With Christmas fast approaching, the question occurred to me “should we send our tenants a gift?” I debated the same question in September when the current tenants moved in but I didn’t really have a chance to act as I was only just back to work full time and somewhat preoccupied with finalising the construct/inspect/handover/tenant process. At the time, the property manager said some landlords do house warming gifts (bottle of wine, movie voucher, etc) and others don’t. The property manager would have actually organised something for us.
Personally, I can’t make up my mind between keeping a “professional distance” to avoid issues that might otherwise come up and fostering a relationship to encourage the longevity of the tenancy. I suspect there is a middle ground. I’d like our tenants to connect the concept of their home to our house to encourage them to respect and care for the property—which of course they may do anyway. Of course the extra prompting from a gift if they turn out to be bad or “mid-tier” tenants!
We’ve never met these tenants but their first inspection went well (the next is due soon) and they’ve been reliable if not slightly ahead on their rent. That said, they’re not a typical two adult/two child family and, being reasonably young, I don’t expect their household to remain intact for more than a few years as their personal situations evolve due to work, relationships, life events, etc. Of course that’s no reason not to be generous.
An impromptu discussion at the office among co-workers who have been renters themselves and some of who are also new landlords in their own right indicated some of us have received Christmas gifts from landlords and others haven’t. I’ve written in the past about our close relationship with one of our landlords, from who we received an occasional Christmas card. As per the image above, it seems some landlords will go so far as free rent—which is extremely generous (but perhaps not a great business decision).
I haven’t made up my mind about this yet and, knowing us, we’ll barely have time to think about gifts for each other and our immediate family let alone interstate tenants. I’d love to send them a card at the very least but I wonder if that would be considered a bit miserly.
I suppose a disclaimer is also worth posting: I'm just a guy, I'm not an accountant, lawyer, solicitor, tax agent, mortgage broker, banker, financial adviser, insurance agent, land developer, builder, government agent, or anything else so I disclaim your application of anything I write here is to be applied at your own risk. What I write may be incorrect and you are best to seek your own professional advice (tax, legal, financial, and otherwise) before entering into contracts or spending your money. Your situation is unique to you and what I write here reflects my experience only. This content is not professional advice and is not tailored to your situation. I'm learning too and expect to make many, many mistakes along the way.