Author Topic: Gifts for Tenants?  (Read 8783 times)

Radagast

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Gifts for Tenants?
« on: December 17, 2014, 08:12:19 PM »
Do you give Christmas gifts to your tenants? Do you have any suggestions? Mine gave me food, and I should give something back, but I am pretty bad at coming up with ideas.

Rural

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Re: Gifts for Tenants?
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2014, 05:31:10 AM »
Chocolate is pretty much always appropriate.

Kwill

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Re: Gifts for Tenants?
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2014, 06:11:16 AM »
Do you give Christmas gifts to your tenants? Do you have any suggestions? Mine gave me food, and I should give something back, but I am pretty bad at coming up with ideas.

That's really nice. What about a holiday thank you card now and some homemade cookies or banana bread at some point later?

Is it typical to send the landlord or management company or other building staff gifts at Christmas? I'm renting and have never done that, but it seems a nice gesture.

Neustache

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Re: Gifts for Tenants?
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2014, 07:58:58 AM »
I have a friend who gave her new tenant a gift when he moved in - a gift card for pizza to use during moving.  I thought that was great, and plan on doing something similar. 

Was going to give my tenant a gift for their new baby (gift card to movie theatre) but now I'm waiving another late fee.  Not as fun.  Oh well.  LOL.  We maybe headed towards eviction soon.  Hope not, but it's possible!

welliamwallace

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Re: Gifts for Tenants?
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2014, 08:04:55 AM »
My tenants (lodgers in my own house) are two of my best friends. I'm getting them goofy thank you cards and a $30 gift card to the local pub.

Left

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Re: Gifts for Tenants?
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2014, 08:41:34 AM »
I've heard of landlords just sending a card saying happy christmas, enjoy the holidays and leave $X off your next month's rent. This makes more sense than actually sending a gift/gift card since if you are paying for it out of pocket, you still have that much to count against you on income tax. Them leaving it off rent, you don't pay tax on the missed amount. If you have a manager, you could have them still take their usual dollar amount even though the % might be thrown off a bit. And how mustachian is it to get them a gift card that they "have" to spend to get the dollar amount back? If they just kept part of the rent, they could in theory invest it. Or can I call up my bank and say, I have a $X amazon gift card, will you let me deposit it?

edit: might be a landlord from MMM? I forgot where I read about it actually.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2014, 08:43:28 AM by eyem »

Neustache

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Re: Gifts for Tenants?
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2014, 09:51:22 AM »
I know my tenants really well.  The gift card to the movie theatre was because I know they WILL be seeing the new Star Wars movie when it comes out.  LOL.  It's a non-negotiable for them. 

smilla

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Re: Gifts for Tenants?
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2014, 12:33:57 PM »
Is it typical to send the landlord or management company or other building staff gifts at Christmas? I'm renting and have never done that, but it seems a nice gesture.

Generally in business, it's the person or business receiving payment that gives gifts to the person or business purchasing the product, so no, I would say as a tenant you don't need to give a gift.  However, if you are getting a good deal or you have a particular nice, well-maintained place or if your landlord or bldg manager is in any way better than expected, a small token would be a very nice gesture.

As a landlord, for good tenants (who keep up the place), I generally give a Christmas deduction of $100 or up to 10% on rent and baby/wedding gifts.  I don't gift bad tenants but starting this year, I think I will add that $100 (mentally) to their damage deposit to make up for any extra costs later.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2014, 12:37:08 PM by smilla »

Radagast

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Re: Gifts for Tenants?
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2014, 12:56:52 PM »
Chocolate is pretty much always appropriate.
That's a good idea. Why didn't I think of that?

That's really nice. What about a holiday thank you card now and some homemade cookies or banana bread at some point later?
Is it typical to send the landlord or management company or other building staff gifts at Christmas? I'm renting and have never done that, but it seems a nice gesture.
Even if I was not remodeling my kitchen right now, me baking might not be a brilliant idea in practice (though it works well in theory, so thanks for the suggestion).

I own a duplex and live in the front while renting out the back, so it is not exactly a long distance relationship. I guess I started it by giving them $100 off rent for Christmas last year, but that was partly reflecting the fact that I had just bought the house with the tenants in it and raised rent by $75 to get a closer to market rate. Anyhow we've had a pretty good relationship, they're good and flexible tenants and I'm a flexible and (hopefully good) landlord. They gave me a chicken dinner when I took out my kitchen sink. I'm letting them use my detached garage, which is about a $50 per month benefit. Their kid moved into the basement so they began unilaterally paying me $35 extra per month. We share an internet connection which saves $15 per month each. So, it's give and take.

Radagast

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Re: Gifts for Tenants?
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2014, 01:00:13 PM »
My tenants (lodgers in my own house) are two of my best friends. I'm getting them goofy thank you cards and a $30 gift card to the local pub.
I have a friend who gave her new tenant a gift when he moved in - a gift card for pizza to use during moving.  I thought that was great, and plan on doing something similar. 

Was going to give my tenant a gift for their new baby (gift card to movie theatre) but now I'm waiving another late fee.  Not as fun.  Oh well.  LOL.  We maybe headed towards eviction soon.  Hope not, but it's possible!
Gift cards are a good idea. I am afraid I would suffer from undue analysis paralysis guessing which to get.

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Gifts for Tenants?
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2014, 01:01:40 PM »
We give our tenants each a $20 gift card, usually to Target.  They're all college kids and it tends to go over well each year. 

