Another Reason Why Owning Property Is a Mug's Game

Because governments at all levels think they can tell you what to do with it:

This week, New York state senators vote on a bill that would make it illegal for any homeowner or renter to sublet for less than a month. The new law would be a blanket ban on short-term rentals no matter how ethical the renter is.

Geopolitical note: If this passes, New York State will banning that which is legal in...Communist Cuba.

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  • ||

    Why?

  • ||

    Takes money away from hotels. With Craig's list, you can rent an apartment in New York for a weekend cheaper than a hotel room. This is just one interest group using the government to stifle competition.

  • ||

    Which, of course, is a flaw in the "free market", not in government run amok.

  • ||

    The paid shills for the hotel industry are hilarious on this. Renting your house or apartment needs to be banned because travelers are being scammed into renting bad apartments. Because everyone knows that it is impossible to get a bad hotel room.

  • ||

    We got a hotel room near the beach a couple of years ago. The only thing that didn't smell like urine was the toilet.

  • ||

    I hope the toilet was clean enough to eat off of.

  • ||

    New York City charges 5.8% Hotel Room Occupancy Tax (in addition to state and city sales taxes). So, I'm not sure it just hotels lobbying. I think the government is missing out on some lost revenues.

  • ||

    Ah. Gotcha.

    Actually, apartment stays are my favorite way to travel. Much cheaper than hotels and a lot more convenient.

    It is done throughout Europe.

  • ||

    And most places in America with a beach or mountain or lake or anything resembling a vacation experience nearby.

  • ||

    Because!

  • ||

    Oh, right, the irrational relation test.

  • ||

    It is perfectly rational Pro.

  • Chinny Chin Chin||

    For the children, obviously.

  • nobody||

    Maybe it was started by lobbyists for real estate agents/and or hotels?

  • nobody||

    Ninja'd!

  • The Gobbler||

    "This week, New York state senators vote on a bill that would make it illegal for any homeowner or renter to sublet for less than a month. The new law would be a blanket ban on short-term rentals no matter how ethical the renter is."

    Certainly it can't be illegal to pay someone to house-sit for three weeks while one is vacationing in Europe. This would seem to be a very difficult law to enforce.

  • ||

    It can't be enforced. But it will allow cops to troll craigs list and write people tickets.

  • ||

    You totally discount the nosy neighbor factor. It's the statist next door that's everyone's worst enemy.

  • ||

    True. It is just another law to make more people criminals and easier to fuck with.

  • ||

    A felony a day.

  • cynical||

    So, is it legal to rent to someone for a month, but return a pro-rated portion of their rental fee in the event they leave early?

  • Ska||

    What if my tenant contracted to rent for 32 days, but had to go home for "an emergency" after 3 days?

    Or how about I can do whatever the hell I want with my own property? I know - crazy talk.

  • David Weigel||

    Maybe Keith and I can discuss this on tonight's episode of Countdown.

  • Matt Welch||

    Please don't spoof Dave Weigel here, thanks.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    On the lookout for the real deal?

  • Ryback's Cook||

    So that "Everybody Draw Muhammad" thing was just an empty stunt?

  • Matt Welch||

    Yeah, totally.

  • ||

    Why not Matt? He thinks we are all ratfuckers anyway.

  • Matt Welch||

    Because I don't want the fucking hassle, that's why not.

  • ||

    Seriously Matt, is Weigel going to sue you guys or whine? I don't spoof him so I am not complaining. I am just wanting to know if he is such a thin skinned crap weasel that he would hassle you guys over your commenters spoofing him.

  • Matt Welch||

    *I* am the thin-skinned crap weasel. I don't want people spoofing *anyone* here, but since that's not going to happen until we waste precious time overhauling the comments process, then the least I will ask, particularly at this sensitive juncture, is to not spoof Weigel, so as to completely eliminate the possibility of people confusing a spoof for something he is written. If you don't like it, get off my lawn, etc.

  • ||

    Didn't he kind of assume that risk when he came on here to comment and fight with the commenters on here? He should have never done that.

  • Sparticus||

    No, I'm the thin-skinned crap weasel!

  • ||

    waste precious time overhauling the comments process

    Too late.

  • Joe R.||

    Maybe require it to be an obvious spoof. Instead of "Dave Weigel" use the name "Not Really Dave Weigel" or "Dave Weigel's Fromunda Cheese".

