WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a constitutional challenge to New York City’s famed rent-control ordinance, a post-World War II housing measure that limits the rents of more than a million apartments.Read the rest here.
The court’s action is a setback for property-rights activists, who had hoped a more conservative court would protect landlords and a free market in rentals. For decades, critics have said rent-control laws deny property owners the right to fully profit from their investment.
The justices, four of whom grew up in New York City, turned away an appeal from James and Jeanne Harmon, who own a five-story brownstone building on West 76th Street in Manhattan. The couple says they have no choice but to rent three apartments on the upper floors for less than half of their market value.
They also say that one of their tenants can pay a $1,500-a-month mortgage on a Long Island house because he pays only $951 a month to rent a unit in Harmon’s building.