It is known as the most wonderful time of the year, and for millions of us Christmas is a time to spread cheer through the exchange of gifts and goodwill. However, the question remains whether it is appropriate, or even inappropriate, for tenants and landlords to exchange gifts during the festive season.
This topic is of course totally subjective and there is no right or wrong answer. Each tenant-landlord relationship is unique. But there are three key points to consider if you and your housemates are contemplating buying a Christmas gift for your landlord this year.
Hopefully you will have got to know your landlord during your tenancy with the help of the advice in our previous guide, How to build a positive relationship with your landlord, in which case you will have developed a solid foundation of trust, respect and identified any mutual interests.
Perhaps through general conversation you will also have established whether they celebrate Christmas, or if they practise another religion. The question of gift giving does not have to be exclusive to Christmas, it could be in relation to another festive holiday you are considering getting them a gift for, for example, Hanukah, Diwali or Ramadan. In any case, simply speaking to your landlord and building a relationship with them will aid you in deciding whether it is appropriate to purchase a gift for them.
Of course, if your landlord has not been particularly helpful during your tenancy it is doubtful that you will feel inclined to reward their lack of engagement with a Christmas present. However, landlords are just human beings who are mainly trying their best to make you comfortable in their property, and a small thoughtful present could be a well-received gesture.
If you feel that your landlord has been on hand to help you with all of your issues throughout the tenancy, why not demonstrate your appreciation? If they have gone above and beyond the call of duty, being there to drop round spare keys when you’re locked out, supervise home improvements, or even give you extensions on your rent when money was uncertain, a small gift could be appreciated.
A heartfelt gesture to your landlord, even a token such as a box of chocolates or bunch of flowers, to show you are grateful for the service they are providing you, could make their day.
Of course, people may feel that by buying your landlord a present you are expecting them to reciprocate the gesture, however if you expect nothing in return, there will be no disappointment.
Do you have a shared love of cats, do you compare fantasy football results, or do you both love anime? If you have a shared interest with your landlord perhaps there is a gift you have in mind that you would like to purchase for them.
Maybe they have expressed an interest in your plants in which case you could buy them a plant as a gesture of appreciation at Christmas time.
Try to avoid expensive presents and choose something thoughtful instead, which says: “I listen to you and I appreciate you”, rather than “I want to buy your favour”.
If you cannot think of a specific gift tailored to your landlord’s interests but still wish to demonstrate your appreciation, chocolates are always a winner.
In summary, Christmas can be a stressful time for landlords because managing properties is a full-time all-encompassing job. And if there are issues with properties during the Christmas period, they must be on hand. Therefore, in many cases receiving a small token of appreciation at Christmas time would be gratefully received.
For more advice on tips for tenants, check out the blog page on our website.
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