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    John, he is still listed as a contributor. Hit & Run has never allowed people to spoof Hit & Run contributors. Spoofers get the banhammer.

  • ||

    Well they can fix that problem real easy.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    Yeah, I had to check if he is still there & he is. I would imagine that they won't take him off the list anytime soon. Unless he does something that really pisses Nick 0r Matt off.

  • B||

    You know, the fact I didn't include an email address should be a bit of a fucking clue that it's not the real Dou... I mean Dave Weigel.

  • ||

    Jesus Christ, John. Matt and Nick and have let the Weigel hatas here vent their spleens all they want on the Dave hate. Isn't that enough?

  • ||

    I don't spoof Dave. I was just curious why they care if people do. And there can never be too much Dave hate.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    I was never a fan of spoofers either...unless they make it obvious that they're spoofing, like ""David" Weigel" did. Also, what JW said.

  • ||

    What if we posted under a Dracula accent spoof handle: "Dahvid Veegele," for example.

  • ||

    Or how about going Harry Potter and just posting as "the one whose name cannot be mentioned"? I have feeling that would drive Reason nuts.

  • ||

    Breitbart is offering 100K for the journolist archives. Come on Weigel you little ratfucker. I know your integrity is worth a lot less than that. Turn over the archive.

    http://bigjournalism.com/abrei.....ec524375b1

  • So let me get this right:||

    Reason is afraid of
    #1 cartoons
    #2 former contributors
    #3 the dark

    Old man, spoofs are damn obvious and harmless entertainment.
    I have been spoofed a least a dozen times and frankly, I am not afraid of the heat. The whinny bitches who complain need to get out of the kitchen. I can't wait for the list of approved words.

  • Jordan||

    Grow up.

  • So let me get this right:||

    fuck you too

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    +1...

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Oh, that didn't work. Anyway, I support both Jordan and spoofing, but only responsible spoofing.

  • ||

    See, we need a graduated spoofing license system. You have to spend 80 hours spoofing with a licensed spoofer, then take a spoofing road test, and we'll give you a probationary spoofing license. If you can responsibly spoof for a year, then we'll upgrade you to a less-probationary license.

    We all have to use these intertubes, and licensing is the only way to insure the freedom of everyone to use them.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    That's not at all what I meant, but I love the humor there.

  • responsible spoofing?||

    Art, you could always wear a condom ;-)

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Ha! :)

  • JEP||

    "The mere fact that you call it 'spoofing' tells me that you're not ready!"
    - Michael Bluthe

  • ||

    I'm not sure what responsible spoofing is, but I know it when I see it.

  • In Time Of War||

    Rule number one - No Spoofters!!!

  • DADIODADDY||

    mice, I only fuck mice.

  • The Gobbler||

    Though it was not I that did the spoof, I find your request offensive. But it's your blog, so for the benefit of all, please provide a list of the names of persons and/or entities we are not permitted to spoof. Thanks in advance.

  • B||

    Hahahhahahahahahahahaha, you have got to be kidding me. So now we have finally found a topic that is out of bounds on the comment forums.

  • Thomas Ellers||

    You know who would bring a much-needed breath of fresh air to this whole "spoofing" debate? Glenn Greenwald, that's who.

  • The Gobbler||

    "Maybe Keith and I can discuss this on tonight's episode of Countdown CuntTown.

  • ||

    CuntDown doesn't work? It's like a competition to see who can be the biggest cunt before the show runs out of time.

  • The Gobbler||

    Yes, that would work. But living in CuntTown has always been a dream of mine...

  • B||

    Christ. I am the one who wrote the fucking Countdown comment using his name. If he wants to sue, fine. Maybe we need a "Everybody Post as Weigel" day.

  • B||

    Yes I realize I made a grammatical error in the above post.

  • Fluffy||

    But John, the state has the power to prevent people from using their property in ways that abutters don't like. Right?

    And the state definitely has the power to prevent people from using their property in ways that will make an abutter's property value drop. So if your abutter is a hotel, and that hotel's value will go down in you start subletting your place out, then...the state should get to stop you. Right?

    Haven't we already established this? I thought we already established this.

  • ||

    Oh shut up. That is bullshit analogy and you know it. Running a competing business is not causing the value of the property to go down. It is causing the value of your business to go down. But the land is worth the same.

    As far as renting your house. If you rent your house to 50 people and overwhelm the neighborhood with cars and directly affect the quality of life to those around you, then yeah, they have a claim against you. If you rent it out to two people who don't bother anyone, than they don't. That is just common law property which has been in force for about 500 years.

