Monday, April 9, 2012

Supreme Court unlikely to overturn rent laws

Quoting the New York Law Journal,  the Real Deal says that landlord Harmon is unlikely to get the Supreme Court to overturn rent regulation in New York.

Supreme Court unlikely to sympathize with UWS landlord fighting rent-stabilization

January 04, 2012 09:00AM
Though courts on all levels have routinely upheld rent stabilization laws, and despite the fact that his own case has been dismissed by two state courts, James Harmon has caught the attention of the U.S. Supreme Court in his bid to fight the regulations. But according to the New York Law Journal, Harmon isn’t any more likely to win his case than previous challengers – even after the Supreme Court requested the city file a response explaining the courts’ aforementioned dismissals.  
Click here for the rest of the article.  (The NY Law Journal article is only available by subscription.)

The NY Law Journal cited tenant attorneys Timothy Collins, former executive director of the Rent Guidelines Board, and William Gribben, and landlord attorney Jeffrey Turkel of Rosenberg & Estis, stating it was unlikely the Supreme Court would accept Harmon's case because
  • The purpose of rent regulation is not to provide affordable housing to the needy but "to control profiteering in a market that is plagued with chronic housing shortages."  (Tim Collins)
  • It is the Legislature's role to determine whether a housing emergency exists. (Tim Collins)
  • Rent regulation is not a "taking."  (Billy Gribben).  That exists where the property owner complains the loss of the entire investment - but here Harmon seems to be arguing that he can't maximize the return on his investment. That's not enough, according to another landlord lawyer. 
  • The Supreme Court has already permitted rent regulation in other contexts for decades, and to overturn state legislation would make the Court more "activist." (Billy Gribben)