When a new tenant moves in, do you welcome them with open arms, or just hand over the keys? Great tenants are few and far between, and even good tenants make your life much easier. So why not show your appreciation and start the landlord/tenant relationship off right?
Lots of landlords we know present a new tenant with a welcome package of goodies. Some cost them little to nothing out of pocket—say, $10 – $15. Others keep it strictly business and include just the legalities.
If you choose the former, here are a few items to include in a welcome package that will make your new tenant feel right at home:
- A list of emergency phone numbers. This might seem old-fashioned when a simple call to 911 will fetch police, fire and ambulance. But your tenants also need to know how to get in touch with your preferred maintenance people in an emergency. Do include the numbers for your plumber, electrician and general maintenance provider, along with utility companies.
- A floor plan clearly indicating the emergency evacuation route, location of fire extinguishers and smoke alarms and emergency water shut-offs.
- Coupons for local businesses. Stop by the neighborhood pizza shop, dry cleaner, deli and other businesses that might love to have your new tenants for customers. See if you can strike a deal with the pizza shop for discounted gift cards and include one as a gift for move-in day.
- Bus routes, trail and bike maps. More and more tenants are ditching their cars for alternative forms of transportation. Make it easier for them to find the right bus, bike to work, or go for a walk or run on nearby trail.
- A few of life’s necessities, like toilet paper, paper towels and a few extra batteries for the smoke detectors. These low-cost items can really make a big difference when moving into a new place.
Remember, a small effort can actually go a long way to establishing a good relationship with your new tenants. And even if some don’t seem to appreciate it, you might be reaping unseen rewards in the form of fewer problems and happier tenants!