rang and her tenant was standing there check in hand.

My preference, hands down is PO Box. Plus we have all bills and credit card statements mailed there for safety. (we do not have locked mail box) --


PO Box (by ALDO [WI]) Posted on: Sep 23, 2007 10:13 PM
Message: If someone wants to find you, they're gonna do it. It's just that simple. However...

zabasearch offers the info you mention, but that info is of little value unless you know what you're looking for. As a landlord, you're looking for any possible previous address for an applicant. A tenant trying to find you will find all past and present addresses for you and any properties you've ever owned in recorded history with the likely exception of a recent address. I've been in my new home for 15 months and they still show me at my former home. --


PO Box (by rise2it [VA]) Posted on: Sep 24, 2007 12:08 AM
Message: If someone wants to find you bad enough, they will. My main reason:

It's in the lease/rental agreements - payment by money order to PO Box, with the postmark date considered the date payment was made.

I don't want their cash to have to keep up with. I don't want them expecting me to pick it up, or trying to chase me down to give it to me.

I don't chase money. --


PO Box (by proofstyle [PA]) Posted on: Sep 24, 2007 2:59 AM
Message: Access limited by a lock.

UPS,etc can't leave it on the step.

Mailing address is the same small community as my bank. (Not my residence)

Children and elderly parents are not involved.



PO Box (by Lynx [GA]) Posted on: Sep 24, 2007 3:25 AM
Message: I used to use a PO Box and like the idea of privacy. However, it became a problem because I occasionally had a sweet-talking, lying tenant. The check was always in the mail. That took too many trips to the PO to check on her rent. Otherwise, I would not know if it was really there. Of course, it wasn't. Finally I gave up on the PO Box and opted in favor of the rent delivered to my home address. Looks like I'm going to have to get rid of the tenant. But I'm still not sure I can avoid this hassle if I go back to the PO Box. Also, if I had a furious tenant show up at my door, I'm sure I would wish I were still using the PO Box. Still waffling on this issue. --


PO Box (by tyler [NC]) Posted on: Sep 24, 2007 4:36 AM
Message: there is no 100% guarantee in anything in life is there???

do you buy insurance?

hmmmm... --


PO Box (by Barbara [VA]) Posted on: Sep 24, 2007 5:11 AM
Message: Zabasearch has it all wrong on me. Old outdated information. Yep, if someone really wants to find someone they can. Any halfways intelligent person knows that.

Aside from making it difficult for me to be found by tenants, the PO box also gives me a safe secure place for my mail/rent payments. I can go out of town for the weekend and not worry about getting someone to grab my mail. No problems with tenants putting it in my mail box and it suddently disappears. Small price to pay for a little peace of mind. --


PO Box (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Sep 24, 2007 5:48 AM
Message: It isn't as much about them being able to determine your home address -- as it is about them trying to get the rent to you. If you give them a physical address to mail it to, then you're going to find tenants that decide to drive up to try to HAND it to you. If you give them a POBox, they won't bother doing that.

Sure, there are a handful that will try to track you down -- but that is rare.

It is more the mental aspect of it. If you give them a POBox, then they usually won't bother trying to BRING the rent to you. They will MAIL it.

- John...



PO Box (by DavidB [FL]) Posted on: Sep 24, 2007 6:11 AM
Message: Anon, even as slow an amature as I am, I can find a pretty decent history on anyone utilizing free website resources and tying things together. Within the next 3 to 5 years, there won't be any hiding anything from anyone. As the internet matures, anonymity will deminish.

This is good and bad but unstoppable. --


PO Box (by Brad [MO]) Posted on: Sep 24, 2007 6:19 AM
Message: In a long-ago other life I was a criminal investigator and made enemies of some very dangerous characters. You can hide pretty well if you work at it.

The home phone is issued under the combined names of two dogs we used to have. The fax number at home is only a no-name "kids phone" offshoot of the same billing but a different number. The bill comes to the P.O. Box. I used the fax number outgoing with a *67 speed loaded. If the other caller *69's, they get a screaming fax. At the phone company, only the Operations Dept would have the real address, far beyond the capacity of a civilian to get.

The ad's carry a Mobilfone voice mail I've had since 1983. If you really want to get under the radar phone-wise, get a free voice mail telephone number from NetZero (DOT) net. This is especially helpful for out of state properties where you want a local area code in your ads. But those people don't ask anything, and your ID is truly hidden.

But, the post is about Post Office Boxes. In my world, everything goes to the PO Box and this includes the mailing address for all properties owned. I get a little help from the county where my home is....this public record has everything about the house, but the owner's name, for security reasons, is not released. But even if it was, I would get an out of state LLC and register the house to it. About the only document that has the connection between name and true address is the Passport. Even the Concealed Carry Permit has the office address.

If someone would become insistent about the physical address, and you really want what they have, give them the physical address of the post office. You'll get a little nasty-gram from the post office in your box, but it doesn't come up much, and they won't do anything about it if you don't abuse it.

