An 82-year-old man was found dead in his council flat last Friday after his body went undiscovered for seven months.
The deceased’s rent payments stopped last November prompting a housing manager from Oxford City Council to investigate after the Christmas holidays.
No action was taken because a neighbour reported seeing the man a few weeks earlier.
In April, the council’s rents team asked the tenancy sustainment officers to visit the property.
After getting no response, council officers then contacted the local hospital, care homes and the coroners’ office in an attempt to locate him.
On 2 June, housing officers, after a multi-agency meeting, requested the police make a forced entry into the property where the man’s body was subsequently discovered.
A council spokesperson said: ‘This is a very sad discovery and highlights the problems of single older people living outside sheltered housing.’
They added: ‘It is a distressing case which illustrates the fine balance between respect for the tenant’s right to privacy and the council’s role as a caring landlord.’
The council’s housing department has identified 700 plus residents over 75 living alone and will be launching a social isolation project to make contact with them to discuss their personal circumstances and needs.