Tenants’ Rights in Police Power Condemnations Under State Statutes and Procedural Due Process

This Note explores the legal arguments available to tenants who want to resist arbitrary or unjustified condemnations of their buildings. Part I provides an overview of the legal and constitutional structure of the police power to condemn buildings. Part II analyzes state statutes governing the condemnation of buildings. Focusing on the statutory rights to notice and opportunity for a hearing provided to tenants, Part II concludes that a majority of states provide inadequate protection for tenants facing eviction by condemnation. Part II then proposes statutory reform, based on an approach taken by a minority of states. Part III demonstrates that even in the absence of statutory requirements, states must guarantee procedural due process under the fourteenth amendment, and often under similar provisions of their own constitutions. These guarantees require notice and an opportunity for a hearing to tenants of buildings that the government seeks to condemn.