Judge says landlords have no constitutional right to “unregulated market”

Ruling by Manhattan judge upholds 2019 rent law

New York /
Mar.March 16, 2021 10:29 AM
A Manhattan judge dismissed a lawsuit from five New York City landlords to overturn the rent reforms. (Getty)

A Manhattan judge dismissed a lawsuit from five New York City landlords to overturn the rent reforms. (Getty)

A Manhattan judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by five New York City landlords challenging the constitutionality of the 2019 rent law.

Judge Edgardo Ramos of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled against the landlords, who sought to overturn the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act, according to the New York Daily News.

The ruling adds to a number of decisions upholding the controversial rent reforms, which passed in the state legislature and were signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2019.

In his decision, Ramos said the landlords “knowingly entered a highly regulated industry,” according to the report.

The landlords who participated in the suit, who manage both rent-stabilized and market-rate apartments in Manhattan and the Bronx, claim they have seen financial losses due to the rent law, which has made it more difficult to convert apartments to market rate. They also allege that the new law is unconstitutional because it does not allow them to manage their apartments as they see fit.

The new law applies to rent-stabilized New York City apartments, and among other changes, made it more difficult for landlords to take those units out of rent regulation.

But the judge dismissed the landlords’ claims as moot, stating that they have no “constitutional right to an unregulated market.”

It’s the fifth lawsuit brought by landlords since the new rent law was signed into law two years ago.

[Daily News] — Keith Larsen


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