Should Landlords Buy Their Tenants A Xmas Present?

Landlord Santa Claus

I don’t know about you, but I have a genuine love/hate relationship with Christmas. It’s mostly hate though. Yes, yes, yes, I’m the mother-freaking Grinch!

I’m just not a fan of the fuss – fuss in general, actually – and Xmas is packed with the stuff… and long queues and crowds. But nonetheless I try to play nice; I’ll do my best to get dragged through the festivities and join in with the party games and gift exchanges, despite almost always ending up with a collective pile of massive shit. More on that shortly.

While Christmas isn’t my cup of mulled wine, I’m a firm believer in treating good tenants like they’re good tenants, (otherwise what’s the point of them being a good tenant?), and Christmas is usually a good time to show worthy tenants a little appreciation.

Sadly, I’ve dealt with some complete and utter dipshit tenants before, the type that made me want to toss myself over a cliff, just to make the misery end. The ONE positive that I managed to squeeze out of those dire situations was the fact that they truly make me appreciate the wonderful tenants that play fair.

I think landlords often forget how incredibly easy it is to end up with lousy tenants, including those that:

  • fall into arrears
  • don’t report important maintenance problems e.g leaks
  • don’t treat their accommodation like a home

I’ve spoken to a few other landlords about this, and they think it’s unnecessary to buy a tenant a Christmas present, regardless of whether they’re a shining example of what every tenant should be like.

I, of course, disagree.

The arguments for why landlords should NOT buy their tenants Xmas presents:

  • a landlord and tenant relationship should be strictly professional, and by buying a present you start crossing lines.
  • the money will be wasted. If your tenants’ are good, they won’t stop being good if you don’t buy them a Christmas present.

Granted, I do agree, that a truly good tenant will remain a good tenant even if you don’t buy them a Christmas present. However, I think that’s besides the point. My mum won’t stop loving me if I don’t buy her a present (I hope), but I’m going to anyways.

The point is that it’s nice to show appreciation every so often.

It’s cheesy, it’s cliche, it’s unoriginal, and I’m throwing up in my mouth just thinking about the sentiment, but it’s also probably true, that you don’t have to spend a fortune, it’s the thought that counts.

At the very least, send a nice Christmas card.

Christmas Gift ideas for tenants

I have a really good relationship with two of my tenants. We have good conversations on regular occasions, and they truly are the epitome of decent human beings, least of all tenants. So this year I purchased an unimaginative bottle of Moet for each of them. Each bottle cost £30.

Is that expensive? Not at all considering what they’ve done for me. I see it as an investment.

No need to be creative in my opinion, boring and predictable will do:

  • Premium chocolate
  • Bottle of alcohol (if they’re inclined to consuming poison, that is)
  • Candles / scents
  • Pamper basket

So my recommendation is, every now and then, whether it’s for Christmas or just a regular Monday, consider showing some appreciation to your tenants that deserve it.

If you decide to splash out on your tenants, I’d love to hear what you’ve got them, no matter how big or small.

If you’re unfortunate enough to have the bottom of the barrel, useless, freeloader tenants, then you can similarly send them what they deserve, a bag’o’shit:

Bag of shit

Why I hate Christmas. Maybe.

At the start of this blog post, I said I’ll circle back to my trauma. So here we are.

This has nothing to do with anything, but perhaps it’s good for my therapy. Better out than in, right?

A few years ago me and my bestie decided to do the whole present exchange thing, like a couple of teenage girls. We had never done it before and thought it might help me engage more with the festive spirit.

Okay, sure, let’s give it a spin.

I genuinely put time and effort into the present selecting process, and consequently the bestie ended up with some pretty neat stuff, which included: a pair of trainers, a trendy shirt, his favourite coconut slice cake-thing from a local cake shop, a couple of strategically chosen DVD boxsets and music CDs.

I was glowing with confidence, because I knew he’d be surprised by how well I know him!

In exchange, he handed over (wrapped in tatty newspaper, may I add- he thought that was hilarious!) a pack of multi-coloured ball-point pens (seriously, WTF? That’s the kind of garbage senile old women dish out to their grand children), a basketball vest (I don’t even like or play basketball. I ended up selling it on ebay for £50), and a homoerotic calendar of a young David Hasselhoff (which I left on the seat of the restaurant where the exchange was made).

You can only imagine the deep depths of my disappointment.

