A landlord in the Vancouver Island community of Saanich is facing multiple fraud charges after police say she received thousands of dollars in deposits -- all for the same suite.


Saanich police allege Charmaine Roy has left at least 25 people stranded and homeless after cancelling their tenancy days before they were supposed to move into her two-bedroom basement suite.


"We've had five more people come in today," Const. Kathleen Brandsma told ctvbc.ca on Saturday. "It's the human side to this that's the real tragedy here."


Brandsma said police have heard from several university students, a single mother and even a pregnant woman, and that all complaints follow the same pattern.


"They see the ad online, they put money down on the suite, then they get an email saying you can't move in."


Roy was arrested on Wednesday and charged with one count of fraud, though investigators say more charges are in the works.


Thousands of dollars in deposits


Anne Marie Alexander said she found a listing for the suite on Craigslist in November, and emailed Roy to enquire.


"She emailed me back and said, well, since you're a single mom I'll hold it for you," Alexander said.


She claims she handed over a $400 deposit. Then, days before she was meant to move in, she received a message saying one of Roy's tenants had committed suicide and the suite was now a crime scene -- a claim police say is false.


"The Saanich police can confirm there has not been a suicide at this residence," Const. Paul Lamoureux said.


Kim Dean said his daughter got caught in a similar situation. Days before she was supposed to move in, she was told the suite's tenant contracted the H1N1 virus -- and that the house was under quarantine.


University of Victoria student Amy Mitchell says she and her roommate paid $800 to rent the suite for December.


"She didn't ask for a damage deposit," Mitchell said. "She said she felt bad because she didn't want to take money from students."


Calls to Roy's residence on Saturday were not returned.


She is scheduled to appear in court on January 21.


With a report from CTV British Columbia's Michele Brunoro