Chris Childs

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What kind of gift should you get your tenants?

Good tenants are a valuable thing to have. Consistent repayments, respectful treatment of the property, a friendly disposition – all of these can be a serious boon for any property owner. As a result, Christmas is often a time of year that people like to reward their favourite tenants with a gift.

But once you've made the decision of who is on your Naughty or Nice list, you encounter an even tougher question: what sort of gift should you get them? Here are some of the most common picks for tenant gifts this season – and whether it'll be the right choice this year.

Who's on your Nice list this Christmas?Who's on your Nice list this Christmas?

1) A rental discount

You may get a longer stay from a great tenant by allowing this slight reprieve.

Giving money as a gift at Christmas is always a tough sell – it can seem rather cold and uninspired. But it could be a great choice for your tenants.

The Christmas season is a time of year where a significant number of tenants end up defaulting on their rent. Terri Scheer Insurance found that the additional financial pressures can end up creating a severe burden on them – something which may result in them being unable to pay their rent unexpectedly.

With this in mind, you might decide to ease that worry for an otherwise consistent tenant with a rental discount in December or January. It doesn't have to be large – even $100 off the month's rent could be enough to reduce the pressure. This is entirely up to personal preference, but you may get a longer stay from a great tenant by allowing this slight reprieve.

2) Appliance upgrades

If you've owned a rental property for a few years, you'll know about the benefits of depreciation: things that come as part of the home reduce in value over the years, and you can claim that at tax time.

But the other side of that is the value reduces for a reason. Eventually, appliances need replacements or upgrades – and if you supply a furnished home, you may be responsible for replacement anyway. Why not kill two birds with one stone by gifting it at Christmas time?

A new fridge, a fresh finish on the oven, a more energy-efficient dishwasher; there are a lot of choices here. Just remember to include them on your depreciation schedule so you can reap the rewards of a gift that keeps on giving!

Non-perishables are a must-have for a Christmas gift basket.Non-perishables are a must-have for a Christmas gift basket.

3) Gift baskets

What is Christmas for if not to indulge in some of our favourite food? If you've had a tenant for a few years and you know some of their preference, this can double up as a thoughtful demonstration of how well you know and appreciate your best tenants.

One piece of advice though: try not to include any perishables. Many people decide to go on holiday at Christmas, and the last thing you want your favourite tenants to come home to is a basket of rotten fruit and drooping flowers! 

Either ensure you are delivering it when they are back home, or send it as a special surprise for when they return with some non-perishable treats for the weary travellers.

These are some great ideas that plenty of people have found work very well for both themselves and their tenants. If you do decide to give your renters a gift this year, you're not likely to go wrong with one of these choices. 

For more great ideas, tips and tricks on making the most of your property portfolio, get in touch with the property mentors at Think Money, or come along to one of our seminars. This advice is our gift to you this Christmas!