Woman’s body found in flat after neighbours complain of ‘foul smell’ for 2 years

Neighbours of the flat in Peckham, London became increasingly concerned for the woman’s welfare after noticing post piling up and force entry notices on her door were seemingly ignored

Horrified residents have reacted with sadness and shock that their worst fears all along have finally been confirmed

Image: SWNS)

The skeleton remains of a woman’s body have been found in a UK flat after neighbours had complained of a foul stench for the last two years.

Metropolitan Police confirmed that it had recovered the body of a woman, aged 61, at a flat in Peckham, London on Friday, February 18.

But neighbours in the apartment block say the woman owed thousands of pounds in rent and that they have been complaining of a foul smell in the building for two years.

They claim that they started reporting the stench in October 2019 to their housing association and that her letterbox has been overflowing with unopened post.

But it wasn’t until earlier this week that officers finally forced open the door and discovered decaying remains.

The letterbox had been overflowing for years and neighbours say the victim owed thousands in rent



Officers say they are not treating her death as suspicious.

A young woman who lives next door said: “It’s disgusting and I’m just shocked. I have been living here since 2008.

“It’s a small three story complex. I didn’t know her very well, but she would sometime collect my deliveries for me.

“I came back from a trip abroad in September or October 2019 when I noticed a horrific stench in the building.

“It was so bad, I had to put a towel under the door.”

Police recovered the body but say they are not treating the death as suspicious



Concern for the woman’s welfare increased among fellow residents when a forced entry notice for a routine gas check appeared on her door in 2020.

The neighbour said: “We repeatedly called the housing association because it was weird – her letter box full and I could see from the letters she hadn’t been paying rent.

“I called them up again and said I hadn’t seen this lady in months.

“The police came but they said lots of people had moved out of London during the pandemic and she could be abroad.”

Residents again raised complaints when an abandoned bike was left outside the flat and still hadn’t been moved weeks later.

But it wasn’t until police finally prized open the flat door earlier this week when they received another complaint about the bad smell.

Police discovered the remains after receiving another call of concern over the bad smell



Neighbours were prompted to complain again when a bike was left abandoned outside the flat



Officers broke down the door on St Mary’s Road, Peckham, and discovered the body shortly after 7pm on Friday night.

“They broke down the door and it revealed what I had feared the whole time – that she was dead.

“They told me she was basically a skeleton and asked me to confirm her ethnicity,” the neighbour added.

A police spokesperson said: “Concerns had been raised about the welfare of a woman who lived at the address.

“Officers attended and forced entry. The body of a 61-year-old woman who was deceased was found inside.

“The woman’s death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious.

“A file will be prepared for the coroner.”

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