    Jesus, Fluffy that is a sorry effort. That is Dan T level trolling. Are you being spoofed?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    I did not think I would see the day, but John is right and Fluffy is wrong.

  • Fluffy||

    John asserts that zoning laws are justified because of the property value concerns of persons other than the owners of individual properties.

    As soon as you concede that point in even the least little degree, this shit becomes inevitable. You also don't have any basis for arguing against it, other than, "Well in the common law certain distinctions were arbitrarily drawn for a long time" which no state legislator or county or town zoning administrator gives two shits about.

    We either own property or don't. Ownership means we can use the property as we choose or it doesn't. If you can prevent your neighbor from using his property as he sees fit not because of actual disturbances that cross the property line, but because of the "impact" his use has on your property's value [as John has argued], or "the community as a whole", or whatever, then you don't have any real way to argue against this other than saying, "Well, I personally wouldn't go that far because I think it's silly," which isn't a principle-based argument at all, but a mere expression of preference.

    I think it's important to remember when talking about the common law that the common law grew out of feudal law, which was rife with traditional limitations on property usage and shot straight through with communitarian assumptions and anti-liberty assumptions that you can't really reconcile with freedom as we think of it.

  • ||

    "John asserts that zoning laws are justified because of the property value concerns of persons other than the owners of individual properties."

    That is where you miss it. And the rest of your post is irrelevant afterwords. I never talked about zoning laws. I talked about common law nuisance laws. There is a difference. There is no reason to have zoning laws. If the common law is properly enforced, you don't need them.

    Under the common law if you damage the value of my property, I get to sue you for damages. I don't need the city or the cops to shut you down, I just sue you. And we work something out. If your business makes more money than it damages me, you pay me off and go merely on. If it doesn't, you move your business elsewhere. It is a great system. And there is nothing anti-property or freedom about it. In fact it protects people's property.

    You have serious blind spot on this issue. Having property rights does not give you the right to take over people's property without compensation.

  • Fluffy||

    Having property rights does not give you the right to take over people's property without compensation.

    You're the one who is asserting that you have that right.

    I'm the one saying you can use your property any way you like and I can't stop you, and I can use my property any way I like and you can't stop me.

    You're the one saying that if we both start out with empty lots, and on the first day you build a house on your lot, I am forever beholden to your preferences for how I use my property thereafter.

    I certainly would concede that if my use of my property physically damages your use [if I am dumping wastewater on your property, or if my smokestack blows ash right on to your doorstep, or if the sound coming from my use is so loud that you can't use your property] you should have a claim against me.

    But once you extend that principle to something utterly subjective and contingent like value, something that doesn't require an actual physical nuisance at all, you open the door for total statism.

  • ||

    "I certainly would concede that if my use of my property physically damages your use [if I am dumping wastewater on your property, or if my smokestack blows ash right on to your doorstep, or if the sound coming from my use is so loud that you can't use your property] you should have a claim against me."

    Then we agree. We are just talking around each other or arguing about details.

    "But once you extend that principle to something utterly subjective and contingent like value, something that doesn't require an actual physical nuisance at all, you open the door for total statism."

    There is nothing subjective at all about "value". If I can't sell my property for the same money that I could before you started using yours in the way you are, and I can show your use is what causes my property to be worth less, you owe me the difference. It is that simple. Value is measured in cash.

  • Fluffy||

    There is nothing subjective at all about "value". If I can't sell my property for the same money that I could before you started using yours in the way you are, and I can show your use is what causes my property to be worth less, you owe me the difference. It is that simple. Value is measured in cash.

    It's subjective in that it's based on the perception of your property of third parties, and not on any concrete and physical nuisance I create.

    People don't like funeral homes. If I build a funeral home next to your house, the value of your house might go down because of the subjective preference of third parties to not live next to a funeral home. The question is whether I should have to give a shit about that when my use doesn't have any objective physical impact on your property at all. I can't account for, and shouldn't have to account for, the personal preferences of other purchasers in the real estate market.

  • Zeb||

    Value changes can be damaging both ways. Suppose I have some real property that I intend to live on until I die. The market value means nothing to me except that I have to pay more property taxes on it if it goes up relative to other properties in my town. If people start moving into my neighborhood and do things like mowing their lawn, painting their houses and not keeping junk cars on their lawns my property might start increasing in value, exposing me to greater property tax liability. Haven't I been damaged just as much as people whose property values decline because someone next door lets their house go to shit? Value is measured in cash, but it can be in things other than the market value of a property. The value to the property owner in my example is in having a place that is cheap to live on.

