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Home / News / Politics / Supreme Court turns down challenge to rent control

Supreme Court turns down challenge to rent control

by HeyWire AI
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In a pivotal case with potential repercussions for tenancy laws nationwide, the Supreme Court refused to consider a high-profile property rights case challenging New York’s rent control regulations.

On Tuesday, Justice Clarence Thomas, issued a partial dissent, asserting the importance of addressing the constitutionality of New York City’s rent stabilization laws, known as RSL. “The constitutionality of regimes like New York City’s is an important and pressing question,” remarked Thomas. He added, however, that appellants representing New York landlords failed to provide sufficient evidence that they were blocked “from evicting actual tenants for particular reasons.” As a result, more than one million New York City apartments will continue to be governed by these laws.

The rejected appeal, involving cases 74 Pinehurst LLC vs. New York and 335-7 LLC vs. City of New York, argued that the combination of rent regulation and long-term tenancy violated constitutional protections against the governmental appropriation of private property without fair compensation.

Several property owners claimed that New York’s RSL had transformed their properties into “government-mandated life estates.” Notably, amendments to the law in 2019 have made it more difficult for landlords to regain possession of their units, a point underscored by the litigants.

While the ruling directly impacts New York City, it could have had significant implications for California. The California Apartment Assn., which supported the landlords’ call for the Supreme Court’s review, highlighted its members’ concerns. Jurisdictions with strict rent control laws under their purview include major cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento, Santa Monica, Berkeley, Pasadena, Alameda, and Beverly Hills.

“Many of its members are located in the local jurisdictions subject to rent control laws,” the association said in a statement to the court.

In the past, the court’s conservative bloc expressed interest in fortifying property rights, a sentiment evident in the 6-3 decision that negated a California statute permitting labor union recruitment on private farmlands, authored by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

Roberts proclaimed that the ability to exclude others is a key element of owning property, thereby establishing a benchmark that landlords in New York anticipated would strengthen their case against regulations on rent control.

The court heard a closely related case out of El Dorado County, near Sacramento, in January. George Sheetz contested a developer’s fee imposed for the placement of a manufactured home on his property. The case, Sheetz vs. County of El Dorado, stirred the waters on whether such permit fees represent a governmental usurpation of private property.

As reported by latimes.com and krdo.com.

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