If you are moving into a rental unit, you may have the opportunity somewhere in the process to speak to the previous tenant. If this does happen, it may be the perfect time to gather some information about your new home.
Ask them questions about the unit itself. You may learn about household fixtures that are quirky or about the availability of parking in the area. Ask for information about the area including favorite restaurants, best grocery stores and where to find the best gas prices.
Ask them questions about the landlord. You may be able to garner some good information about how best to work with the landlord and how to maintain a good relationship with him or her.
Ask them questions about the neighbors. It may be too late in the process for you to change your leasing agreement, but it may be good to know which neighbors are friendly, which keep to themselves and which, if any, of the neighbors tend to be noisy.
Be aware, however, that sometimes a chance meeting can backfire. If you are renting a home or a condo and are leasing through a property management company, you may think you are meeting a previous tenant when in actuality you are meeting the property owner. If you are renting through a property management company, ask your leasing agent about how best to handle a chance meeting with the previous residents.
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