Never again!

Christmas sucks!

Seasons greetings, folks! Hope you have a good one xoxo

13 Join the Conversation...

Guest Avatar
Dr Nogood 3rd March, 2009 @ 23:28

Hum, I satisfy the credentials of a good tenant (quite right too!), but I must admit I would find a gift from my landlord inappropriate (he is like a lawyer, policeman, dentist: I don't care what you do just do it right and don't screw me!). I would compare him to an estate agent but that would be too easy and probably insulting.

He probably can't afford one now anyway given his mortgage arrears and negative equity...

Guest Avatar
Jools 19th December, 2009 @ 17:21

Call me an old soppy sod but yes, I have sent my tenants a card this year. After all christmas is a time for peace and friends and putting the rent up in the New Year (gotta pay for the cards afterall!).

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 19th December, 2009 @ 20:22

Well, I'm sure your tenants will appreciate your card :0
Are you seriously putting the rent up? hah

Guest Avatar
Fee 22nd December, 2009 @ 12:18

I did intend on being a nice landlord seeing as it is my first Christmas at being a wonderful landlord. I did consider giving my tenant free broadband for a year...however hmm life got in the way and I forgot. So I thought about a £100 discount in rent for Janaury..which after some thought turned to £50. Then I decided not to bother! :)

So a card with afew nice words will have to do and maybe a small box of chocolates so she can celebrate her new 6 month tenancy! This is if I get to post them in time, you know with the snow and all :/

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 22nd December, 2009 @ 12:21

Free broadband/£100 down to a card and possibly a box of chocolates.

If only she knew...

Guest Avatar
Fee 22nd December, 2009 @ 12:30

I could of been worse..the thought of sending a tacky e-card did cross my mind.
I'm not as festive this year it seems!

Guest Avatar
Philip 27th December, 2009 @ 07:16

If you are going to give your tenants something - why not get the carpets steam cleaned 'for them' - that way you can maintain your property whilst they are in situ and not have to take longer cleaning the property up when they depart. Also maintaining the carpets will make them last longer which is of more of a benefit you..

Guest Avatar
Andrew 29th December, 2009 @ 22:01

Happy new year all...seeing as how I missed Christmas..

I have not sent my tenant a Christmas card or present or anything at all for 2 reasons which will be come obvious if you have a look at entry No. 175 on the I'm evicting my tenant part of this site.....

1. She owes me nearly 3 months rent.

2. She is not there but in Nigeria

However, the best part about my plight has been finding this site!!

Wishing you all a happy, prosperous and problem free new 2010!

Guest Avatar
lou 3rd January, 2010 @ 15:44

I gave the cash tenants $100 bucks off the rent for the Section 8 (govt subsidized) I gave nothing.

Guest Avatar
Sam 4th January, 2010 @ 22:58

Hehehehehe steam cleaning as a Xmas present - that has got to better than Xmas cards!!!!!

Me - I was feeling festive this year - went to the Xmas markets in Berlin and got well in the mood. Then I had some mulled wine and a few too many mince pies and well - just didn't happen. I am going to landlord hell...

Guest Avatar
Rob Stott 21st November, 2010 @ 13:44

we are good tenants .repaired the some faults with the property fixed the fence put light back up in the bathroom ,keep our daft dog in a cage ,only every asked for the chimmney to be opened to sole the major damp issues ,now all we get is abuse recorded it now may put on you tube if you like neibours rung enviromentle heath on land lord ,what can we do ,moaning at how i park me car now,

Guest Avatar
Sam 24th December, 2018 @ 22:23

I have great tenants who have been there for five or more years. They’ve given me none of the horror stories that you’ve read about and are reliable if I need access to the apartments.

I have no qualms at all about giving them a bottle of wine on Christmas. It’s no different than any other good business relationship.

If you, as a landlord, are so worried about tenants taking that as a sign of weakness, you may have bigger issues than being a landlord.

Guest Avatar
... 27th July, 2020 @ 21:20

The way you people talk about your tenants like they’re some sort of milking cow that’s worth nothing more than just milking every month for their rent. Don’t bother sending a card because you know what happens to it? It goes in the bin. No one cares about your cards. A January or December rent reduction would be far more appreciated than a cheap 50p card.

















Your personal information will *never* be sold or shared to a 3rd party. By submitting your details, you agree to our Privacy Policy.

I want more info on...