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Giving a Holiday Gift Can Improve Your Rental Life

Your holiday gift list might not include landlords, mailmen and property maintenance staff--but adding these key players to your gift list this season could be a smart idea.
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Your holiday gift list might not include landlords, mailmen and property maintenance staff--but adding these key players to your gift list this season could be a smart idea.

A few small, thoughtful gifts will go a long way toward building solid relationships (ones that might help you out during rent increases or a maintenance emergency), but getting the right gift can be difficult.

As always with gifts, you're not obligated to do anything. However, during the holiday season, a little good cheer and a small token of your appreciation will serve you well in the year to come.

To save yourself time, just follow our handy gift-giving guide.

Your Landlord

If you rent from a private landlord, consider a small personalized gift. Most landlords would be thrilled to receive a simple thank-you note that says how happy you've been with their property or service over the past year.

You can also add other small tokens like hand-baked cookies, and a gift certificate to a local restaurant or a local hardware store always is appreciated. Keep your gift small (under $50) and give it a little personality.

Property Management Staff

If you rent from a larger corporation with several members on the office staff, look for an inexpensive gift everyone can share: a fruit bouquet, a batch of baked goods or a mix of candy and chocolate.

If anyone on the property management staff went above and beyond for you during the year and you want to say thank you, throw in an additional small gift just for them--maybe a gift certificate to a nearby lunch spot.

Maintenance Staff

If you have a dedicated maintenance person, look for small gifts that will make their work life easier. For example, a gift certificate to a local hardware store would be appreciated. Pair it with a thank-you note for any hard work they've completed on your rental in the past year.

For larger maintenance staff, opt for a shared gift or tip each member in cash. Remember to ask the property management staff first, however, because many companies put a limit on how much the staff can receive in tips.


You don't have to get a gift for everyone in your building, but small gifts for the people who share your walls can help make your rental life better--and easier. After all, your neighbors are more likely to keep an eye on your place if they know you personally.

If you don't know the neighbors well, choose an inexpensive gift like a bottle of wine or box of candy. If you do know them, add a more personal touch and include something you know they'd like: a gift certificate to a new restaurant in the neighborhood, perhaps.

Mail Delivery Service

If you do a lot of online shopping and your mail carrier or UPS delivery driver frequently has to walk your boxes to your door, the holidays are a great time to show thanks. Most mail carriers and delivery workers prefer tips.

Both cash and Visa gift cards work, but be sure to double check with the service first. They may have a limit on what the employee can accept.