Hi, thanks for response and apologies for delay. It may not be the answer/s I'm after but best to know exactly where I am with it. Perhaps it might be easier if I bullet point again:
1) I accept he can claim a a single tenant. However is there not a 'witness summons' I can issue to the claimants partner. Is this not reasonable that as someone jointly and severally liable (and who stands to benefit from the claim) I am within my rights to request her attendance. Unfortunately, I have to take the same approach as the ex tenant and make life uncomfortable i.e. force his partner to attend. Being perfectly blunt if I can make his partner attend he may well discontinue.
2. Am I preparing a 'witness statement' or a 'statement of truth' on a single sheet of A4? If so what court procedure am I quoting to dismiss his £800 costs i.e. fixed costs only.
3. I accept I won't be able to get this struck out at an early stage (summary judgement) but worth asking.
4) I accept the claim or any claim for disrepair is and may well often be opportunistic. However I have 2 references prior to and after the claimants tenancy telling a story. Would the judge, on the balance of probability, consider these references and might they weigh in my favour or am I wasting my time putting them forward. The references are't gushing simply 'we were/are happy with the property' and I am a 'courteous and professional landlord'.
5) I forgot to mention previously I agreed to refund them the balance of the tenancy from the 2nd > 20th January 2012 if I had not replaced the boiler by the 2nd January. i.e. over Xmas while they were away which was done. However they turned up with a van irrespective. The claimant had also let it slip to me that he could have commuted. I agreed to the refund on the condition but primarily because hey were the tenants from hell and I had visions of them squatting till Xmas 2012. When they left on the 3rd January he took he keys with him and returned them on the 19th.