Updated February 2022
Whether you want to thank your tenants for taking care of your property or are simply filled with the spirit of the season, giving Christmas gifts to tenants can be a lovely gesture. It’s a nice way to build goodwill and hopefully encourage longer tenancies. However, deciding exactly what to give tenants can become overwhelming and expensive.
As a landlord, you want to strike just the right tone between business and personal, while keeping things affordable. Do you know the right way to keep the gifts non-personal and strictly professional—essentially a friendly gesture between business associates?
Today, think more about what it means to gift your tenants something and how to do it right for the holidays.
Table Of Contents On Christmas Gift Ideas For Tenants
Not sure where to begin when shopping for tenants? Look no further: this guide will help you find your way to the perfect present:
- 10 Simple Christmas Gift Ideas For Tenants
- Gifts For Tenants: Should You Give During The Holiday Season?
- One Step More: 10 Moderate Gift Ideas For Tenants
- FAQs: Gift Ideas For Tenants
- Tenant Gift Ideas: Keep It Simple
Simple gifts are some of the best gifts you can give. They are affordable, and they avoid making your tenant feel any sense of awkwardness, guilt, or obligation when received. This is great because you don’t want to risk straining your business relationship.
This list of 10 Christmas gift ideas for tenants includes various low-cost options. These options focus on practical gifts that won’t become clutter, but will be useful for your tenant.
Even if your tenant already has a calendar lined up for the next year, they could probably use another one! Calendars are the kind of thing that people regularly forget to buy themselves, or they would be happy to have another one.
Additionally, you can go the extra mile by getting calendars from a local business that include coupons at the bottom of each month. Many communities release these types of calendars, and your tenant will appreciate the thoughtfulness and the discounts they can get all year round.
Reusable is in, and water bottles are an excellent gift for anyone, including tenants. Consider finding high-quality reusable water bottles for your tenant and their family. This won’t cost a lot, and it will be something they can easily use in various situations.
Look around to see what kind of pens, stationery sets, or small notepads you might be able to get for your tenant. These small stationery items are things your tenant can quickly get for themselves, but they also make great gifts since they are convenient.
Why not create small bundles of a pen and notepad for each of your tenants? You could even use something that has your logo on it for an extra marketing kick.
Every home needs first aid supplies from time to time. Sometimes, people even forget to restock their bandages and first aid kits. That’s where your Christmas gift can come in and save the day.
Check your local stores for a quality first aid kit and get one for each of your tenants as a Christmas gift. Though a bit unconventional for a present, the thoughtfulness and practicality will be appreciated.
Gourmet food gift sets are trendy around the holidays. Many people use them as favors when visiting family and friends for holiday gatherings, but they also make good choices for your tenants. Consider popcorn, candy, or fruit sets that you can drop off for them to enjoy.
When giving food items, make sure that you include any packaging that lists the ingredients. This allows tenants with dietary restrictions to check these out before trying. If you are uncomfortable gifting food due to the risk of allergies, go with a different idea. That’s an understandable choice to make.
For the winter months, tenants might appreciate receiving a bag of coffee, some tea bags, and a few coffee mugs. Not only are these items they can simply add to their kitchen cabinet, but they are also options that you can customize. Try giving tenants you know a bit more about a flavor or type of beverage that you know they enjoy.
We all know how annoying it can be to drive in winter weather, so why not help your tenants get prepared? Offer them a bottle of de-icer and a new ice scraper as their holiday gift. These practical items might come in handy during the next winter storm.
If you do business in an area where snow isn’t a concern, consider similar car items that tenants regularly need in their vehicle.
Another great idea is a decorative kitchen jar the tenant will be able to use. Fill it up with candy or a similar item to avoid giving them an empty container. Once the candy is eaten, your tenant will be able to either use or regift the jar to someone else.
Do you have a favorite local bakery nearby? Is there a shop that sells unique coasters at a low cost that can’t be found anywhere else? Choosing to shop from local businesses is a great way to give your tenants a nice gift while shopping in the community. Benefiting local companies is a great way to keep your community thriving; why not give it a try?
Most people love to bake during the holiday season, but not everyone has the time or the means to do so. Gifting tenants a baking mix and the pan they would need is a great gift. This is very simple, and it’s also very thoughtful. Even if your tenant doesn’t typically bake, this might inspire them to get into the holiday spirit a bit more this year.
Now is a great time to press pause on tenant Christmas gift ideas to discuss whether or not it is appropriate to give gifts to your tenants. Some landlords find it inappropriate and uncomfortable; others feel it’s a genuine way to express their appreciation. Which is correct?
