Rent Control

Challenge to Manhattan’s Rent Control Laws Goes to Supreme Court

By on 12.21.11 | 12:49PM

A challenge to New York City's onerous rent control laws has been granted cert by the Supreme Court according to the New York Times. The plaintiff, James Harmon, a former lawyer in the Reagan adminisration and an alumnus of West Point, inherited the house from his grandparents, who worked long hours as a governess and a waiter to afford the home. Harmon argues that the rent stablization laws amount to the government taking his property without properly compensating him for it.

Harmon has taken to the Supreme Court because the lower courts, and even his assemblywoman, Linda B. Rosenthal, are fine with the current regime. Rosenthal herself is quoted in the Times sounding a bit like an Occupy Wall Street devotee:

Ms. Rosenthal said Mr. Harmon had asked for an exception to rent regulations for his building, which she found untenable because it would, she said, extend to thousands of other people in “the vanishing middle class.”