Thanks for your question.
It is crucial what arrangement was made with regard to his occupation of her property during the time he was there. If there was an understanding that he would pay rent but he did not but they agreed that rent arrears would accrue then she stands a chance as claiming this as a debt owed by him to her. If there was no such understanding and she permitted his occupation without an expectation at the time that rent would be paid or accrue then she was allowing him occupation under licence and cannot now claim rent in respect of the time he was there.
The key issue with the loan paid off by him is whether it was intending as a loan of a gift. If there was no expectation that it would be paid back then it will be held to be a gift between a loving couple in a relationship and he can not claim it back. If however there was an expectation that it would be paid back in some way at a later date then he would be able to issue proceedings and obtain judgement on the monies as a debt.
The sum of money is certainly enough for a reasonable person to submit an application to Court if he is able to prove that it was intended as a loan OR if there is no evidence to the contrary. If there is documentary evidence either way on each of the issues of the above then this will probably be persuasive to the Court on the issues. You girlfriend should check her old emails/texts/letters etc to see if there is any such evidence.
If there is no such documentary evidence then it will depend on the amount of credibility the Court attaches to each persons witness statements and testimony. This is obviously quite unpredictable and if your girlfriend is not confident with the evidence that she can collate then it may be something that she should consider negotiating over to avoid the costs and stress of Court.
If there was an expectation that he would pay rent or that it would accrue but also an expectation that the repayment of the loan would be made then it would be better to negotiate a settlement.
She can seek specific advice after collating her evidence by asking for a initial free or fixed fee consultation with a local solicitor, she can find them via:-
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