A GRIEVING Farnborough woman has slammed the Pavilion Housing Association for a blunder which caused her unnecessary heartache.

Mrs Sherryl Payne was stunned when the association demanded four weeks notice on a flat occupied by her mother, who had died 10 days earlier.

She was also told the association intended to take the month's rent, totalling £248.96, out of her late mother's account which was £335.80 in credit.

But Pavilion backed down when Mrs Payne, of The Findings, Farnborough, protested at its insensitive attitude.

The association blamed the affair on a young member of staff who, it said, had failed to use her discretion.

"When I complained to their welfare department they were very apologetic," said Mrs Payne.

"But I'm still not totally happy. For a start it seems their front office staff need better training in how to handle these situations.

"We had spent 10 days clearing the flat before handing in the keys, so I couldn't believe it when I was told they needed four week's notice."

Mrs Payne said the argument was the last thing she needed after the death of her 66-year-old mother, Mrs Jane Grant, who occupied a flat in Holywell Close, Farnborough.

"I had the painful task of stopping my mother's treatment at Frimley Park Hospital," she said.

"It was a very traumatic time and the last thing I needed was hassle with Pavilion."

Pavilion spokesman Mike Swaddling said on Tuesday: "We are extremely surprised that Mrs Payne should have been in contact with the press in this matter. Although a member of Pavilion staff made a genuine mistake in dealing with her initially, on a subsequent visit to our offices she fully accepted our apology and left on the most amicable terms.

"The recent account was in credit because the late Mrs Grant had not returned the refund request form that we had sent to her. We are refunding this to the estate and have waived the four weeks notice normally required, so that the tenancy in fact ended on May 6. Mrs Payne has subsequently returned the keys to her mother's flat to us and appeared to be perfectly satisfied with the outcome."