  • The Gobbler||

    ^^THIS^^

  • ||

    WHAT IS SELF-HELP NUISANCE ABATEMENT?

    I will give Maryland credit for this one. The state is a piece of shit over most things, but they haven't made this illegal. Yet.

    My torts prof in college had a great story about how he used this once, which ended with him shooting the ringing alarm bell (going off for hours on a Sunday morning with no abatement) off the side of the neighboring building. He admitted that *may* have crossed the line.

  • ||

    That is awsome. But Fluffy will tell you that if you can't play your music at 110 decibels at five am on a Sunday morning, you really have no property rights.

    The idea that the people around you also have a property right in being able to sleep peacefully in their own beds never enters his mind.

  • Fluffy||

    Considering the fact that you just replied to a post where I talked about sound crossing the property line, this is a pretty stupid statement.

  • ||

    All the common law does Fluffy is make you pay for your externalities and bear the full cost of your activities. It doesn't tell you you can't do something. It just makes you pay for it.

    You are really out of your tree on this one.

  • ||

    It's not a BS analogy. There's no shortage of people who equate a rental property with something that is less valuable than a residential property due to the lack of a full-time tenant. Thus the plethora of land use regulations that restrict rental housing.

    People will latch onto almost any excuse to try and get the land use overlords to enforce their preference. In my town, a neighbor was pissed that his neighbor had three "unsightly" boats, and tried to get them removed claiming the property was being used as a business due to the boat storage.

  • ||

    Just because people misuse an excuse, doesn't mean the excuse cannot be valid. There are plenty of ways I can use my property that will damage my neighbors. And zoning laws having nothing to do with it. Under the common law, people had a right to bring nuisance suits against neighbors whose use of their property damaged them. If I start a pig farm and the smell makes your house unlivable, I owe you damages. If I run a full time hotel and the noise and the traffic make your house less livable and less valuable I owe you compensation.

    Now, if I rent my house out every other weekend to tourists, I haven't damaged you and I don't owe you compensation, unless they do something to damage you in which case I am responsible for my tenants.

  • ||

    And of course, your tenants aren't getting their deposit back if they fuck with the neighbors.

  • ||

    The common law was an awesome thing. It was hundreds of years of collective wisdom. The more we fuck with it, the worse off we are. Most of society's problems today can be traced back to some change in the common law.

  • ||

    Only in libertopia are zoning laws disconnected from enshrining property values (since they wouldn't exist anyhow).

    Our zoning laws are a mix of NIMBYism and majoritarian preference projection (particularly regarding aesthetics). The "efficient land use" argument is crap, and is just a cover for the underlying statist control that is so coveted by zoning boosters. It appears that you're claiming otherwise, and I'm not sure why.

    You may agree (as do I) that the quality of life impact that transients will have as the result of short term rentals is minimal. However, I doubt that the majority believes that. And it's clear that the idiots in Albany don't (or at least they use it as a convenient cover to get majority acceptance while favoring their pocketed special interests).

  • ||

    The "efficient land use" argument is crap

    Of course it is, because what zoning laws are used for most of all is preventing efficient land use.

  • Fluffy||

    If I run a full time hotel and the noise and the traffic make your house less livable and less valuable I owe you compensation.

    With this single statement I could easily destroy any and all property rights everywhere they exist.

    Now, if I rent my house out every other weekend to tourists, I haven't damaged you and I don't owe you compensation

    But there's absolutely no basis for drawing a distinction here. If the rest of your town or county or state arbitrarily decides that you HAVE damaged them, then they can pass this law and you can't say shit about it - because of your first statement.

  • ||

    "With this single statement I could easily destroy any and all property rights everywhere they exist."

    Fluffy, I just restated the common law. That rule has been in existence since about 1400 and someone property rights have gone on just fine. If you have a right to use your property in ways that damage me without providing me any compensation, then I really don't have any property rights myself and am stuck living in a commons.

  • Fluffy||

    If you have a right to use your property in ways that damage me without providing me any compensation, then I really don't have any property rights myself and am stuck living in a commons.

    "I have no property right if I can't control what you do with your property for my benefit." You may as well be Dan T sometimes, really.

