I would like to start a lengthy discussion about how landlords can start out on the right foot with their tenants by building a trusting relationship filled with mutual respect. For this column, I would like to address the issue of creating a welcome pack for your tenants.

It seems unfortunate to me that more property owners and managers do not bother with this little nicety. With property markets and the economy the way they are, we should all be thankful to have tenants – especially good ones. Ideally, we want to keep those wonderful people for a long time. If you want to do that, you need to start off right with your tenants by showing them that you care.

A welcome pack should include, at minimum, a nice little note on the important things your tenant is unlikely to know, but might well need to. Let’s face it – tenants rarely read the details of the lease agreement or rules and regulations, regardless of how much we would like to believe they do. So, it’s quite nice if a landlord outlines the important information a tenant needs to know, such as when and how the rubbish is collected, what to do if they lose a key, and a list of important phone numbers. In fact, a nice little refrigerator magnet with key numbers is both useful and handy.

A welcome pack can and should include useful items that show thoughtfulness on the part of a landlord. A bottle of wine, a bouquet of flowers or a small gift certificate to a local restaurant put forth that extra effort that tells your tenant you are a different sort of landlord. Other useful items include bathroom tissue, soap and other items that might be difficult to find during the unpacking process