Gift giving is not an appropriate landlord/ tenant idea

3 Replies

Gifts between landlords and tenants breaks the professional boundaries.

I thought of a gift of appreciation but changed my mind. The building is old and has a great history.  I decided to put up the photo of the building in my apartment where I knew the landlord would see it when he came to the apartment and believe he would appreciate it just the same. 

It is very nice of you to even consider doing something for your landlord. Not knowing the specifics of your relationship, I’ll speak from my own experience:

I had five-six landlords in my life. Some of them I never met, and they only received payments from me in the mail. One, whose converted back-of-the garage (we call these “in-law” units) I lived in for seven years of my early-mid 20s, lived upstairs. She was already in her 80s at that time (passed away at over 100 due to complications from a fall.) She used to give me cookies for Christmas. Every year.

When I was moving in, she wanted to clean the place. I told her I’d take care of it - straight-up told her that my own mother would get mad at me if I did not take care of that myself. I then also repainted the bathroom ceiling (and got rid of mildew on it) at my own expense. She also found my on-time payments a huge difference from her previous tenant (my high school buddy, who also owed me money.)

When I first became a landlord, my first two tenants wanted to give me cookies for Christmas (I am actually a nice guy.) I accepted it the first year, but also politely asked that we do not make it a tradition between us. My long-distance tenants and I only email/text greetings to each other.

But this is just my experience. Having said that, the best thing, I think, any tenant can do for their landlord is take care of the property and pay rent on time. In return, any (reasonable) expectation by the tenant should be quickly addressed by the landlord.

It is not a matter of “professional boundaries” to me, but I do like to set major expectations from the beginning now. Chiefly, “please don’t make me become the bad guy and have to evict you and pursue you for my losses.”

I am happy to have the vast majority of my current tenants. I am still financially guiding (for free) two of my former tenants, one of whom recently bought a house.

The photo is certainly a nice touch, Kathleen. Sounds like your landlord should be happy to have you.

Happy holidays.

I see no reason to not give a small gift if you wish... as a landlord we give our tenants Christmas starbuck cards.

and one of my clients gave every tenant a turkey at thanksgiving and he had a few hundred tenants. that's a lot of turkey.

I know see folks handing the flight attendants little gifts I am going to add that arrow to my quiver as well with all the flying I do.

My Landlord is a nice guy and has enough energy for several people. His kindness, firmness and overall demeanor makes him a pleasure to be around.  

I decided against the gift idea for professional reasons and actually believe he may not have felt comfortable accepting it.  

Well, if I could just get him to smile I'd be happy.

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