  • ||

    Oh stop it. If you run a pig farm than makes my house unlivable, you owe me damages. You can still run a pig farm, but you have to bear the full cost of running it.

  • ||

    I don't understand why you two aren't connecting on the Tort vs. Zoning argument. Furthermore, I don't even understand why John is discussing the libertopia Tort angle. We're talking about the justification of this law, not just justification of enforcing Torts in a manner that reflect the sought after outcome of this law.

  • ||

    I am talking about torts because Fluffy is denying that common law nuisance suits should exist. And I think that is crazy.

  • Fluffy||

    That rule has been in existence since about 1400 and someone property rights have gone on just fine.

    So you're saying that on the American frontier in the 19th century if I built a house on my property and you came along and built a restaurant on yours, I could sue you and stop you from doing it?

  • ||

    Under the common law, if I came along and built something on my property that created a nuisance and damaged your property's value, you could sue me. That has always been the case.

  • ||

    Allow me for robc:

    COASE COASE COASE

    Fluffy, your entire argument rests on the idea that you only use your house for eating and sleeping and not for enjoyment.

    If a nightclub located next to my house and constantly blared loud music to the point that you couldn't escape it and open your windows, sit on the porch, etc., you're damn straight that I'm going to seek compensation.

  • robc||

    JW,

    I was going to post it, but aiming at John. Fluffy is clearly right in this case. John is rightish, but doesnt seem to understand that him in Fluffy are agreeing about ACTUAL nuisances, but John is spreading it to non-actual ones.

    Also, you left out about 60 Coases.

  • ||

    I'm looking at this in terms, of the restaurant example, that say, the customers consume all the parking on the street to the point that you can't park on your own street and customers have frequently blocked John's driveway.

    Or, the customers throw trash all over the street, including used condoms and dirty hypodermic needles, but not on John's property. It may not be on your property, but it still impacts your use and enjoyment of it. (Yes, these are extreme examples, but plausible.)

    I can see there how a Coasian solution would be for the restaurant owner to pay John for the impact of his business on John's use of his property.

  • Fluffy||

    Under the common law, if I came along and built something on my property that created a nuisance and damaged your property's value, you could sue me. That has always been the case.

    Then I would say that the perception in the United States that the use of property was once "free" was actually false, and was based on non-legal factors like the ignorance of the population of their legal ability to frustrate their neighbors' property use, or the lack of easy access to civil courts, or a public reluctance to use those courts, etc.

    And that the history of mixed-use development in the US during the 19th century was a mere accident that could have easily been frustrated with legal machinery available at the time, and we therefore shouldn't be surprised that property rights aren't respected by the legal establishment or political establishment today.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Woah, Fluffy. You said:

    I certainly would concede that if my use of my property physically damages your use [if I am dumping wastewater on your property, or if my smokestack blows ash right on to your doorstep, or if the sound coming from my use is so loud that you can't use your property] you should have a claim against me.

    Now, a claim for what? Given that you don't believe in the reduction of value as legitimate grounds for a complaint (because it's subjective and all), what the fuck am I claiming against you for the noise problem? Or even the ash?

    And assuming that I win the claim, how are you going to compute damages?

  • ||

    Whoops, I must have glossed over that graph. Never mind on my last statement.

  • Fluffy||

    In that case I think that you should be required to cease your offending use.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Fluffy - but why? Because the property owners has lost...what, exactly?

  • Fluffy||

    I would say that the proper analogy is trespass.

    I can stop you from walking on to my property. Because it's MINE.

    I can therefore stop you from throwing shit from your property over the line into my property, too. Or smoke. Or sound.

    Am I losing something quantifiable in dollar terms if you trespass? No. But I can still enforce a property right against you doing it.

  • fyodor||

    John,

    Out of curiousity for your position, if renting to tourists could be shown to lessen the value of nearby properties, the nearby property owners could sue for the devaluation, right? They wouldn't have to show that the tourists were doing any tangible harm to the nearby property other than lowering their value (based, presumably, on common tastes and preferences not to live next to someone renting to tourists, regardless of the "validity" of such a preference), right?

