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Silver Enterprises, Inc. v. Township of Freehold

2008 WL 4068156 (U.S. Dist. Ct. D. N.J. 2008) (Unpublished)

RENT CONTROL — Facial challenges to a municipal rent control ordinance must be brought within two years after its enactment and claims that the law, as applied to a particular property, constitutes an unlawful taking cannot be prosecuted until the property owner has exhausted all of its available administrative remedies.

A property owner leased space to mobile home owners. The rent collected by the property owner was subject to municipal rent control ordinances. There was no provision in the ordinance allowing a landlord to increase rent for new tenants purchasing an existing mobile home from a tenant on its property. The property owner brought an action against the municipality claiming such a restriction on rent increases resulted in a taking of its property and a transfer of a landlord’s interest in its real property to the sellers of the mobile homes who benefitted from the value created by the rent control ordinances. The Court found that if the property owner’s claims were facial challenges against the ordinance, they were barred by the two-year statute of limitations that began with the enactment of the ordinance. If the complaint was brought on the application of the law to the property owner, the Court determined that its claims were not yet ripe because the property owner had not exhausted all of its available administrative remedies. Thus, based on its findings and conclusions, the Court held that the property owner had no basis to challenge the rent control ordinances and granted the municipality’s motion to dismiss the property owner’s claims.


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