The body of a man in his 50s was discovered by workmen who entered an apartment in southern Sweden to change the plumbing, The Local.se reported Wednesday.
"There is no social control anymore," police spokesman Claes Bjornefelt said. "This man wasn't missed by anyone. He didn't have an employer and lived a Spartan life."
The man's landlord didn't notice anything out of the ordinary because the rent was paid by direct debit each month.
Judging from letters found in his flat, police said the man had likely been dead since 2011.
Bjornefelt said it was unusual for a person to die and not be found for years, although older people without friends had been known to lie dead for months before someone found them.