Property Rights

NYC Rent Control in Action: Cheap City Apartment, Second Home Near the Long Island Shore

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Late last year, New York City property owner and landlord James Harmon asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the constitutionality of New York's rent control and rent stabilization laws, arguing that the government's actions deprive him of his property without providing just compensation as required by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Court hasn't decided yet on whether or not it will take the case, though the justices have asked New York to respond to Harmon's request that the case be heard. As we wait on the Supreme Court's next move, reporter Jacob Gershman of The Wall Street Journal offers a closer look at the comfortable living arrangements that one of Harmon's rent-stabilized tenants currently enjoys:

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….

She is a vice president at Manhattan-based WTW Associates, a boutique executive search firm, and owns a second home near the shore in Southampton, where she spends weekends gardening and playing tennis.

The apartment next-door to Ms. Lombardi's isn't rent-regulated and goes for $2,650 a month.

"Contrary to popular myth, the rent stabilization law is not targeted to help the needy," the Harmons said in their Supreme Court petition. "The Harmons effectively have been financing the approximately $1,500 monthly mortgage payments on the Long Island home of one of their rent stabilized tenants."

Read the whole Wall Street Journal story here. For more on the legal issues surrounding rent control laws, see here. For more on Harmon's case, check out the video below.