Levy Leasing Co., Inc. v. Siegel,
258 U.S. 242 (1922)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Levy Leasing Co., Inc. v. Siegel, 258 U.S. 242 (1922)

Levy Leasing Company Inc. v. Siegel

Nos. 285 and 287

Argued January 24, 25, 1922

Decided March 20, 1922

258 U.S. 242


1. Chapters 942 and 947 of the New York Housing Laws, which suspend the landlord's right of action to recover possession from his tenant, except under specified conditions, and c. 944, providing that, in an action for rent under an agreement for premises occupied for dwelling purposes, it shall be a defense that the rent is unjust and unreasonable and the agreement oppressive, but permitting the landlord to plead, prove and recover a fair and reasonable rent, are constitutional. P. 258 U. S. 245. Marcus Brown Holding Co. v. Feldman, 256 U. S. 170.

2. The obligation to pay specified rent cannot be said to be impaired by a limitation on the recovery to what is fair and reasonable, made by a statute existing when the lease was made and carried into a subsequent statute. P. 258 U. S. 248.

3. A statute making it a defense in an action for rent that the rent agreed is unjust and unreasonable and the agreement oppressive provides a standard sufficiently definite to satisfy the due process clause of the Constitution. P. 258 U. S. 249. United States v. Cohen Grocery Co., 255 U. S. 81, distinguished.

194 App.Div. 482, 521, 230 N.Y. 634, 652, affirmed.

Error to two judgments entered in the Supreme Court of New York pursuant to remittiturs from the Court of Appeals and dismissing actions brought by the present plaintiffs in error, in the first case to recover rent under a lease and in the second to effect a tenant holding over after the expiration of his lease. The premises leased were apartments in New York City. In both cases, there were appeals in the first instance to the Appellate Division, and thence to the Court of Appeals. A summary of the New York Housing Laws, the provisions of which, as

Page 258 U. S. 243

applied in favor of the tenants, were questioned on constitutional grounds, will be found in a note to the report of Marcus Brown Holding Co. v. Feldman, 256 U. S. 170.

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