7 tips for treating your tenants at Christmas
Happy tenants make happy landlords, and a few simple gestures can go a long way towards creating harmony in your properties. Here's how you can use the festive period to build good relationships with your tenants, and ensure your properties stay safe over the festive period.
- A hand-delivered Christmas card is an excellent way of getting in touch before the holidays begin. It’s also a good excuse to check in with tenants to see if they are going away for any length of time over the festive season. If they are leaving the property vacant for the holidays, you can remind them to keep the heating on a timer to avoid frozen pipes, and use a timed light to deter burglaries. And of course, wish them well for the Christmas season!
- If your tenants are not Christian or you are unsure of their faith, it’s good to wish them 'happy holidays' instead of Merry Christmas. Even if they do not celebrate the holiday season, they will likely appreciate the gesture.
- At Christmas, it is not uncommon for landlords to take tenants a small gift. This could be flowers or chocolates, but make sure your gift is appropriate for the tenant and won't make them feel uncomfortable. If in doubt, a bottle of wine is a treat that most tenants can enjoy. It’s always best to do it in person as this helps build a good relationship and maintain lines of communication. Some longer-term tenants often buy their landlords gifts too!
- We've heard of landlords of HMOs buying a takeaway meal for the whole house as a token gesture if there have been no difficulties throughout the year. This will help build good landlord-tenant relationships, and encourage renters to treat you and your property with respect.
- An NLA course trainer uses cashback at Christmas time as an incentive for tenants to look after the house during the calendar year. This has proven very successful for longer-standing tenants but less so with short-term rentals, therefore consider carefully whether this model is right for your portfolio.
- Christmas is a good excuse to touch base with tenants and generally see how things are going in your property. However, always remember that for the most part, tenants don't want to hear from their landlord and can oftentimes feel like a landlord is interfering. Therefore keep all contact friendly, succinct and at all times remember to keep the relationship professional.
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