Do Your Tenants Give You Homemade Fudge?

8 Replies

Went to pick up the rent and there was a little basket with my name on it on top of the rent check. Inside was some homemade fudge, How cool!

This makes me think of my Father. My Parents bought their 4plex in '66, which I still own, It was their only building. I was 9 at the time. When my Father would go to the building, it was upbeat and positive..."Hi Joe! Come on in for a beer!" Through the years I've seen the changes in landlord/tenant relations, but I strive to maintain a positive, upbeat relationship with my tenants. I love it when I hear, "Arnie's here." instead of, "The Landlord's here."

I've had my share of negative experiences, but overall, it's been good. Some say I'm too soft...maybe...but life is short, and I'm not in real estate for the hardball stuff. I always use honey first, then if it's not going to work, then I bring out the vinegar, but only as a last resort.

Yes, you can take it too far and get too close, of course, but I think we all know where that line is. But if you're there doing work and are offered a soda or coffee, etc...take it, even if you're not thirsty, have a little conversation, it goes a long way in good will. Don't be "above" them.

Try and keep it positive, it's much better in the long run. Be fair and reasonable, but firm when need be. If tenants raise their voices and get ugly in a dispute, resist temptation to respond in kind. Stay calm, your lease agreement and the law are on your side.

The fudge is delicious.

@Arnie Guida  

Agreed.  If your tenants remain people and not just tenants (widgets), you too will continue to be a person and relations should be cordial and respectful.

I still get Christmas cards, from my kids (not my kids, my tenant kids). Yes, I've had tenants send nice gifts (not expensive, one lady sent 2 pillow cases she sewed designs on) pot holders, ink pens, after shave, little stuff sent with nice intentions. Got a case of beer from the college guys, wrapped no less.

I went by a triplex rented to college students, they were having a BBQ, I didn't stay. They would send a note as to their scheduled backyard BBQs and parties inviting me, I showed up a few times, of course I took meat and beer a few times so maybe that's why I was always invited....LOL

I've had many borrowers and sellers/buyers send me thank you gifts.

One of my college girls gave me a stuffed skunk as a gag gift, I won't mention what some of the gag gifts were from the guys.

One investor guy gave me a nice assorted basket of smoked meats and cheese from a local store here, very good stuff not that mail order stuff, had a note with it, something about he thought I could use the food after I sold him a house, joke being he thought he had stolen it.

I'd say most of my tenants (since there were so many college kids) we made friends with them, some we were second parents to. Friends at arm's length you might say, don't mean we'd go on trips together or go out together but just a tad more than just a tenant relationship.

The, hey, come on in, have a beer, or here, try this I just made it, kind of stuff happened often, cookies, pie, cake, fried chicken, yes, fudge too, what ever.   

Landlords and tenants do have to be all stiff business actors, but with some you do.

So, the question too, do you get gifts for your tenants? Any treats for them? I'd hope landlords could at least fit the cost of a Christmas or Seasons Greetings card into their property business account (I do wonder about some, they count stamps to reserve for eviction notices you know.....LOL)       

Updated over 3 years ago

meant, don't have to be all stiff business types :)

It's a good thing you have a good relationship with your tenants that they are giving you fudge!  

It's a little different for me because I own and live in a duplex. So my tenants are also my neighbors that I share an interior wall, porch, and backyard with.

But, yeah! I've received from and given gifts to my tenants. In fact, the man of the first couple I rented to was a chef. He often brought us over yummy goodies from the kitchen.

I also got married while my second set of tenants were in the unit. My husband and I returned from our honeymoon and they had left a wine basket in our living room (they had a key to bring in our mail) for a wedding present.

Because of the arrangement, I am probably more friendly with my tenants than most BPers would recommend. But, so far (crossing fingers), it hasn't been an issue. And it makes it a more pleasant place to live for everyone when we can all hang out in the backyard with some beer and BBQ.

I think that's awesome! I try really hard to not get to friendly because every time I have been taken advantage of. I am a great landlord. I take care of the house, I get positive comments but I have truly worked to keep a separation. The biggest problem I have in my area is people breaking the lease. So I have found when we get to chummy it stops being "landlording" and its becomes friends 

@Arnie Guida I do have one who make cookies for me and my family every Christmas.  She does the same for the upstairs tenant and next door neighbor.

That it's a homemade basket too, just added to my appreciation...

We just got the 2014-2015 snow plowing quote from our usual guy (I also hold several of his mtgs)...$550 but it is a very very large driveway.

The next day the young kid drops off the rent for the SFH we own next door & tells my wife that he would plow our driveway when he does his, 'gratis' ???

Mind you he NOW stores his patio furniture, tractor & 'stuff' in my barn & has often borrowed my air tools etc for his truck repairs so I guess it's a wash (& we haven't raised the rent for 2 years).

However, the annual pig roast our biker 'rent to own guys' have each year is now a reluctant but automatic decline. The first one we went to was hilarious but it was my wife who insisted on leaving when 'their old ladies' started the mud wrestling competition in a small pool they had set up. However, these guys have paid us consistently 13 of the 15 years of their RTO contract, without a hitch & they have maintained their humble abode with pride.

Another tenant @ 52 years finally met the man of her dreams & decided to move in with him. BUT she has a house full of nice furniture. (Pier One & Pottery Barn stuff, according to my wife). Having heard my 20 yr old daughter was moving into a farm (we just bought her) this lady offered her first choice of all the furniture & small kitchen appliances etc. Then she had the couches, love seats & arm chairs all steam cleaned before we picked them up. So now I have another Barn full of furniture & kitchen stuff until I finish the rehab of the farmhouse.

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here