Is Your Next-Door Neighbor Who They Say They Are?

article by Rachel Carr
May 14, 2019
When we buy a house or move to a new area, many of us have to check the safety of the building that we are moving into. But how many of us check the area for any convicted criminals that live in the neighborhood or, indeed, right next door to us. Probably very few. Yet once you have moved somewhere, there is very little you can do about your neighbors when you are there. It is only when a dishonest neighbor actually breaks the law that he or she can be arrested by the police. Up until that point, you have to suffer from the fear that your neighbor could cause harm to you, your home or your family.

In this article, we look at running background checks on prospective neighbors so that you don’t have to live with this fear indefinitely. It may sound like overkill to some, but given that neighbors are able to see our comings and goings as well as our patterns of behavior, it puts them in a far better position to take advantage of us with that knowledge. For instance, they could learn security codes to our homes, the names or our dogs and when or where our kids go to school. These are all pieces of sensitive data that can be used against us when in the wrong hands.

Running a background check means that you can protect against that.

Why You Should Run A Background Check On Your Neighbor

While we don’t like to think about neighbors taking advantage of their position, they are actually the people most likely to learn things about us that total strangers would never know. In addition to some of the information mentioned above, neighbors see the type of trash we’re throwing out and likely have access to personal sensitive data when we dispose of it.

For these reasons, it’s imperative to err on the side of caution with a complete screening of immediate neighbors. The best background check websites can provide a wealth of information about our neighbors. The type of info that can be gleaned from such a report includes work history, bankruptcies, judgments, liens, criminal history, DUIs, DWIs, sex offender registry information and the like. It would be foolhardy to avoid conducting a background check of neighbors especially when there are young children in the family.

To some, this may be erring too much on the side of caution. In fact, statistics confirm that hardly anyone makes the necessary effort to investigate their neighbor. But given that many do believe it necessary to run background checks on potential suitors, nannies or school teachers, why would you stop at neighbors? Especially given their close proximity to us with which they can easily obtain data or information regarding us that they can use for dishonest purposes. Be it robbing the house, committing some kind of fraud – or worse.  Truth be told, many sex offender crimes, criminal mischief complaints, and violent crimes take place by somebody living in the neighborhood.

Signs You Should Run a Criminal Background Check on Your Neighbor

Unknown to many people, there aren’t telltale signs that your neighbor should be investigated. You are unlikely to see your neighbor snarling at you from behind a veil or a curtain. In fact, you are unlikely to see your neighbor acting in a weird way when he is around you or your children. Those stereotypes would certainly prompt an immediate investigation, but the sociopaths who are among us almost always avoid suspicion.

Instead of looking for clues about a neighbor, simply run a background check each and every time you move and learn who your neighbors are. This way, you will learn quickly, if there are any drug dealers or sex offenders in your area. Fortunately, there are many ways to gather intel on your neighbors that don’t require much effort on your part. A simple Google search may reveal interesting facts about your neighbors on social media, the local news, or county records. Any criminal misconduct is already in the public domain, and it is freely available to you. However, a background check by a reputable company is by far the better way to go for all manner of reasons. They save you time for one, plus you can be sure that the information they provide is accurate given that they are adept at rooting out data from complicated sources.

Sadly, most of us are more likely to conduct a background search of ourselves than our neighbors. As preposterous as this sounds, it is true. Neighbors are the most likely perpetrators of crimes in the community. This is especially true of sex offender crimes, and that’s why it’s imperative that a complete screening of neighbors is conducted. Fortunately, there are many reputable companies involved in conducting background checks, including TruthFinder and Instant Checkmate.

What Makes The Best Background Check Companies

Bearing in mind that using a background check company is by far the most efficient and accurate way of checking up on your neighbors’ pasts, it is imperative to use a company that is highly capable. These are the following characteristics that you should look out for when choosing such a firm.

