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Introduction

Mathew is a through-and-through landlord and tenant specialist.

In simple terms, if the matter is of relevance to either a landlord or a tenant, in whatever guise they appear  -- residential or commercial -- or whatever Court or Tribunal in which they find themselves, Mathew will be able to assist.

Above everything Mathew gives direct, concise, no-nonsense and honest advice that cuts through the irrelevancies and focuses solely on what matters to the client. One solicitor has said that “Mathew has the knack of still seeing the wood despite there being many trees in the way”

Housing Law

Mathew is a highly experienced and specialist housing and public law barrister with over 10 years of experience.

Not only is this an area in which he now specialises, but he also worked for a specialist housing law firm prior to becoming a barrister. He cut his teeth with this busy firm, including working on a very busy court duty scheme.

He is therefore highly experienced in any housing or associated public law matter: homelessness, allocations, discrimination, sub-letting, possession, judicial review, human rights, nuisance and disrepair and more. 

Reported Cases

Allen v Ealing LBC [2021] EWHC 948 (Admin) - Mathew was instructed on this High Court appeal on behalf of the local authority in respect of a private prosecution alleging the presence of a statutory nuisance in a residential dwelling. The appeal concerned the means by which certain statutory notices can be served upon corporate entities in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

R. (on the application of Tiemo) v Lambeth LBC [2020] EWHC 1193 (Admin) - Mathew was instructed for the respondent authority in this judicial review challenging the suitability of accommodation provided pursuant to s.188 Housing Act 1996.

R (on the application of Laryea) v. Ealing LBC [2019] EWHC 3598 (Admin) - Mathew successfully represented the applicant in these judicial review proceedings wherein it was found that the authority had not properly considered all relevant factors when refusing to exercise a power to provide housing pending a review under s.202 Housing Act 1996. The case was one of the first reported cases to deal with issues relating to the ‘relief duty’ that had been recently introduced as s.189B Housing Act 1996.

R (on the application of Osman) v Harrow LBC [2017] EWHC 274 (Admin) - Mathew successfully resisted the claim for judicial review relating to an amendment to a local housing authority’s allocation scheme that was said to be unlawful and in breach of Article 14 ECHR. Mathew succeeded in arguing that the change to the scheme, which saw a reduction in the priority given to those in overcrowded private accommodation in comparison to secure tenants in similar conditions, was a proportionate and justified amendment implemented to reflect pressures facing the Borough.

Recent advisory work includes advising a large City Council on their likely housing duties towards Afghan refugees resettled in the U.K who fled Afghanistan prior to the Taliban retaking control.  

Direct Access

Mathew is authorised to accept instructions direct from members of the public. He encourages clients who are considering this route to contact Chambers and discuss their problem.

In suitable cases, Mathew can provide client conferences, written advices and representation at court. Mathew accepts direct access work in in all areas relating to landlord and tenant disputes, residential or commercial.


Areas of Expertise

View Full Profile


Qualifications

  • University of Warwick (LLB) (Hons)
  • Nottingham Law School (Bar Vocational Course)
  • Universiteit Leiden, the Netherlands (LLM in Public International Law) Cum Laude honours
  • Bar Vocational Course Exhibition (Inner Temple)

Scholarships & Awards

  • Duke of Edinburgh Scholarship (Inner Temple)
  • Sir Joseph Priestly Scholarship (Inner Temple)
  • Sir Neville Laski Q.C scholarship (Inner Temple)
  • Qualified pupil supervisor
  • Qualified under the Public Access to Barristers scheme

Professional Memberships

  • Member of the Housing Law Practitioners’ Association.

Related News

42BR Housing Law Bulletin

42BR Housing Law Bulletin

In the latest newsletter from the Housing team at 42 Bedford Row, Mathew McDermott looks at the Supreme Court’s judgment dealing with the approach to affordability under Part VII Housing Act 1996


Published: 13th Jun 2019

Housing Law Bulletin: Article 14 ECHR and Succeeding to a Secure Tenancy

Housing Law Bulletin: Article 14 ECHR and Succeeding to a Secure Tenancy

Is it fair to treat the children of secure tenants differently for the purpose of succession depending upon how their deceased parent became the tenant? This, in essence, is the question at the heart of the long-running case of London Borough of Haringey v. Simawi. The question will be answered at trial in October 2018


Published: 28th Feb 2018

Housing Law Bulletin: Part VII Housing Act 1996 and ‘settled accommodation’

Housing Law Bulletin: Part VII Housing Act 1996 and ‘settled accommodation’

Mathew McDermott discusses how relevant, if at all, the questions of hindsight and one’s own understanding of one’s security of tenure are when looking at whether or not accommodation is ‘settled’. To what extent is a tenant’s mistaken but honestly-held understanding of their security of tenure relevant when asking if accommodation is ‘settled’ for the


Published: 4th Sep 2017

Mathew McDermott successfully represented the Defendant in R (on the application of Osman) v. LB of Harrow [2017] EWHC 274 (Admin)

Mathew McDermott successfully represented the Defendant in R (on the application of Osman) v. LB of Harrow [2017] EWHC 274 (Admin)

Article 14 European Convention on Human Rights and treating private sector tenants differently from secure tenants for the purposes of a local authority’s Part VI housing allocation scheme R (on the application of Osman) v. LB of Harrow [2017] EWHC 274 (Admin) 42 Bedford Row’s Mathew McDermott successfully represented the Defendant in this challenge brought


Published: 22nd Feb 2017

Housing Bulletin No 19 – New evidence, settled section 204 appeals and cost

Housing Bulletin No 19 – New evidence, settled section 204 appeals and cost

Welcome to this, the 19th bulletin from the Housing Team. We hope that you will find the content of interest: if you wish to receive further updates you can subscribe by replying to housing@42br.com New evidence, settled section 204 appeals and costs LB Croydon v. Lopes [2017] EWHC 33 (QB) It is well known that usually


Published: 1st Feb 2017

Housing Law Bulletin No 1

Housing Law Bulletin No 1

Welcome to this, the first bulletin of what will be a regular updating service on all issues relating to housing law — whether social or private, landlord or tenant. We hope that you will find the content of interest: if you wish to receive further updates you can subscribe by replying to housing@42br.com “Can a


Published: 4th Mar 2015

Has defending possession proceedings using Article 8 ECHR just got easier?

Under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, and there shall be no interference with that right unless it is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society. In the context of possession proceedings, the courts have interpreted this as offering a defence to a possession claim if to allow it would be disproportionate in all the circumstances.


Published: 18th Mar 2014

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