Watching the moving truck pull in, you anxiously awaited the new neighbors – would they have an infant who screamed around the clock like the tenants before, or would they have those loud, late parties like your neighbors on the other side? You were nervous, and with good reason – you’d had some pretty bad luck in this area. So when a well-built, well-groomed guy, dressed with a smile that could launch a fleet of warships pulled up in his car with a friendly wave, you instantly thought you’d found neighborly bliss. Adam said all the right things, changed light bulbs for you, and was quickly proving himself to be a neighborly gem. That image would go up in a cloud of smoke before a week had passed. Running a background check would have saved us a lot of grief.
Late Friday night, you hear a crash. You rush to the window to see Adam’s car wrapped around your front porch, billows of smoke rising from the hood. A drunken Adam stumbles out of the driver’s side to confirm that your hero is more of a zero, and certainly not what he appeared to be. You had begun to trust this guy, and had considered giving him a key to your house (for emergencies)…if only you’d done your research first.
A simple background check would have revealed Adam’s many DUI convictions, along with a history of physical and verbal abuse after binges with alcohol. But since you didn’t know all that, there was nothing stopping you from diving headlong into a trusting neighborly relationship with this guy that would end up being a total mess at best and a life-threatening situation at worst.
Neighbors affect so many aspects of your life. From the noisy tenants down the block who keep you up at all hours of the night with blaring music to the creepy hoarder who has made a safety violation of your shared driveway, bad neighbors are really bad news. They affect the value of the neighborhood, the quality of life, the serenity you feel as a parent, and the ease with which you travel through your daily routine.
What’s worse, you never know who these people are. Anyone can spin a tale, make up a background story, or cover up their past misdeeds, leaving you totally unaware and defenseless against these potential dangers. If you don’t want to become a sitting duck, be smart. Uncover the truth about who your neighbors really are.
Your Right, Your Obligation
People have a right to keep themselves safe. After all, the above instances are annoying yet harmless. Not so with a case like Adam. Strangers to everyone on the block, new neighbors can potentially do a lot more harm than a few restless nights or calls to the sanitation department. In fact, when someone new moves onto your block, you are putting yourself and your family in potential danger, and you may never even know it. Possible risks include:
- Sex offenders
- Violent individuals
- Drug dealers or abusers
Falling victim to their bad habits or criminal behaviors is one way to find out who your neighbor really is. Running a quick and thorough background check is another, safer way. Don’t be the next one to suffer. Get the truth; it’s your right.
Find Out Now, Before It’s Too Late
No doubt the neighbors who lived next door to Ted Bundy would have been interested in seeing a little history on their illustrious neighbor. While it can’t reveal everything, a background check can enlighten neighbors to some suspicious or undesirable behaviors that a newcomer has exhibited in the past. Armed with this knowledge, you can take the necessary precautions and keep yourself and your family safe.
For example, if you know that your new neighbor has a criminal record, you will probably think twice before handing them your spare key. In that same vein, learning that someone is a convicted pedophile will ensure that you do not send your children over to borrow a cup of sugar from the overly friendly guy next door.
The next time you see that moving truck pulling in, be prepared. Be a friendly neighbor, introduce yourself, but don’t leave your fate to chance. After catching a name, get on the computer right away. Is your neighbor telling you the truth? Find out fast.