Radagast

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Re: Gifts for Tenants?
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2014, 01:07:43 PM »
I've heard of landlords just sending a card saying happy christmas, enjoy the holidays and leave $X off your next month's rent. This makes more sense than actually sending a gift/gift card since if you are paying for it out of pocket, you still have that much to count against you on income tax. Them leaving it off rent, you don't pay tax on the missed amount.
As a landlord, for good tenants (who keep up the place), I generally give a Christmas deduction of $100 or up to 10% on rent and baby/wedding gifts.  I don't gift bad tenants but starting this year, I think I will add that $100 (mentally) to their damage deposit to make up for any extra costs later.
Basically this. I gave $100 off rent last year, but if I do it 2 years in a row I feel it would be a policy rather than a gift. I have no problem with that, but then why not just reduce rent by $10 per month year round? I just don't know if this is the proper approach from a business perspective. On the other hand, even as a policy it is a pretty nice gift I guess.

acorn

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Re: Gifts for Tenants?
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2014, 02:09:27 PM »
I rent a room in an apt building of ~40units. The property manager leaves out candy canes by the mailboxes.

Fallenour

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Re: Gifts for Tenants?
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2014, 02:55:35 PM »
Dont send anything, dont give gifts.

Giving just a card makes you seem tactless, especially if they dont believe in christmas for example.

Don't give gifts either. Say you send chocolate to a tenant, one of the unit occupants gets it, eats a pieces, kicks off. You get sued, and insurance won't cover you, you potentially lose everything.

The risk simply isnt worth their gratitude, because thats about all you're getting.

arebelspy

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Re: Gifts for Tenants?
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2014, 05:18:33 PM »
Say you send chocolate to a tenant, one of the unit occupants gets it, eats a pieces, kicks off. You get sued, and insurance won't cover you, you potentially lose everything.

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Bobberth

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Re: Gifts for Tenants?
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2014, 07:59:39 PM »
I have 3 daughters in Girl Scouts so I end up giving a case of GS cookies when they come out in March to tenants who have been there for at least a year.  That helps me meet my daughters' quota while taking a tax deduction too.  And who doesn't love GS cookies???  It also prevents any non-Christmas celebration issues.

totoro

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Re: Gifts for Tenants?
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2014, 08:14:15 PM »
I give our tenants different gifts depending on who they are.  Families get a $50 gift card for the local nice supermarket, university students get gift baskets of cookies/chocolates, and single guys get craft beer that I know they like.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Gifts for Tenants?
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2014, 08:44:36 PM »
I got sparkling cider once from a landlord as a Christmas present. As a landlord, I have not given any gifts but I have thought about it. I always try to break the stereotype of an insensitive and greedy landlord. I believe I have already done that with my behavior so a gift might not be necessary, but couldn't hurt. I would view it as an investment. 

Fallenour

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Re: Gifts for Tenants?
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2014, 09:16:24 PM »
It's often stated that you cannot prevail in a lawsuit unless you have experienced damages, and that is true.

However, you can't prevail on damages alone; you also need a legally cognisable cause of action. The most common causes of action are negligence and breach of contract, but there are many others.

I think you would be hard pressed to argue that there is anything negligent about sending chocolate to a tenant. If the tenant knows they have an allergy to chocolate, it would be their fault for eating it, so you wouldn't be liable. If no one knows about the tenant's chocolate allergy, it would just be an accident, not negligence.

I'm sorry, but I still strongly advice against it.

Ive seen too many instances of simply outrageous lawsuits that people won. Everything from hot coffee to trespassers falling through moonlight ceilings and getting hurt all the way to people getting locked in a garage during a B&E attempt and suing. All instances above, the suit was successful. Outrageous. Stupid. Unreasonable. Successful.

Never underestimate the stupidity of people.

totoro

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Re: Gifts for Tenants?
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2014, 10:08:22 PM »
Sorry, but that is just complete fear-mongering bs.

Also it is "advise" not "advice" against it.


jba302

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Re: Gifts for Tenants?
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2014, 10:37:45 PM »

I'm sorry, but I still strongly advice against it.

Ive seen too many instances of simply outrageous lawsuits that people won. Everything from hot coffee to trespassers falling through moonlight ceilings and getting hurt all the way to people getting locked in a garage during a B&E attempt and suing. All instances above, the suit was successful. Outrageous. Stupid. Unreasonable. Successful.

Never underestimate the stupidity of people.

Can you cite the cases? I've honestly never heard of a single instance where a civil suit went through appeals successfully on cases that were straight-forward. 2 come to mind from an insurance class - a "locked in garage" situation where the homeowner kept the guy in a garage for like 3 days to "teach him a lesson", and another where the homeowner set up a bunch of booby traps (let it be known - don't booby trap your residence. This is a poor idea for more than 1 reason).

Hotstreak

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Re: Gifts for Tenants?
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2014, 08:48:34 PM »
I've had a lot of landlords give me nothing, which was fine.  I've also had some give a card with a few pieces of candy/mints inside, which was really nice!


I can't imagine getting something like a gift card... too expensive for such an impersonal relationship.

BlueHouse

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Re: Gifts for Tenants?
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2014, 09:27:00 PM »
What?  I've never heard of this and I've never given anything to my (one and only) tenant.  I gave him a book about the neighborhood when he moved in, but I kind of expect him to leave it behind when he moves out (because it's a really boring book, not because I'm that cheap). 
I am cash flow negative on this property, just biding my time until the sales price increases enough that I don't lose my shirt on the sale.