Matthew was admitted as a solicitor in 2006 and has specialised in Social Housing since this time.
Matthew has advised and represented many social landlords throughout the country handling an array of housing management related matters including anti-social behaviour injunctions; Committal proceedings; Injunctions for breach of tenancy; Succession and Claims for possession (including claims against trespassers, former tenants holding over and tenants sub-letting their property). Matthew has particular experience in conducting claims for possession where complex defences concerning Human Rights, mental health and the Equality Act have been raised.
Matthew also has handled a large caseload of claims raised for alleged disrepair and has successfully defended many high value matters.
In addition to providing legal advice Matthew has also delivered many training sessions directly to clients and on behalf of one of the country’s largest housing training providers.
Injunction: client received a report on Monday morning of threats being made by a tenant over the weekend. Urgent investigations were commenced and several witnesses spoken to. Statements were prepared on behalf of the witnesses and signed prior to midday. An application was issued that afternoon and heard without notice. The Judge granted an injunction order and power of arrest on all the terms sought.
Disrepair: received instructions to represent client two weeks prior to trial of a claim for damages issued by the tenant. Further to a review of the papers it was noted that the client had not served a Defence to the claim nor any witness statements. An urgent application was made to the Court seeking permission to file a Defence and evidence. A cross application was made by the tenants solicitor for summary judgment. A Defence and witness statements were drafted within a matter of days and served prior to the hearing of the application. The Court was persuaded to grant permission to enable client to rely upon the documents prepared and permitted the client to defend the claim. At trial the claim issued by the tenant was dismissed and a costs order was made against them.
Housing Fraud/subletting: client had suspicions that a tenant was subletting their property. Investigations were commenced and a multi-agency approach was formed. Close liaison with the Local Authority corporate investigation team led to extensive evidence being uncovered which proved that the tenant was subletting and had been doing so for several years. A claim for possession was issued with a parallel prosecution in the Magistrates Court pursuant to the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013. An outright order for possession was made at trial and the tenant was also convicted of the criminal charges.