The Supreme Court’s recent decision in a case challenging the Federal government’s regulation of the price of raisins as a takings did not establish any constitutional principles, but may make it easier to bring takings cases in the future by eliminating some of the procedural roadblocks usually employed by government in such cases. Stay tuned for the ruling on the merits in this case.
A Modest But Potentially Significant Supreme Court Victory for Property Rights– The Volokh Conspiracy, 6/10/13
The Government’s Raisin Brand– The Wall Street Journal, 6/10/13
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA | August 1, 2012, 4:06 p.m. ET
BERKELEY—A powerful city agency that regulates some rental rates and intervenes in disputes is facing calls for an overhaul after a highly critical grand jury report in June labeled it “a self-sustaining bureaucracy.”
Berkeley’s Rent Stabilization Board, a nine-member group of elected officials established in 1980, came under scrutiny last year by the Alameda County Superior Court after two agency employees petitioned the court to investigate alleged unfair hiring practices.
The resulting grand jury report found the agency to be a “bureaucracy that operates without effective oversight and accountability.” The report said the board heavily favored tenants by hiring a lobbyist for pro-tenant issues and contracting with local nonprofits to help tenants fight eviction. The board has raised rental-unit registration fees paid by landlords from $22 at the beginning of rent control in 1980 to $194 today.
(Lianne Milton for The Wall Street Journal ) Jon Vicars, left, vice president of the Berkeley Property Association, in front of his apartment building with Dave Saunders, building manager and tenant. 'We've been complaining for years about how the board has operated and it has fallen on deaf ears,' Mr. Vicars says.
Rent Stabilization Board members are elected to serve for four years and are limited to two terms. Members run in contested elections and can solicit contributions from residents, tenants and property owners.
The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Berkeley is $1,885, a 21% increase from just five years ago, according to RealFacts LLC, a local firm that tracks rental rates in the Bay Area. In comparison, average rent for a one-bedroom in San Francisco is $2,632, up 32% from five years ago, according to RealFacts.
Opinion: Who are Rent Control’s Biggest Beneficiaries?
3/29/2012 6:50:45 PM
Manhattan Institute fellow Nicole Gelinas on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s extension of rent control laws and the constitutional challenge to these regulations.
New York City landlords may get a hearing before the Supreme Court, arguing that rent regulation laws smack into the Fifth Amendment’s safeguards against government seizure of private property without just compensation. What do you think? Are such laws important in keeping big cities affordable for the lower and middle classes? Or are they too burdensome on private property owners? Continue reading
1-BR, $1,000: RENT CONTROL IN COURT TEST
NY REAL ESTATE RESIDENTIAL | March 5, 2012
By JACOB GERSHMAN
At the center of a property dispute that could upend New York City’s rent regulations is an apartment dweller from one of America’s oldest families that has a nearly four-century history of hanging on to valuable homes.
For the past four years, an Upper West Side couple who own a copper-clad, Beaux-Arts brownstone on West 76th Street have been in federal court to overturn the rent regulations shielding their tenants. One of those tenants is Nancy Wing Lombardi, an executive recruiter who pays about $1,000 a month and has lived in her one-bedroom unit since 1976.
Ms. Lombardi’s home is a star exhibit in James and Jeanne Harmon’s federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s rent regulations, which restrict how much landlords can raise rent on about two million New Yorkers.
The couple’s suit has lost in U.S. District Court and the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but now the U.S. Supreme Court is taking a harder look at their appeal than anyone expected. The justices asked the city and state to respond to the Harmon suit by Monday. Continue reading