Possession Proceedings For Residential Properties: Important Update

Author:Ms Orla O'Connor, Cormac Kissane, Robert Cain, Colin Monaghan, Declan McBride, Deirdre O'Mahony and Amelia Walsh
Profession:Arthur Cox
 
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The Court of Appeal has held that the Circuit Court does not have jurisdiction to hear possession proceedings in relation to non-rateable residential properties which are neither principal private residences (PPRs) nor housing loan mortgages. This decision has significant implications for the timing and cost of possession proceedings, in particular with respect to buy-to-let properties, and casts doubt on the Circuit Court's jurisdiction in respect of other disputes concerning such properties.

BACKGROUND

In Resolving the Mortgage Arrears Crisis: Vol 2/2016, we highlighted two conflicting High Court decisions from 2015 relating to the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court in respect of possession proceedings, which had led to delays in those proceedings where:

the dwelling was built after 2 May 2002 (when the Valuation Act 2001 came into operation); the mortgage was entered into before 1 December 2009 (when the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 came into operation); and the possession proceedings were initiated before 31 July 2013 (when the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2013 came into operation). 2015 HIGH COURT DECISIONS

In Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank v Finnegan, Murphy J held (in May 2015) that the Circuit Court did not have jurisdiction to hear such possession proceedings.

In Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank v Hanley, Noonan J held (in November 2015) that the Circuit Court did have jurisdiction. As both decisions were on appeal from the Circuit Court, neither could be further appealed from the High Court.

RECENT COURT OF APPEAL DECISION

When a case involving permanent tsb plc (PTSB) and David Langan relating to six properties that he had mortgaged in favour of PTSB in February 2008 came before the High Court in February 2016, Baker J stated a case to the Court of Appeal, seeking resolution of this particular issue.

Hogan J delivered the Court of Appeal's judgment (Permanent TSB Plc v Langan) on 28 July 2016.

The Court of Appeal noted that each of the six properties was built...

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