Barnet: Mother and daughter found dead in council flat six months after last being seen alive

A view of Prospect Ring in Barnet  (Google)
A view of Prospect Ring in Barnet (Google)

An investigation has been launched after a mother and daughter were found dead in their north London council flat at least six months after last being seen alive.

Zarinn Adatia, 84, and her 48-year-old daughter Tasneem were discovered in their Barnet Homes property in East Finchley by engineers completing a gas safety check.

The pair were found on November 24 last year, but it is thought they had not been seen by neighbours in Prospect Ring since around April.

Barnet Council said the family’s rent was up to date and they were not known to social services.

On Friday, deputy leader Ross Houston confirmed that the local authority was now trying to “determine the circumstances around this tragedy”.

He said: “We are deeply shocked and saddened by the distressing circumstances of the passing and discovery of Mrs and Miss Adatia, and we extend our sincere condolences to their family and friends.

“Barnet Homes was the family’s landlord and their rent payments were made regularly and were up to date.

“They did not have any known vulnerabilities and were not known to Barnet Council’s social services.

“The deceased were discovered during a routine gas safety check, whereby Barnet Homes officers were able to obtain entry to their residence.

“We are working with the relevant authorities to determine the circumstances around this tragedy and are committed to supporting those who have been affected.”

Police confirmed that officers were called to the housing association block on the afternoon of November 24.

The force said the deaths were being treated as unexplained but not suspicious. An inquest is due to take place in June.

The news follows similar discoveries in the capital in recent years.

Sheila Seleone’s skeletal remains were found in her Peckham flat in February last year, more than two years after she died.

A coroner determined the 61-year-old probably died in August 2019.

Ms Seleone missed rent and utility payments and neighbours complained to Peabody Housing Association and police about a smell.

When the Met reviewed the actions of the officers who twice attended to investigate in October 2020, the internal system found that one of their controllers incorrectly recorded that Ms Seleone had been seen alive and well.

The officer who made the first call was also only at the property for eight minutes.

Inside Housing reported that the body of another Peabody resident, Terry Watkins, was found in his flat in Westminster in July 2021— several months after his neighbours began raising concerns about his welfare.