Police say a Melbourne man was responsible for the murder of a mother-of-four whose body was left in a bathtub for eight months while he collected her welfare payments.

A 52-year-old man from Thomastown has been charged with the murder of Sarah Gatt, 40, whose body was discovered inside the bath of her Kensington unit, 4km northwest of the Melbourne CBD, on January 3 last year.

It is believed Ms Gatt died around April 19 the year prior and that a man had been pretending to be her and was collecting money that did not belong to him.

Sarah Gatt's body was found in a bathtub in Kensington last year. Photo / News Corp Australia
Sarah Gatt's body was found in a bathtub in Kensington last year. Photo / News Corp Australia

The Thomastown man, who has not been named, will face Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Monday.

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Police found Ms Gatt when they entered the Lambeth Street property on an unrelated matter, news.com.au reported at the time.

They say Ms Gatt was a known drug user and that people who knew she was dead did their best to keep her "alive".

"I can say and reaffirm that police believe that both the death itself was covered up and that there was an implication that she was still alive after April 20 last year," Homicide Squad Detective Inspector Tim Day said last year.

The victim's father said she was a "great person" and "I couldn't fault her at all" but admitted she had gone down the wrong path in life and become consumed by the need to feed her drug habit.

"I tried (to bring her back) and she didn't want to do it. I lost contact with her about 18 months ago because she didn't want to see me. Whatever I said, she just didn't want to do it."

Detectives and forensic police attend the home of Sarah Gatt in Kensington. Photo / News Corp Australia
Detectives and forensic police attend the home of Sarah Gatt in Kensington. Photo / News Corp Australia

Ms Gatt's mother said her daughter had four children "aged seven to 18" but "kept everything to herself". She said she started using drugs as a teenager and her life spiralled from there.

"She had a lot of big dreams which, to be honest, I knew would never really happen but she had good intentions," she said.