Regulators today gave the go-ahead for Royal Mail to press ahead with a scheme to deliver post to neighbours if people are not at home.
Ofcom said the postal group will be allowed to leave certain mail items with a neighbour, although consumers may choose to opt out of the move.
Ofcom said the scheme will reduce the need for consumers to collect items from Royal Mail delivery offices or post offices, or for items to be redelivered when addressees are not at home to receive them first time.
The decision brings Royal Mail in line with other UK postal operators who are already able to leave items with neighbours as part of their standard delivery practice.
Royal Mail received positive feedback when it trialled the scheme.
Robert Hammond of Consumer Focus said: "This is good news for consumers. Missed deliveries are an increasing inconvenience for many people and giving postmen the option to leave undeliverable post with a neighbour is one way to tackle this issue.
"This moves reflects our changing lives - more of us live alone or have entire households at work during the day and need alternative ways to receive our mail. We are also becoming a nation of internet shoppers, meaning an increase in the number of larger parcels and packages which we need to be delivered.
"Not all customers will want their mail to be left with a neighbour, but as long as the scheme is well-publicised, carefully monitored to identify potential issues and it is clear that people can opt out, we fully support this scheme."