  • ||

    That is an interesting question. I would argue that you would have a very difficult time proving a loss of value there. I don't like it isn't going to get you damages. You would have to show that your property is worth less on the market because of the renting out. And if you could show that your property was worth "X" and now it is worth "X-Y" and that that was not due to an overall market decline. And then then maybe have an expert witness who knew real estate markets who could testify that properties next to short term rentals are worth less than those not, then I would say you would have a case. But it would be a hard one to prove.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    The nearby property owners would actually have to demonstrate devaluation. And unless they colluded not only with each other but with local bank appraisers, that would be difficult.

  • BeesinTheBrain||

    Since one of stated reason for the bill is that the current practice "decreases the supply of affordable permanent housing", the presumption, even by those who submitted the bill, is that nearby properties would see their value increase.

  • BeesinTheBrain||

    Actually if you read the bill one of the purposes to is ensure the abutter's property value drops.

  • ||

    It's probably legal in Somalia too.

    Drink!

  • ¢||

    Maybe Keith and I can discuss this on tonight's episode of Countdown.

    That's not convincing at all!

    You have to put in something about how you be all rollin' on TV with your beloved name up by your face while we all hatin' in mere text that no one cares who wrote.

    But don't get creative!

    Stick with the hack "mom's basement" type stuff, or everyone will know you're overqualified for the name.

    Good luck!

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Sublet for 32 days starting on the day the renter wants to take possession. Have a "cancellation fee" which allows the renter to end the 32 day lease when his vacation is over. I'm sure it would be easy enough to structure the rental amount and proration upon ending the lease to discourage a renter actually staying the 32 days if that wasn't the mutual intent.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    Or sublet for 32 days, with a security deposit. Then provide a money back garuantee, good for the first week, which only results in loss of the security deposit. If you still like the place after 7 days, a baloon payment of 1 million dollars is due.

  • ||

    I'm guessing this is aimed at evil amateur profiteers who want to provide short-term housing for special events.

    We can't have that; it wouldn't be fair to all the full-time profiteers.

  • The Gobbler||

    In The twin Cities, during the Republican National Convention, lots of people rented out their homes and got the hell out of the cities. It was both legal and well covered in the local papers.

  • ||

    I knew a few people who made some serious money renting their houses out for the Formula One race weekends in Indianapolis.

  • ||

    I have a friend who owns a house about two miles from Jerry World in Arlington. They already have their house rented out for the Super Bowl next year and are taking a vacation to Mexico with the money.

  • Steve Nash Equilibrium||

    taking a vacation to Mexico with the money.

    I hear Mexico is really nice this time of year. The summer really brings out the smell of decapitated bodies lying on the roadside.

  • ||

    I really wasn't enjoying the comments to this article at all until I hit this one. Well done, sir.

  • T||

    This furthers my desire to live on 51+ acres outside of an incorporated jurisdiction. Thanks to an interesting confluence of state law, I'm pretty much golden at that point.

  • BeesinTheBrain||

    Reading the actual text of the bill is informative. The courts ruled against the city in City of New York v. 330 Continental, LLC. 60 AD3d 226, 231 (1st Dept. 2009) and the City's response was to push to get this bill approved. Even though the city lost the case the bill continues to refer to the defense presented as spurious , and the act that the defendents were found not guilty of as illegal and unlawful practice.

    Basically the justification for the changes is that it is currently illegal, so they must make it more illegal because the courts have decided it isn't illegal.

  • ||

    If I build a funeral home next to your house, the value of your house might go down because of the subjective preference of third parties to not live next to a funeral home.

    Come on, Fluffy; nobody wants a bunch of spooks living next to them.

  • Dr. Egon Spengler||

    Or Twinkies with dogs either.

  • Brett L||

    Have you seen the Russian spy chick?

  • adam||

    Tell some of the people in the hamptons that they will no longer be able to rent out their beach houses. Magically you'll have an interested lobby on the other side.

  • ||

    Sorry Art, I couldn't help myself.

  • Mr. Garrson||

    Don't worry, he knew you just meant "richers".

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Heh heh, no need to apologize, that was funny as hell (wouldn't have been as funny if that one douche whose name eludes me had said it. Seriously, I can't remember his name, but he was a crypto-white supremacist who kept posting here and getting flustered when nobody would agree with him).

  • ||

    Richard Hoste, Dick to his non-existent friends.

    An early flare-up.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Dude, do you archive this stuff? How do you always find it so well? Is it some sort of highly advanced librarian memory? Anyway, thanks.

  • Jordan Elliot||

    I think SF mines the archives for gold. They're full of so many things.

    Dear Gog, you could probably write a hell of a story based on reading the comments here.

