New York’s politically influential real estate industry suffered a surprising defeat last month when Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed SB 6458, which among other things closed loopholes in the state’s rental laws that allowed building owners to raise rents.
Now two real estate groups - the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents about 25,000 landlords, and the Community Housing Improvement Program, which represents roughly 4,000 building owners - and several landlords have filed a federal lawsuit to block the new law.
The suit claims the law violates the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment and the Fifth Amendment’s takings clause, which holds that private property can’t be appropriated for public use without adequate compensation of the property owner.
Rent controls have faced numerous legal challenges over the years, but the U.S. Supreme Court has always upheld them. The plaintiffs in the new suit, however, are hoping the court’s new conservative majority will rule differently.
Although a recent Supreme Court decision has allowed the plaintiffs to file their suit in federal court instead of having to go through the state courts first, it could still take years for the case to reach the Supreme Court, if the justices actually agree to consider it at all.
“We’re going into the court system clearly with an eye of getting to the Supreme Court,” said Joseph Strasburg, president of the Rent Stabilization Association. “And we recognize that this is a long journey.” (NEW YORK TIMES, LEXISNEXIS STATE NET)