Multiple Hamilton residents have been given a terrible dose of reality after a rental scam has come to light, leaving various families without a place to live.
Heather-Renee Auchterlonie was ready to move into her new place with her boyfriend and three-year-old son on Thayer Avenue, which included a backyard for him to play in and a finished basement, all for $1,600 inclusive.
Auchterlonie soon found out she had fallen prey to what appears to be a prolific rental scam that the has left multiple people without a place to live, and a landlord absolutely baffled about what was going on under his own roof.
Police say they are investigating the matter, but have not yet laid any charges, while the alleged scammer maintains her innocence.
Auchterlonie first came across a listing for the home on Kijiji in the middle of October, listed as a sublease for the current tenants, Chanelle Trottier and her boyfriend.
Auchterlonie says she viewed the home, which is near Upper Wellington Street and Queensdale Avenue East, with Trottier. She says she then agreed to the terms of the sublease, and paid $1,600 as a deposit on the unit.
Kyle Larsen and Justice Klause were another one of those families, and they say they also paid Trottier $1,600 as a deposit for the home as a place to live with their six-year-old son. Larsen provided a reporter a copy of the sublease agreement he had signed with Trottier’s name on it.
He says they found out about the scam thanks to a note that Mikhail left on the door, because so many people were showing up, expecting to be able to move in.
Though the accusations are mounting, Trottier maintains her innocence. When reached by CBC News, she said things are getting “twisted around” on social media, and “a lot of things are being said that aren’t true.”
“My intentions were never to scam anyone,” she said. “I haven’t been charged with anything … there’s not sufficient evidence to charge me.”
Const. Lorraine Edwards of Hamilton police told CBC News that the fraud unit is currently looking into the situation, but no charges have yet been laid.
Read the full story at the CBC.