Ultimately, there isn’t a right or wrong answer. Tenants will not expect a gift, and you are in no way obligated to give anything to renters. However, you can offer a gift if you want to do so.
While gifting, however, a few things should be kept in mind to ensure that you don’t overstep, make things awkward, or otherwise disrupt the positive business relationship you have with your tenants.
Many landlords choose not to give anything to their renters for the holidays because they feel it is strange to buy a tenant a gift when the tenant pays rent to them monthly. Some tenants may even agree with this.
If you decide to buy gifts for renters, keeping the amount under $30 should prevent any potential ill will that could result. Spending hundreds will make things weird, so keep it small and straightforward.
Another critical consideration to keep in mind is that not everyone celebrates Christmas, and not everyone loves the holiday season. Make sure to frame your gift as a happy holiday gift rather than strictly a Christmas event.
Also, don’t be upset if the tenant doesn’t seem as thrilled as you may have expected. Everyone has their own relationship with this busy time of year. Be respectful of those differences as you make your gift plans.
Some tenants might even respectfully refuse the gift if it doesn’t fit their customs. That’s OK, too, and you should prepare yourself for this possibility before you start handing out presents.
If you have a physical Christmas gift for your tenant that you plan to drop off in person, send them a message or give them a call ahead of time to arrange a brief visit.
Even if you won’t be entering the property, showing up unannounced can stress tenants out or make them feel like you are invading their privacy. Not all tenants will feel that way, but it’s always good practice to alert tenants before arriving at their door unannounced.
Plus, you can avoid wasting your time or missing your tenant altogether. Remember that this is a hectic time of year; they might even be traveling when you decide to stop by! Calling ahead saves everyone time and frustration.
If you have tenants renting from you long-term or in more expensive rentals, you might want to do a little something more for them. While not a requirement, some landlords feel that they would like to show their appreciation more significantly.
The following ideas are a bit more expensive than those previously listed, so consider these options if they will fit your needs and budget.
- Potted plant
- Movie tickets
- Sporting event tickets
- Gourmet food basket
- 72-hour emergency kit
- Holiday flower arrangement
- Reusable canvas bag filled with treats
- Bottle of wine or champagne
- Fleece throws or blankets
- Welcome mat*
If you’re still stumped for ideas, don’t forget that there’s one gift that may be the most appreciated of all.
You can tailor the amount on the gift card for each tenant to best fit your budget. Consider gift cards to Amazon as a safe gift everyone would appreciate. By tucking a gift card into a well-written holiday card, you can share the spirit of the holiday as well as a nice shopping day for your tenant.
Don’t forget to give yourself an excellent holiday gift this year as well. Why not sign up for our newsletter? We’ll update you with the latest tips for landlords as well as valuable (and free) resources that will help you do your job. Here at RentPrep, we love working with landlords. Let us share what we offer with you next year by joining our newsletter this holiday season.
We’ve gathered a few of the most popular questions about holiday gifts for tenants.
Some do, some don’t. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to give gifts to your tenants. We recommend keeping any gifts you hand out small and giving equal gifts to all of your tenants. Even if your tenants might never find out otherwise, you don’t want to risk creating any tension by not giving to one tenant when you gift to others.
While most tenants will appreciate the gesture, keep in mind that not all tenants will respond enthusiastically. Make it clear that your tenant is not expected to gift anything in return and that you are doing this as part of your role as a landlord and property manager.
While allowed deductions for gifts are minimal, there are some tax deductions that you might be able to benefit from when gifting tenants during the holiday season.
According to the IRS, you can deduct no more than $25 per person per year for business gifts. As long as your gift fits the definition needed for taxes, you can consider it to be tax deductible.
Since it’s the holiday season, you might assume that the best way to thank a tenant is to give them something physical. However, there is a lot that you can do to show your appreciation for their business and cordiality beyond gift-giving.
Here are some ideas on ways to thank great tenants without actually gifting them anything. The best part is that you can do these things year-round, not just during the holiday season!
- Offer a free rental service that you usually wouldn’t do (i.e., new paint, carpet cleaning mid-lease, etc.)
- Send them a thoughtful note and thank you card
- Respond to their requests promptly and send them early notice for all visits and repairs
- Provide them with community updates, such as newsletters or coupon booklets, that they may otherwise miss out on
- Keep communication lines open at all times to ensure they know you are ready and willing to help
Gifting your tenants is a great way to say “thank you” for a good year, but don’t stress too much over gift ideas for your renters. It’s not a requirement, and anything you come up with is likely to be well-received.
By keeping gifts simple, practical, and affordable, everyone involved will be satisfied.
What are you giving your tenants this year? Please share this article and tell us your thoughtful and affordable holiday gift ideas for tenants in the comments below!