    Reason: The Novel!

  • ||

    A keen memory for those things that repulse me and good search construction skills.

    But I do archive the board in a certain sense. I bookmark threads that have something I want to throw in someone's face at a later date. All categorized and everything.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    Whoa. You're not on Ezra Klein's email list, are you?

  • The Gobbler||

    No one with any brains is on an Ezra Klein mailing list.

  • So||

    SF is on the list? ;-)

  • robc||

    Why I think John's "common law" argument is bogus.

    As most of you probably know, in some cases, certain shops are more profitable if similar shops are located nearby. You end up with a hat district, or antique district. An antique store in the antique district will do better than a antique store in the bar district because people want to hit multiple stores with antiquing. Neighborhood yard sales would be another example.

    So, I own a hammock store in the hammock district (located on 3rd, duh).
    I turn my hammock store into a deli instead (hammock shoppers need to eat). This reduces the number of hammock stores in the district to just below the hammock threshold, severely damaging the property values of the neighboring hammock shops. And, according to John's view of common law, I can be sued for damaging them.

    Which is fucking retarded.

  • robc||

    Can I be sued for not participating in the neighborhood yard sale?

  • ||

    No you are retarded Rob. You make up a fantasy world where you could ever prove that one less hammock store reduces everyone else's property value. That would never happen, and even if it did you could never prove that this or that store was the marginal store that caused the loss. So the common law would never in practice produce such a result.

  • robc||

    Its easy to prove. Its happened with other store types, like antiques (hammock district is a Simpson's reference).

    But, here is the important part of your response:

    So the common law would never in practice produce such a result.

    I agree. But in principle (who the fuck cares about practice?) it would produce that result. And that is my point, your principle is retarded. The only thing protecting someone in this case is the difficult to prove nature of the damage. When, in actuality, even if the damage occurred and is provable, it shouldnt be actionable. No one should be required to run a hammock shop just to keep property values up.

  • ||

    You don't understand the principal. It is clever. You almost get it but you don't. My closing down of my business hasn't affected the value of your property. Your property is worth the same. It is your business that is worth less not the land itself. That is why I would have no action here.

    Further, a nuisance is something like sound, smell or the like that crosses the boundary of the property that disturbs my quiet enjoyment. If you are running a massage parlor and the noise associated with your customers disturbs my quiet enjoyment of my property, I can sue you. If you quit running your antique store, you haven't disturbed my quiet enjoyment and I can't sue you no matter how much it hurts my business.

    For claiming to be believers in property rights, you guys have a retarded view of them.

  • robc||

    1. property != land. A business is property too. Hell, some people claim a song is property. But Im not getting into that.
    2. If the land is perfect for a hammock shop (due to being located in the hammock district) then destroying the value of the business also destroys the value of the land underneath.
    3. Isnt your comment about sound,smell, or the like exactly what Fluffy said that you disagreed with?

  • ||

    No. Fluffy and I talked passed each other. I told him about four times that he was just restating the common law. But he kept insisting that he hated the common law. Our only disagreement is that he doesn't think noise from customers or large numbers of people visiting your business can ever be a nuisance.

  • robc||

    No, he specifically said noise can be a nuisance.

  • robc||

    Our only disagreement is that he doesn't think noise from customers or large numbers of people visiting your business can ever be a nuisance.

    This is where Coase comes in.

  • Bill||

    Or what if I move in and...
    1`. paint my house in tacky fluorescent colors, paint my house in the design of the flag of China
    2. grow the grass waist high
    3. fill the yard with old refrigerators (maybe it's my view of abstract art)
    4. Put statues of Stalin and Hitler in the yard
    5. Put up signs that say 'ratfuckers out' in the yard
    6. Have regular nude parties (quiet parties but nevertheless the nude guests can be seen from the windows), where guests must be told to arrive on foot
    Could I be sued for some of those actions or others like them?

  • ||

    1. You're a bad neighbor, but nope, no action.
    2. Does this cause vermin to move into the grass and do they respect preprty lines?
    3. May be actionable.
    4. Nope. Free speech.
    5. As long as I can put up a sign that says "ratfuckers in."
    6. That depends on the shape and attractiveness of your guests.

  • Bill||

    On number 1, the house painting issue: haven't some homeowners already done something like this, force others to paint their house a certain color or refrain others to paint their house certain colors? Or perhaps that's just been a neighborhood association rule?
    4. Might be free speech but what if it lowers the property value - then, according to some (John?), wouldn't that property right violation trump the speech right?