FCRA Compliance

When checking up on a neighbor, you won’t be opening yourself up for a lawsuit by using a background check company as you won’t be using the information found to make any hiring or financial loan making decisions. Ideally, however, that is not to say you should not want the company still to be FCRA compliance. This is because it’s a sign of the caliber of their reputation. Being FCRA compliant demonstrates they are honest and competent.


You may not need a very quick turnaround time for your background check on your neighbor, but that is not to say that your need for results is not time sensitive. The best companies will return reports quickly and in a timely fashion so that you can learn if there is anything you need to know about your neighbor as soon as possible.

Search Options

You may not know very much about your neighbor or potential neighbor at first, so you need to have a company that allows searches to be conducted with the smallest of data points. Plus, you may want to search options so that you tailor your reports to your needs. You may not want to know your neighbor’s divorce or marriage past, so the best background check companies will allow you to search for this or not, depending on your needs.


While the safety of our homes and children is obviously incredibly important, a background check has to be affordable to us. They also need to provide good value for money so that in comparison, running a Google search is not a better option.


Providing customers with accurate results is imperative for a background check company. Without them, the reports they compile are useless and a waste of time as users won’t be able to make informed decisions on inaccurate data.

Customer Service

Background searches are easy to run in the main with background check companies. That’s not to say that they are always problem free, however. Bearing this in mind, it is important to choose a company that has a responsive and reliable customer service department that provides an answer to any query when needed.

The Best Background Check Companies

The following companies are a good option for those that want to check up on the neighbors by running a search on their background and history.

#1 BeenVerified


Why we like it

BeenVerified makes light work of plowing through public government data sources that will return information regarding anyone, including a neighbor you have just met. Their reports are among the most robust and comprehensive out there, while being easy to read and digest.

Why it’s good for a background check on your neighbor

BeenVerified has a very straightforward website to follow when running a background search, which is great when you want to do a quick check on your neighbor. Plus its good to know that even though your input takes just seconds, the company itself is thorough and returns results that could keep your home and family out of danger.

#2 TruthFinder

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Why we like it

TruthFinder is a great background check company given that it makes a whole range of information upon a person so readily available. The company compiles results from a wide array of sources like the sex offender register, a person’s social media usage, telephone numbers, true birth dates and any DUIs or DWIs. Additionally, it will investigate criminal convictions or address history.

Why it’s good for a background check on your neighbor

As the company is able to find so much information upon a person from so many sources, it can give a fantastic peace of mind when those results hopefully come back all clear. Plus, they make it so easy to find that information out, and quickly too.


#3 PeopleLooker

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Why we like it

Peoplelooker really do make running a people search incredibly easy. As many of us want to take the effort out of running a search on our neighbors, this company is a fantastic option. Plus, they are thorough, highly competent and always reliable.

Why it’s good for a background check on your neighbor

Peoplelooker make sure they compile their reports by delving into all sorts of public sources. This means that they investigate and cross reference a subject’s criminal records, phone numbers, court records and any known associates or relatives that a person may want to be aware of before becoming a neighbor.

#4 Instant Checkmate

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Why we like it

Instant Checkmate is a reliable and good value for money company that only requires a few pieces of information for a search on someone. This means that if a someone has even the smallest of convictions in the past, Instant Checkmate will be able to find out this information for you.

Why it’s good for a background check on your neighbor

Given how easy Instant Checkmate make it to find any skeletons in a person’s closet, and at such a good price too, it is a good option should you want to run a background check on your neighbor. The information they provide is always relevant as well as up to date too.

4. US Search


Why we like it

US Search is a popular company to use to run a person search owing to the small number of data points that are required to complete a check. In fact, US search only needs a name, email or state that a person lives in to return a robust report on anyone.

Why it’s good for a background check on your neighbor

US Search is the ultimate way to save time when running a background check on your neighbor as the results they provide come back so quickly. It means that any fears you have regarding a person, are swiftly removed so that you can go back to living with peace of mind that you and your family are safe.

The Bottom Line

The close proximity of our neighbors should really give us cause for concern. The safety of our homes and children are at the top of all our priority lists so running a background check is a good way of ensuring that they are always secure and protected from harm’s way.