Letter from our CEO, Ian McDermott
This week the awful news broke that one of our residents – Sheila Seleoane – had lain dead undiscovered in her flat for two years.
We are all devastated by what has happened. Quite rightly everyone wants answers and so do we. No one should have been left like this, it is heart-breaking and we understand the anger and frustration.
We’re looking at every single contact and visit we made to understand what went wrong and what we, as a landlord, could and should do to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
We had followed up neighbours’ concerns and tried repeatedly to make contact, and after we were told by the police that everything was fine, we didn’t assume the worst. Clearly looking back the red flags were there. It should have been obvious to us that Sheila had either abandoned the property or something was very wrong. Even with the challenges of lockdowns we should have done better. I don’t think it was because we didn’t care. But something, or a number of things, have gone wrong.
We know that’s not good enough and we need to learn from this. Until we’ve completed the investigation we don’t have the answers. For us the investigation must focus on what we did, what we were told, and to really listen to the neighbours about what they told us and the authorities.
We believe it’s really important that we learn from this across our organisation and have a clear set of actions. As the new CEO of Peabody, I will personally ensure that we put every single one of these actions in place.