Volumes can be written about getting under the radar, but I might recommend an expert in the field. "How to be Invisible by" J.J. Luna, an excellent work on this subject.



PO Box (by Ally [NJ]) Posted on: Sep 24, 2007 6:43 AM
Message: I guess I am really lucky. I don't have any tenants that I would not want to know where I live. They bring their checks to my home to the locking mailbox. If someone has cash I go get it. All properties are within three blocks to the house. These were my Dad's buildings and I have inherited them after working on them for fourteen years. The tenants were all selected by me except one. --


PO Box (by billy button [MA]) Posted on: Sep 24, 2007 7:18 AM
Message: i have 6 and havent had any address problems.cross my fingers.hope wont.if i had 50 or 100 like some of u movers and shakers it would be different.there are certainly some bad guys out there who would kill u for your money or to pay u back for something.zabasearch has too damn much info in my opinion.half of the stuff they have on me is wrong but still... --


PO Box (by Anon [PA]) Posted on: Sep 24, 2007 7:20 AM
Message: To Brad(MO)

"I get a little help from the county where my home is....this public record has everything about the house, but the owner's name, for security reasons, is not released".

Brad, I do not have the luxury of getting the help from the county.

I am glad Lynx(GA) and Ally(NJ) have reservations about PO Box. Thanks. --


PO Box (by JFD [IL]) Posted on: Sep 24, 2007 7:36 AM
Message: I live in one of our (2)4 unit buildings.

The other 4 unit is across the street.

Who here,wants to pay for my P.O.Box?

Kind of a stupid charade.

I know how to handle a gun and swing a Louisville Slugger! --


PO Box (by Brad [MO]) Posted on: Sep 24, 2007 7:37 AM
Message: Anon, sorry about the poor setup in your town. Fortunately, the county where the rentals are, does show the owner and his/her address, but even there, a PO Box is ok. They just want an address to send the tax bill.

But here again, Luna can help you. He has a whole chapter on setting up a mail drop address at little or no expense. --


PO Box (by GB [GA]) Posted on: Sep 24, 2007 8:28 AM
Message: Perhaps there are some reasons for not having a PO Box, but none of them apply to me. I have used my same box for 20 years and would have it no other way.

As to finding out where someone lives, that's pretty simple. That's not the reason to have a po box. --


PO Box (by Dan [MA]) Posted on: Sep 24, 2007 11:30 AM
Message: A PO box is only one piece of the puzzle. It doesn't make you truly invisible, but it is a start. In addition to that, you should have an unlisted phone number. Any numbers you do use for business should omit your address from the phone book. You should own your property under entity names which are registered to your PO box and have your attorney's address listed for process servers. The list goes on, but yes just having a PO box is not enough. A good book on the topic is "How to be Invisible" by J.J. Luna. --

Re: PO Box by xxx on September 24, 2007 @15:54 [ Reply ]
did this, but had to take a few extra steps:

1) changed address for rentals at property tax office to P.O. Box

2) made home phone number unlisted

3) only use cell phone for business, prepaid plan, no way to know who's it is (without a court order)

4) registered rentals in spouse's name, google hits on her name : 0

there are still ways to get my name and home address that I will not get into here, but you have to be pretty sophisticated to do so

Re: PO Box by Anonymous (NC) on September 24, 2007 @17:54 [ Reply ]
I used to give my home address to tenants to they could MAIL the rent. But then they started showing up on my doorstep, usually quite late on the fifth of the month to avoid the late fee.

Then one fool showed up at three in the morning and pounded on my door because he locked himself out. And I've had at least three different parents show up on my doorstep (college rentals) trying to bluff or bluster a way out of their kid's lease.

Although I do list my home address on the lease at the very end, I'm very happy with my P.O. Box. And very distressed that so much information about me is so easily obtained!

    Re: PO Box by Wondering (FL) on December 10, 2008 @08:13
Re: PO Box by Anonymous on September 24, 2007 @22:42 [ Reply ]
Sorry, but you folks that are so worried about tenants showing up at your door really need to do a much better job of screening. Screen out those nuts and you don't have that problem. For those that show up at your door because they locked themselves out, you should have put a lock out clause in the lease. If they lock themselves out and come to me to get in, they better bring $50. For those that show up to pay the rent after hours, put a lock box out front. I've never had a tenant bother me yet in almost 20 years.
    Re: PO Box by Anonymous on September 25, 2007 @14:32
      Re: PO Box by Anonymous on September 25, 2007 @22:30
    Re: PO Box by xxx on September 26, 2007 @10:18
      Re: PO Box by Audrey (South Carolina) on September 26, 2007 @16:45

Log in

Rentals Available
Rentals Wanted
Realty Brokers
Landlord Articles
Tips & Advice
Tenant Histories

Other Areas
Q&A Forum
Free Forms
Essential Forms
Landlord Tenant Law
Join Now
Credit Reports
About Us
Site Help

Contact The LPA

© 2000-2019 The Landlord Protection Agency, Inc.

If you enjoy The LPA, Please
like us on Facebook The LPA on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter The LPA on Twitter
+1 us on Google