Imagine renting a home, paying your deposit and when the day finally arrives to move in, other people are at the door having rented the same place. That’s what’s happened on Hamilton’s central mountain where not just one or two families, but dozens appear to have been duped in the same scam.
A fully renovated bungalow on the Hamilton mountain was put up for sub-lease on Kijiji for only $1600 a month, predictably, it caught the interest of many young families. Interested renters say Chanelle Trottier didn’t take long to strike a deal, a deal she clearly made several times.
“I got a sublease agreement from her, rent receipt, gave her $1600 for first month’s rent, looked my son in the face, said how cute he was, then took our money and put it in her pocket.”
When it was move in day, some of the victims would arrived at the house but then quickly realized that they weren’t the only people signed on to call this place home. Heather, her young son and boyfriend were looking to start a new life here, until they were dealt the ugly truth by landlord Marc Mikhail who had no idea what was going on.
“Came here and there were a bunch of couples that were expecting to move in there was a uhaul truck ready to move in and that’s when we first found out about it.” Marc Mikhail, home owner.
Heather outed Trottier on Facebook and soon after dozens of families reported to have been promised that exact same house with move in dates ranging from November to December. Meanwhile, Trottier posted freely about her and her boyfriend’s epic vacations to Cuba and Florida and even mentioned that she had bought a new car leaving many families thinking that’s where their rent money went.
Heather’s post has since garnered over 600 shares and was even able to attract Trottier’s attention away from her travels.
“She’s saying, if you charge me this will ruin my life, I won’t be able to get a job, I won’t have anywhere to live and that’s kind of the point here because she’s done that to so many people where they don’t have a place to live and she’s playing it off like she’s the victim.”
Before deleting all her social media profiles, an account claiming to be Chanelle Trottier reached out to CHCH telling us that the renters are ‘taking advantage of a explitive situation on my part and making it bigger than it is.
We spoke with Hamilton police who told us that they’re in the very beginning stages of the investigation and that they’re dealing with several victims tied to this incident on top of several other non-related fraud investigations.
In the meantime, the landlord says the house has suffered some property damage from scammed renters and is pleading that people stop blaming him. He also is asking that angry renters refrain from harassing his tenants extended family who he says also have nothing to do with this scam.