Neighborhood safety | How safe is my neighborhood? | Roost
Advertising disclosure

Our goal is to share information and products that are truly helpful to renters.

If you click on a link or buy a product from one of the partners on our site, we get paid a little bit for making the introduction. This means we might feature certain partners sooner, more frequently, or more prominently in our articles, but we’ll always make sure you have a good set of options. This is how we are able to provide you with the content and features for free. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services — and our opinions and advice are our own based on research and input from renters like you. Here is a list of our partners.

How safe is my neighborhood? Find out for free. 

Apps and tips to help you find out

How safe is your neighborhood?  There are simple ways to find out. When evaluating your neighborhood safety, set aside time to research the area and apartments to evaluate and decide your risk tolerance.  If your rent is lower, then odds are the crime rate is higher for your neighborhood.

Get $5/mo rent insurance

Free tools to check neighborhood safety

Searching online is a good place to start to find out your neighborhood’s trouble issues, but make sure you actually go out and look in person.

  • Check out online reviews (Google and Yelp) to see what other people have said about the landlord.
  • Facebook groups — keep you connected to your community and what kind of crime is going on around you. 
  • Crime reports — this map-based site shows you up-to-date data on crimes that have recently occurred in your area.
  • AreaVibes —  provides a livability score for your ZIP code which ranks your area on factors such as housing, amenities, education, and crime. AreaVibes makes it easy to discover your neighborhood’s top safety issues by showing you crime trends and how those trends compare to national crime statistics.
  • Family Watchdog — helps you narrow your focus by pinpointing registered sex offenders’ addresses in your neighborhood. Their easy-to-navigate map uses color-coded pins to identify specific sex crimes like sexual battery, rape, and crimes against children. 
  • Nextdoor — for this app, you sign up as a member, and it allows you to participate in real-time conversations between you and your neighbors — it’s the most personal alert system there is.

Neighborhood safety indicators

Once you have a feel for the stats and decide if you are comfortable with the rent you can afford and risk, make sure to visit the location at different times during the day to see the neighborhood for yourself. Here are some things to be on the lookout for: 

  • Places that are dimly lit or look abandoned are easy targets for criminals.
  • Apartments run-down and not in good shape. 
  • Isolated apartments and homes — ideally you want neighbors nearby as extra eyes deter criminals. 
  • Unkempt landscaping, peeling paint and garbage that indicates lack of care and community. 

Making your neighborhood safer

If you find yourself renting in a neighborhood with a higher crime rate, don’t despair. There are many things you can do to make your neighborhood safer such as getting to know your neighbors,  joining your community app, reporting suspicious activity and keeping valuables out of sight.

Roost Tip! Make sure you’re not spreading disinformation, and be careful not to racially profile or stereotype people you don’t recognize in your neighborhood.

Take a few extra steps to make your apartment more secure.  Deadbolts, door jams, and security door bells are a few options.  And, make sure you have renters insurance.  

15 least safe cities in the US

See how your city compares and if you are planning a big move, it pays to do a little research in advance. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Data Explorer is the place to go.  It calculates a score for each city based on rates of violent crime like murder and assault, as well as property crime like break-ins and auto theft. 

  1. Memphis, TN
  2. Detroit, MI
  3. Little Rock, AR
  4. Pueblo, CO
  5. Tacoma, WA
  6. Kansas City, MO
  7. Rockford, IL
  8. St. Louis, MO
  9. Cleveland, OH
  10. Springfield, MO
  11. Albuquerque, NM
  12. Lansing, MI
  13. Baltimore, MD
  14. Minneapolis, MN
  15. Peoria, IL

Safety first? 

Trying to find an affordable place to live is often at odds with living in the safest neighborhoods.  The better you understand your neighborhood, the better you can take precautions to not only protect yourself but make your neighborhood safer for your entire apartment community.  Check the online apps, get to know your neighbors and take smart steps to improving safety in your home. 

Get $5/mo rent insurance