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Supreme Court Won't Hear Challenge to Rent Regs

Monday, April 23, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear arguments in a case challenging the rent control and rent stabilization laws in New York City. That effectively means the laws, which are favorable to hundreds of thousands of renters, will stand.

Upper West Side landlord James Harmon had claimed that the state, by forbidding him to charge market-rate rent on three apartments in the West 76 Street brownstone he owns, effectively "took" from him without compensation.

Harmon's suit progressed to the nation’s highest court after being rejected by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals last September.

By voting not to hear Harmon's suit, the Justices permitted New York's rent regulations to continue.

"We are pleased that the Supreme Court will allow the existing court rulings dismissing this case to stand,” said Alan Kram, senior council for the NYC Law Department’s Appeals Division.  “Rent regulation in New York City has a long history, and the Court properly left it to elected State and City officials to decide its future."

It's not known which Justices, if any, voted to take the case. Four members of the Court are from New York City. Courts have upheld rent regulation since it was introduced in the 1940s.

Read the city's brief in the case:

Click for a full-screen view.

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