  • robc||

    Homeowner's association rules have done this many times. But, the property owner agrees to them on purchase of the property, so that isnt really an issue. That is contract law at that point.

    #2 has come up with me. And it was a vermin (or snake, actually) issue.

    I have an empty lot next to me - I mowed it 2 summers ago (as did the previous owner of my house before me). She mowed it because she had kids, I assume. I did so that the neighborhood looked nice. This was back when gas prices were high so I asked the owner for some gas money. He was an ass. Hence, I stopped mowing.

    Last year I wondered about #2 and exactly when it became damaging to me. I never turned the lot into the city. Some of my other neighbors thought I owned it and I corrected them on it. Eventually (Sept) one of them must of turned it in, because the city came out and mowed it. The day they did, a snake (baby, which means there were bigger ones too) slithered out of it, across my yard, driveway and across the street.

    Due to some legal issues, I assume, over the winter the city passed a new ordinance at 12 inches high allowing the city to mow the yard and bill the owner (they were doing it that way before but no absolute limit). I find that a silly limit, I would never turn anyone in for 13 inch grass. However, in April the empty lot was over waist high so I turned it in. It was mowed May 1. I turned it in again last week, hasnt been mowed yet, not quite as high as previously, but much thicker and tanglier and way over knee high.

    Ive brought this up as a Coase example in the past (I mowed it as a form of coasian bargaining, I preferred to mow it to accepting the "damage" it did my property value). However, there is a point with actual damages - the vermin issue. I really dont want rats, which is my bigger worry.

    Anyway, as Ive mentioned before, I want to buy the lot but right now Im more worried about making it as expensive for him to keep (with city fines) as possible without violating any of my principles - hence letting it get well above 12 inches before informing the city.

  • ||

    Then I don't see why you of all people have such a problem with common law. That asshole is negatively affecting your right to enjoyment of your property by being a bum and not mowing his lot. He should have to pay you.

  • robc||

    Ummm...this is the part we agree on John.

  • ||

    1. It doesn't disturb my quiet enjoyment of my property, so no.

    2. The grass probably creates a vermin problem and affects my property so yes.

    3. See 2 above. The garbage would create a vermin and health problem that would affect my property.

    4. Nothing I can do.

    5. Nothing I can do

    6. No action there either.

    I don't understand why believers in property rights have so much desire and consider it so laudable to violate everyone else's.

  • robc||

    Arent you going against what you said above?

    Now you are agreeing with Fluffy. WTF?

  • ||

    It is more that fluffy started agreeing with me. Originally he said any restriction on property use was wrong. Then about half way through he admitted that well okay if noise and things affect you. And that is what I was saying all along. If you do something that causes noise or smoke or whatever to enter my property and reduce its value, you owe me for the damage.

  • robc||

    You didnt say that orginally. Fluffy's point is that is isnt about property value. Even if it doesnt reduce the value, you still can be in violation.

  • robc||

    See your post at 1:08. You said there MIGHT be a case based on renting out to tourists. Hell, your "it would be tough to prove" is no different that in response to my hammock example.

    And renting to tourists isnt at all like noise or pollution or vermin.

  • Byron||

    Anyone selling their home near yours below market value or going into foreclosure lowers your property value, too. Do they owe you damages?

    How about a family of a different ethnic background than the rest of the neighborhood moving in? Do they owe you damages?

    If you win damages (having never actually sold your home at the 'damaged' value) and the 'offense' is cured before you sell, do you owe the money back, as the 'damage' no longer exists?

    You don't have a natural right to the protection of the market value of your home (or anything else you buy, frankly) from circumstantial or consequential harm. Direct harm is actionable.

  • ||

    The grass probably creates a vermin problem and affects my property so yes.

    That's an unusual angle. The typical angle is aesthetics. And the Tort angle can apply to aesthetics as well.

    That's what usually rubs some libertarians wrong. They agree with Tort settlement of damages, but classifying damages is still not clear-cut in libertopia.

  • robc||

    Its an unusual angle, but the only one that is legit. Which deferentiates it from the car on blocks in front yard or painting the house pink situation.

  • Bill||

    But John, if 1 and 4 - 6 could lower your property value by any margin would you consider them violations of your property rights?

  • ||

    The state of NY can kiss my ass! Property rights trump state dictates!!

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