A community housing association has come under fire for not cleaning up a flat after a man was found dead inside, reportedly forcing a neighbouring family out of their flat because of the smell.

In a letter to the Marlow Free Press, a reader, who did not want to be named, said Red Kite was “refusing to take any responsibility” to clean up  the property in Sandygate Close, whose tenant was found dead a few days ago.

The reader said the gentleman lived alone since the death of his parents years ago, and the only reason his flat was investigated was due to the smell “permeating” up into the flat above.

The occupants of that flat – a man and his two sons – were allegedly forced out because of the smell.

The reader wrote: “The gentleman who lives [upstairs] with his two young sons (his wife died fairly recently) is due for major surgery this coming week, so is not in the best of health.

“They have been forced out of their flat because of the stench and are currently staying with relatives.

“Red Kite are, so far, refusing to take any responsibility for clearing the downstairs flat and making it habitable, or making the upstairs family welcome in their own home once more.

“Neighbours are concerned and are doing what they can in various ways but only Red Kite can deal with the root problem.”

But Red Kite said it was not allowed to carry out any removal or clearance activity in the tenant’s home.

Spokesman Julie Gamble-Kempe said: “We were notified of this very tragic situation by the police on July 25, following an alert to them by neighbours.

“Once the police had arranged for the body to be carefully removed, Red Kite made immediate arrangements to secure the home.

“The police subsequently confirmed they had no further involvement and that the matter had been referred to the coroner.

“Unfortunately, as there were no known next of kin, the coroner’s office and Wycombe District Council had a statutory responsibility to carry out a property search.

“Until this had been completed, Red Kite were not allowed to carry out any removal or clearance activity in the deceased tenant’s home.

“The property search was undertaken by the council on August 7 and arrangements were made by Red Kite to clear the property on the same day.

“This is a terribly sad and complex case involving a number of different agencies, as required under the Public Health Act.

“We are very sorry to hear that the leaseholder in the flat above was impacted by this sad event, but unfortunately, we were unable to act any quicker due to the legal process that needed to be followed when someone dies in such circumstances.

“This is a stark reminder to check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours and if you are at all concerned about their welfare, to report this to the police.”

Buckinghamshire coroner’s service said no information could be given out about the man yet.