The U.S. Supreme Court ‘s June ruling in Knick vs. Township of Scott may open the door for landlords to file federal lawsuits alleging that rent control ordinances violate the Fifth Amendment, however, the prospects for victory with such challenges remain distant.

The Fifth Amendment’s takings clause prohibits the government from taking private property unless it is for a public purpose and just compensation is provided.  

Up until now, landlords have had to file these kinds of suits in state court, where they’ve had limited success. Some believe federal benches would be more sympathetic to landlord arguments over property rights. 

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