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Letter: Renting to Whistler tenant ‘absolutely worth it’

'When he moved out, he told us that we saved his season, and he could not thank us enough for what we gave him.'
On the fence about renting out a room in your house? It's worth it, says this Whistler letter writer.

In November, my partner and I discussed at length whether we should take in a tenant for the winter. Like many people, we sure got comfortable during the pandemic living just the two of us—goodness, it was pleasant not sharing a tight kitchen space.

But priding myself on being community oriented, I had this niggling guilt in my stomach that we did have a spare bedroom that could potentially house an employee. My partner was not as enthused with the idea, but after some thorough discussions, in December, a young man nearly two decades our junior moved in.

Friends warned us that he would trash our home, steal from us, bring home drugs, party… The counts held against him were lengthy, and yet all he needed, in his own words, was a bed. He wanted to snowboard, and he needed somewhere to sleep.

Over the season, we rarely crossed paths, because he was out exploring everything exceptional Whistler has to offer. When he was home, he shared stories that reminded us of being in our early 20s, and in turn, we inspired him with the adventures we ourselves were having. It was refreshing to connect with someone at such a different time in their lives, and to be reminded of what Whistler looks like through a 22-year-old’s eyes.

When he moved out, he told us that we saved his season, and he could not thank us enough for what we gave him. The week we connected, he had come to terms with the fact that he would have to go back to Australia and not have the season abroad he had dreamt of. By offering our spare room, we turned this man’s season around—and housed a much-needed employee for our resort.

I share our experience in hopes to inspire others who may be on the fence about welcoming tenants into their homes. Sure, it can be scary to think about sharing your home, but maybe give it a go with a short-term lease, or contact a local employer about suitable matches (many have signs in their windows, ads on Craigslist, and in this very newspaper). Considering we turned someone’s life experience around, I’d say our trial this past winter was absolutely worth it. We already have another tenant through an employer-match type program, and it is equally off to a great start.

Mandy Rousseau // Whistler