PTSB -v- David Langan –Court of Appeal, Record No 2016/131 - Hogan J (28 July 2016).

Previously any case relating to land which had a rateable valuation of less than €253.95 could proceed before the Circuit Court. The Valuation Act 2001 subsequently made dwellings no longer rateable, however many cases relating to land (including possession cases) which exceeded the monetary jurisdiction of the Circuit Court continued to be heard before the Circuit Court.

As a result of this decision, the Circuit Court does not have jurisdiction to deal with any property which is not rateable and/or for which no rateable valuation certificate is available (other than principal private residence/housing loan mortgage created post 1 December 2009).

Matter at issue

If a property is not rateable by virtue of the Valuation Act 2001, is the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court in respect of proceedings for possession of a dwelling brought by a mortgage lender thereby excluded?

Arising from two contradictory High Court decisions on this issue, (Bank Of Ireland -v- Finnegan and Bank Of Ireland -v-Hanley), Ms Justice Baker stated 5 questions to the Court of Appeal which centred around the circumstances in which the Circuit Court has jurisdiction to hear cases relating to land (including possession cases).

Having considered both decisions the Court of Appeal preferred the reasoning adopted by Justice Murphy in Bank of Ireland –v- Finnegan, specifically that if a property does not have a rateable valuation then the Plaintiff cannot claim rateable valuation as a basis of jurisdiction in the Circuit Court.

Finding

This judgment confirms that the effect of the Valuation Act 2001 to make dwellings no longer rateable, has the consequence that the Circuit Court has no jurisdiction to hear disputes in relation to such property.

Exceptions

Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 – the Circuit Court enjoys a general jurisdiction in respect of domestic dwellings, which is not dependant on rateable valuation but only applies where the mortgage in question was created after 1 December 2009.

Land and Conveyancing Act 2013 – Similar general jurisdiction in respect of principal private dwellings.