Welcome Your New Tenant with a Welcome Basket

Posted By: Tiffany Van Buren Housing Provider Tips,

Let’s face it; moving is stressful for everyone, your new tenant included. Think about it--they packed all their belongings into boxes, stacked those boxes into a vehicle, and transported them x number of miles to reach your place. By the time they’ve finished unloading the vehicle, they’re hungry, exhausted, and… they can’t find anything! As their new landlord, there is something you can do to help mitigate some of that stress, and I don’t mean chipping-in with manual labor; you can give them a Welcome Basket. Remember, gifts for tenants are tax deductible (with a $25-per-tenant ceiling), and a welcome gift starts the relationship off on the right foot! Plus, filling a basket with your favorite unit care items can ultimately save you money.


Before assembling a welcome basket, you’ll need to choose a vessel. I like using collapsible laundry baskets. They’re practical, reusable, and space-saving. I’ve used canvas shopping totes, but the presentation wasn’t as exciting because you couldn’t sneak a peek of the contents. Now that you have your “basket”, what should you put inside?  If you have a favorite cleaning product, a favorite local eatery, or tips about places to visit in the neighborhood, tuck them into the basket! A handwritten note is also a nice touch.


Here's a list of ideas to get you started:


  • A gift card to a grocery store, café, or restaurant in the area (Berkeley Bowl has ready-to-eat meals, perfect for move-in day, and Peet’s Coffee gift cards are always well-received)
  • A few bottles of water (I pop these into the fridge so they’re cold and refreshing)
  • A bottle of Martinelli’s Sparkling juice
  • A sweet treat (avoid products that contain nuts- Rice Krispies treat bars are good!)
  • A roll of toilet tissue (If your property has old pipes, stay away from 3-ply!)
  • A roll of paper towels
  • A bottle of hand soap or a bar of soap
  • A set of disposable eating utensils and plates (cups, plates, flatware)
  • A small bottle of dish soap
  • Your favorite scrubber (I love Scour Daddy & Dobie scrub pads)
  • A canister of cleanser (Barkeeper’s Friend is my favorite for stainless sinks and enamel tubs)
  • A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (truly magic on wall scuffs)
  • A pack of LED light bulbs (because light bulbs wait for a new tenant to move in before burning out)
  • An LED candle (candlelight without the fire hazard)
  • Felt pads for furniture feet (save your floors!)
  • 3M Command Strips (an alternative to nail holes in your walls)
  • Disposable hair-catching chain for the shower drain (prevents hair from clogging drains, saving you money!)
  • Strainer baskets for the bathroom and kitchen sink (again, to prevent clogs)
  • A laminated sheet of important information (Your contact info, info specific to the property, such as keyless lock codes, who to call in case of a maintenance emergency, recycling and composting reference materials, the day of the week that the recycling and/or garbage is collected, etc.)
  • A stack of takeout menus
  • A “Klever Kutter” or other safety utility knife (for cutting down cardboard for recycling)
  • A kitchen scrap bin (free from the city by calling (510) 981-7270)

What will you put in your Welcome Basket?