Mathew is a through-and-through landlord and tenant specialist, with a particular emphasis on social housing. 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.
His primary area of work is social housing with homelessness appeals comprising a very large portion of that work, and a growing judicial review practice on top. He frequently acts for many London boroughs, as well as other social landlords and tenants. He has given – and continues to give – training to solicitors and other professionals throughout the country on landlord and tenant matters, and he has written in the legal press numerous times and contributed recordings to the professional development podcasting service, CPDCast.
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”.
In his spare time Mathew enjoys running, walking his beloved Whippet, Maple, and spending time with family. He is also keenly interested in British and North American history, in particular socio-economic history from the mid-19th Century to the 1980s, and also devours any book related to the Second World War.
Rather than simply list the sort of cases with which he regularly deals, as a general rule if the issue or question relates to the occupation or condition of social housing – from the perspective of either the landlord or the tenant/occupier – Mathew can help. Indeed, prior to the Bar Mathew cut his teeth at a busy Housing Aid centre assisting tenants and mortgagors on the Duty Possession Desk. As such, Mathew’ experience in this field stretches beyond his years of work as a barrister.
A large portion of Mathew’s practice sees him advising on homelessness appeals under the Housing Act 1996, drafting skeleton arguments in respect of them and, of course, appearing in Court on behalf of both local authorities and applicants. Mathew is also accustomed in dealing with the now-frequently raised equality and human right issues in the housing, allocations and homelessness context.
Mathew has written a number of articles for the New Law Journal, Lexis Nexis PSL and Adviser (published by the Citizens Advice Bureau) and has recorded a number of podcasts on behalf of CPDCast. He also instigated and edits 42 Bedford Row’s successful and widely-distributed Housing Law Bulletins, which are often published by the Local Government Lawyer.
Mathew’s experience of landlord and tenant matters reaches well-beyond the social housing sector, whether that landlord or tenant is a residential or a commercial one. He is very experienced in long leasehold matters and regularly appears in the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) and has appeared in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber). In this respect he is regularly instructed on issues ranging from lease extension, enfranchisement, Right to Manage and the payability and reasonableness of service charges. He also has a burgeoning TOLATA practice and has recently appeared in a number of multi-day trials.
He is particularly interested in the ever-changing context in which private residential landlords find themselves in respect of both managing and obtaining possession of premises (tenancy deposits, retaliatory eviction, HMOs, etc)
Mathew is also frequently instructed in forfeiture proceedings, whether they stem from breaches of residential or commercial leases, regardless of the nature of the breach. He has considerable experience advising on discreet points in this respect concerning entitlement to forfeit and waiver of the same. His commercial practice has additionally seen him undertake advisory and court work in respect of contested business lease renewals under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
Mathew’s direct and realistic advice is particularly valuable in the commercial context, and he prides himself in this respect on his ability and willingness to assist his solicitors or clients with the progression of the case generally.
"He listens to clients, is very good in writing and has a very good rapport. He is very approachable and friendly." "He always delivers." – Chambers and Partners 2021
"Mathew is very thorough and leaves no stone unturned. I am therefore confident in recommending clients to Mathew for his assistance in LL&T matters. Mathew also produces detailed advice which considers all options available to a client. As an advocate, he is confident and concise." Legal 500 2021
If the problem is on land, or started there, then Mathew can help.
Mathew has considerable experience in dealing with environmental matters that relate to property. In particular he is frequently instructed in statutory nuisance prosecutions under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and provides training to solicitors on this subject. He is also regularly instructed in general common law nuisance actions arising out of or concerning property as well as issues concerning the enforcement of housing standards under the scheme introduced by the Housing Act 2004.
He regularly appears in court on these matters, including the Magistrates’ Court, as well as advising – both pre- and post- issue or summons – on how to best resolve things.
Mathew appreciates the urgent nature of this work and is always able to advise in relation to emergency applications and to turn around paperwork quickly.
Mathew is always very well prepared, extremely helpful, professional and empathises with the witnesses. He is very personable, down to earth and gets on well with the client. We are very pleased with his work
Mathew provides bespoke CPD-accredited training seminars in all matters of concern to landlords and tenants, either in the residential or commercial sector. These seminars can be held in chambers or at solicitors’ offices. If you are interested in discussing what is available, please contact chambers.
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 199613th June 2019 Read more
Mathew McDermott summarises the key principles in this important area of homelessness litigation.5th June 2019 Read more
In this Housing Law Bulletin, Mathew McDermott discusses some key changes that take effect from 1st of October 2018.27th September 2018 Read more
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 201828th February 2018 Read more
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 the4th September 2017 Read more
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  EWHC 274 (Admin) 42 Bedford Row’s Mathew McDermott successfully represented the Defendant in this challenge brought22nd February 2017 Read more
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 firstname.lastname@example.org New evidence, settled section 204 appeals and costs LB Croydon v. Lopes  EWHC 33 (QB) It is well known that usually1st February 2017 Read more
On 29th June 2016, Desmond Kilcoyne and Matthew McDermott were invited by the London Housing and Regeneration group of Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) to conduct a half-day seminar (headed by Alexander McDowall, a lawyer in Legal Services at the London Borough of Camden) on the radical new housing law being introduced by the Housing5th July 2016 Read more
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 email@example.com “Can a4th March 2015 Read more
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.18th March 2014 Read more