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Pennell v. San Jose - Significance, "hardship Tenants" A Landlord's Hardship?, Impact, Rent Control

city appellants ordinance clause


Richard Pennell and Tri-County Apartment House Owners Association


City of San Jose and City Council of San Jose

Appellants' Claim

That the provisions of the San Jose City rent control ordinance violated the Takings Clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments and the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Chief Lawyer for Appellants

Harry D. Miller

Chief Lawyer for Appellees

Joan R. Gallo

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, William H. Rehnquist (writing for the Court), John Paul Stevens, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia (Anthony M. Kennedy did not participate)


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

24 February 1988


The U.S. Supreme Court held that the appellants' claim was premature. There was no evidence that the tenant hardship provision of the San Jose City rent control ordinance was ever applied. Nor did the provision violate the Due Process Clause or the Equal Protection Clause because the ordinance was related to a legitimate interest of protecting tenants.

Related Cases

  • Armstrong v. United States, 364 U.S. 40 (1960).
  • Hodel v. Virginia Surface Mining & Reclamation Assn., 452 U.S. 264 (1979).
  • Vance v. Bradley, 440 U.S. 93 (1979).
  • Kaiser Aetna v. United States, 444 U.S. 164 (1979).
  • FCC v. Florida Power Corp., 480 U.S. 245 (1987).
  • First English Evangelical Lutheran Church of Glendale v. County of Los Angeles, 482 U.S. 304 (1987).


USA Today Magazine,July 1998, Vol. 127, no. 2638, p. 20.

Further Readings

  • Porter, Philip K. "Taking Property and Just Compensation." Southern Economic Journal, October 1994, p. 555.
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