Whatever your reason for needing to know who lives at a specific address, it can feel like a daunting task. Whether you’re looking for a lost loved one, want to contact a neighbour about a particular issue but nobody ever seems to be home or are simply curious, there are ways you can find out who lives at a UK address.
In order to find out who resides at a certain address, the occupier must be registered to vote. There are several ways to find out, however, you should keep in mind that a fee may be required in order to gain access to this information.
What’s The Best Way To Find Out Who Lives At An Address UK?
If you want to be sure that you have access to all of the correct information then the first port of call should be your local library. Here, you will find copies of everyone in the area who is currently registered to vote, including their postal address.
It is worth noting that there may be a fee involved and you will likely have to book an appointment so you should contact the library beforehand. However, while this may feel like an inconvenience, it’s far better than choosing an online service because people do have the choice to opt out of being listed in online directories. This means that you may not be able to find the address or person you are looking for despite having already paid a fee.
Cast your mind back about fifteen years or more and you’ll remember that the BT Phonebook was a staple in almost every UK household. They’d be periodically posted through your letterbox, free of charge, with up to date information on names, addresses and telephone numbers. Of course, people could opt to be ‘ex-directory’ meaning they wouldn’t be listed but most people would have their details printed.
Since The Phonebook is no longer handed out, many people are under the impression that it simply doesn’t exist anymore. But that’s an incorrect assumption. Just like everything else, The Phonebook has gone digital so it’s worth checking out. However, this method involves searching a name which will then give you an address so it’s a reverse option and doesn’t really help if you only have address details.
For people in the USA, there is a similar service called 411.com which features a reverse address lookup and can come in handy when looking for addresses in North America.
Using The Electoral Roll
One of the simplest and most reliable ways to find out who lives at an address is to use the electoral roll. The person has to be registered to vote and it would be extremely uncommon to find a regular UK resident that isn’t since it is a legal requirement to sign up to vote in the UK, when you are asked to.
You may access full electoral roll details through the British Library but these records are usually those that are over ten years old so may not contain the most up to date information.
When performing an online electoral roll search, you will not only be given information on the address but all of the occupants that were there in a specific year. The great thing about this is that it allows you to get a good idea of who might still be residing there.
You could also look at the UK Census records but the ones that are publicly available are incredibly outdated as it is only legal to release this kind of information 100 years after publication.
That said, the more recent censuses are held by the Office of National Statistics where you can request data from censuses that are as young as ten years old, for a fee. The most recent census results have thrown up some very interesting statistics, that can be read here.
Making The Most Of The Internet
It can take quite a significant amount of searching to find a person online but there are lots of resources. Many of these require you to pay while others are free. Of course, those with a fee usually give you much easier access to what you are looking for.
Websites such as UK Tracing offer a service to provide you with information on who lives at an address. There is a charge, however, if they are unable to provide you with the information you have requested within 24 hours, you will receive a full refund so there’s no concern about coming away empty handed and out of pocket. They also have some great trustpilot reviews.
But if you really don’t want to part with any cash, you can turn to good ole Google. This is an invaluable search tool when it is used correctly. You may have your work cut out for you as one search term can yield thousands of results, many of which may be irrelevant. But by using specific search terms you can narrow it down greatly and you may find what you’re looking for.
The best way to do this is by searching the address as well as any associated names. If you type in a name in quotation marks and an address in quotation marks, this should give you the most valid search results.
Another excellent free resource is Facebook. This social media platform has been responsible for a staggering number of people getting reunited with friends and family members they never thought they’d see again. Using the simple search functions within the website, you may be able to find a person using very minimal information. Again, you may have to expend a little more effort doing it this way. We found this excellant article on techadvisor for some ways to search.
It is possible to find out who lives at an address in the UK as well as other details. However, depending on how you approach this, you may find that there are fees attached or you might have to spend a lot of time and effort doing an online search.
The best way is to go to your local library where you will find the most relevant and up to date information for a fee. The person you are searching for must be on the electoral roll but due to legal requirements, it’s highly unlikely that they won’t be.
There are free ways to find people and addresses for free which include search engines like Google and social media apps like Facebook. While these do contain a lot of information, you often have to sift through irrelevant information to find what you’re looking for.