Some landlords may find the thought of giving gifts to tenants amusing. They believe that running a rental property is a business activity, not a personal one. Other landlords cite building better relationships and appreciating their best tenants as reasons to engage in gift giving.
Is there another benefit? Yes! The value of that gift may qualify for a tax deduction.
According to Nolo, if you give someone a gift for business purposes, your business expense deduction is limited to $25 per person per year. Any amount over the $25 limit is not deductible.
Gift giving can be good for business, but if you need help with choosing, here are 10 gift ideas for your tenants.
1. Upgrades for Lease Renewal
Upgrades can add a lot of value to your property, and there are several that have a high return on investment. You can install smart devices such as thermostats and video doorbells or replace the front door and old kitchen appliances. These types of upgrades are great to encourage your long-term tenants to stay around longer.
Related: 3 Ways to Encourage Tenant Renewal
2. Gift cards
Gift cards are convenient because they remove the stress of guessing which gift is most suitable for a particular tenant. Choose brand-specific cards from retailers like Amazon or general-purpose ones that allow tenants to shop anywhere. If gift cards seem impersonal, add a nice thank you note or a tenant appreciation letter.
3. Coffee or tea mug
Mugs are popular gift choices. They are useful, common kitchenware and their personalized designs are appealing to people. Best of all, they are low cost and versatile around the home and office.
4. Sweet treats
Most people cannot help but feel a bit of joy from the taste of sugary delights. Fortunately, there are a variety of types and flavors to cater to different tastes and dietary requirements. A bag of goodies alone will be appreciated but attaching a tenant welcome card adds a nice touch.
5. Potted plants
Plants add greenery to your property and make great housewarming gifts. Be sure to choose plants that are non-toxic and that don’t trigger allergies. Hardy varieties are great options for tenants who may not be green thumbs.
6. Housewarming gift
You can find many housewarming gifts for under $25. Neutral door mats, candles, and blankets are great gifts for tenants on move-in days and during the holiday season.
7. Cleaning and Bathroom Supplies
Cleaning supplies and bathroom essentials are perfect to include in a welcome package. They save new tenants a trip to the store and help maintain the cleanliness of your property.
8. Stationery set or customized calendar
Stationery sets and customized calendars are useful items and make great gift ideas. For added personalization, you can design a set with the property name or highlight the rent date to encourage paying on time. These days, many people rely on technology, so be sure to supplement these gifts with a real estate platform like Tellus to remind tenants on when to pay their rent.
Tellus renters are 72% more likely to pay rent on time.
9. Host a gathering
If you manage a multifamily property, another way to show appreciation is to host a cookout for your residents. A good time to host is during Happy Hour when most people are available.
10. Gift basket
They may seem old-fashioned, but gift baskets are tried-and-true. You can order them preassembled or make one yourself. Include the small gifts mentioned above, such as sugary treats, cleaning products, or a collection of useful houseware.
It is not necessary to give anything to tenants, but if you do find that ideal renter who pays on time and takes care of your property, it may be a wise choice to do something nice for them. You can make a lasting impression with even a modest tenant appreciation gift.
Don't forget other ways you can make the rental experience better, like collecting rent online through Tellus.