He has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to put an end to city rent stabilization laws which he says have become obsolete.
If successful, he would turn the tide on tenants locked into decades of low rent leases. Rent stabilization impacts hundreds of thousands of apartments in New York City.
In an interview with the local news, the landlord explained that he inherited the property from his parents. His grandfather purchased the building prior to the rent stabilization laws. The landlord, now 68, says that he has individual tenants who have remained in the five-story brownstone for more than 30 years. One tenant, who owns a house on Long Island, pays less than a thousand dollars a month for the rental.
Rent stabilization laws were intended to provide more housing opportunities for workers within the city, who otherwise would have to commute great distances to provide much needed services in the city. But this landlord says it violates his constitutional rights to be forced to subsidize tenants for their entire lives.
There is no word yet on whether the Court will agree to hear the case. Two lower courts have sided with New York City officials in supporting the rent stabilization laws.
If the landlord loses, his only means of avoiding rent stabilization will be to sell the building, or tear it down.
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