Most landlords want to do the right thing by their tenants. As the home of good landlords, we always encourage landlords to look after their tenants. There may be times when you want to give your tenants a gift but this can cause a great deal of questioning on the part of landlords.
Whether it’s Easter, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Eidi, on Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan or Eid al-Adha, or whether it’s your tenant’s birthday, wedding, wedding anniversary or the birth of a baby, you may wonder if it’s a good idea to give them a gift. So should you give your tenants a gift?
There are a few different ways to think about whether a landlord should give gifts to their tenant. On the one hand, you might think you should make concessions and show your appreciations to your tenants, on the other hand, you might not want to spend money on your tenants when you consider they’re also your customers.
All too often you will hear a landlord referring to their rental properties as an investment. Of course, landlords should be clear that when they have properties, they essentially own a business. It’s therefore very common for people in business to provide presents and give gifts to their employees, colleagues, suppliers and customers. In this sense the idea of giving a gift to your tenants if not out of the realm of normal business practice.
Giving gifts to your tenants is a way of letting them know that you appreciate them and want to keep them happy. It can help you to maintain your relationship with them over the course of the year, when otherwise you may only speak to them when their tenancy is up for renewal or when there’s a problem.
By keeping on friendly terms with your tenants you’re less likely to have a problem with them and it may make it easier to solve any disputes should they emerge.
If you have any problems with your tenants you may even be able to get the relationship back on track if you give them a gift at the appropriate moment.
Let’s be honest, everyone loves getting gifts. Not only does receiving gifts make people feel better, the act of giving gifts is a positive one which will make you feel better too. So it’s a win for the tenant and a win for you as the landlord as well.
There is a growing consensus in the world of business that people should not give gifts and they shouldn’t receive gifts. And it’s important you don’t fall foul of bribery regulations.
In the same way that many businesses don’t feel it necessary, or even good business sense to offer gifts, many landlords feel that they shouldn’t give gifts to their tenants either.
When you provide a home for a tenant it’s very easy for the relationship between landlord and tenants to move beyond a purely business relationship and move into the realms of friendship.
You’ve also got to be careful when selecting gifts for tenants, it can be very easy to choose the wrong thing for people and end up offending them or at the very least demonstrate that you don’t really understand enough about your tenants. This could exacerbate any existing issues.
By offering your tenants gifts, you are also taking some funds away from investing in your properties and you may wonder what your tenants would prefer a gift every Christmas and birthday or improvements on your property.
Another reason not to give gifts to your tenants is that if you set the precedent you could find your tenants expect to receive a gift and they could feel put out if you decide not to give them one or simply forget.
A survey by insurance firm Endsleigh found landlords who gave tenants presents usually chose a bottle of wine, although a quarter gave flowers and plants as housewarming gifts.
In this survey, around 70% of the tenants who received gifts stayed in their rental property for over two years, whereas 54% of those who didn’t receive a gift stayed for more than two years. It’s therefore reasonable to assume gift giving does positively impact the length of time tenants stay in a property.
On the other hand, it may be because the gift-giving landlords are good landlords, they’re more likely to provide good housing and are more likely to keep their tenants in their properties for longer. The question, therefore, is: “do you want to be a good landlord?” We hope your answer is yes!