Widower opens letter from council to his late wife… offering condolences for HIS death

December 13, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

Widower Stephen Woodruffe opened a letter from the council to his late wife – offering her condolences on HIS death.

The grandfather was still trying to cope with the loss of his partner Sharon who died from a rare cancer in October at the age of 57.

The letter, which arrived six weeks later, informed him they were transferring their joint tenancy agreement into his late wife’s name.

Stephen Woodruffe with his two daughters and the letter from the council offering his late with their condolences for his death

Stephen Woodruffe with his two daughters and the letter from the council offering his late with their condolences for his death

Worried Stephen, 57, immediately phoned housing officers on Medway Borough Council to inform them he was very much alive and it was in fact his wife who had passed away.

His daughter Tracey Seex, 38, condemned the council for not making proper checks.

Tracey, a medical secretary of Medway, Kent, said: “Dad was quite upset about it.

“Mum’s death was a great loss to all of us, she was only 57, and it has been very difficult and the council’s letter was insensitive.

“After my mum died, my dad notified all the relevant people, including the council. They shouldn’t have made such a mistake.

“The letter was upsetting, but what worried him more was it saying that the tenancy had been passed to my deceased mother instead of my dad – especially because it said the tenancy could only be transferred once.”

The council said they had apologised over the phone to Stephen and sent a housing officer to sort out the tenancy issue.

A spokesman said: “We deeply regret any distress that this has caused Stephen and have apologised sincerely to him for the mistake.

“The tenancy will be transferred into his sole name following a visit by a member of Medway Council staff.”

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