Landowners including Dublin City University bring High Court challenges over inclusion for ‘land hoarding tax’

High Court judicial review actions centre on An Bord Pleanála’s decisions to uphold findings by local authorities that properties should be included on maps of sites where Residential Zoned Land Tax applies

Landowners, including Dublin City University (DCU), have brought legal challenges against findings by An Bord Pleanála that their properties are eligible for the Residential Zoned Land Tax (RZLT).

The High Court judicial review actions all centre on the board’s decisions to uphold earlier findings by local authorities that properties should be included on maps of sites where the controversial ‘land hoarding tax’ applies.

One of the parties taking the actions, property developer Kinwest Ltd, claims the sections of the Taxes Consolidation Act that underpins the RZLT are unconstitutional and contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights.

This is because the sections fail to protect and amount to an unjust attack on its property rights, Kinwest says.


The tax, introduced last year and set to come into force in 2025, is set at 3 per cent of a property’s market value.

On Monday, DCU, represented by Joe Jeffers SC, obtained permission from Ms Justice Niamh Hyland to challenge the board’s decision to include two sites in Glasnevin, Dublin 9, on a map of lands eligible for RZLT. One of the sites is at Griffith Avenue, while the other is at Albert College Park, close to DCU’s campus.

DCU appealed the council’s original decisions to include the site on its RZLT map. The board upheld the council’s findings.

Mr Jeffers said his client claims the lands are exempt from RZLT as they are to be used for educational purposes, which is provided for as an exemption in the Taxes Consolidation Act.

In the judicial review proceedings, DCU seeks orders quashing the board’s decisions to include the sites on the map of lands where RZLT is due.

It also seeks declarations including that the board erred in law and failed to take into account relevant considerations in deciding to include the lands on the map.

DCU’s actions will return before the High Court in December.

In three separate sets of proceedings, Kinwest Limited challenges the board’s decision to uphold Fingal County Council’s findings that RZLT applies to three sites it owns and wants to develop into residential units at Auburn, Streamstown, Malahide, Co Dublin.

In its cases against the board, Ireland, Attorney General and the Minister for Housing, Kinwest is seeking to quash the decisions. Represented by Martin Hayden SC, it also wants the court to declare that a section of the Taxes Consolidation Act that was amended in 2021 to introduce the RZLT is constitutionally invalid.

Fingal County Council is a notice party to those three actions.

On Monday Ms Justice Hyland deemed the actions formally opened. The applications for permission to pursue the cases through the High Court will return before the courts later this year.

MKN Properties, which previously flagged its proceedings to the court, was granted permission on Monday to pursue its challenge over the board’s decision to include 15 acres of land it owns in north Co Dublin on a map of sites where the tax applies.

Represented by Jarlath Ryan BL, MKN Properties wants to quash the board’s decision to include its lands at Forest Road, Swords, on an RZLT map.

That case will also return before the court in December.