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Preventing Undiscovered Tenant Deaths Round Table

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DATE: 22/05/2024
TIME: 12:00 - 16:00
LOCATION: Radisson Blu Hotel, Birmingham

Undiscovered tenant deaths are one of the most tragic, yet under-reported, issues in the UK today, despite some high-profile cases in the media.

In social housing alone data shows that there could have been up to 1600 people who have lain undiscovered for more than two days in the past five years. 500 of these could have been undiscovered for more than 5 days.* 

This could be one of your customers.

Like Natalie Kane and her 14-month-old son Harry, whose bodies were found in a social housing flat in West Cumbria just after Christmas 2021. Harry’s mother, Natalie, struggled with addiction and depression throughout her life. However, his birth seemed to give her a renewed purpose. Natalie was last seen in a supermarket in her hometown of Whitehaven on Christmas Eve. Police were called when she failed to collect her methadone prescription on December 30th. They entered her flat to find Natalie’s body next to a pile of unopened Christmas presents. Harry was found in the bathroom. He had succumbed to dehydration over several days while she lay dead.

Or Sheila Seleoane, who was found in her housing association flat in Peckham, in 2022. Her body had gone undiscovered for more than two years, despite neighbours’ concerns.

Unfortunately, tragic events like these are just the tip of the iceberg. They affect our most vulnerable and marginalised and are a symptom of chronic isolation. They are widespread in social housing and beyond. Could they be relatively easily avoided?

How many people are waiting to be found right now?

Social landlords are waking up to the reality that this could happen to one of their customers, in one of their properties. They already recognise the need for regular two-way engagement with their residents, but can this be repurposed in some way also to prevent these tragedies? The combination of a growing ageing population in general needs properties, the increase in the number of vulnerable residents and the impact that an undiscovered tenant death has on the community, colleagues and reputation means this is too big an issue to ignore. 

This Round Table hopes to share ways in which social landlords are using technology, systems and processes, combined with human contact, to save lives, keep people safe, combat loneliness and avoid future tragic deaths of innocent children and vulnerable residents like Harry or Sheila.

Please register your interest by clicking here.


*based on Freedom of Information Act requests by an independent journalist