HAN Opportunities

Spring 2003

HAN Opportunities

Research Laws that Protect Real Estate Monopolies

In our economic liberty litigation, IJ has built a record of success breaking up state-imposed cartels and opening markets for aspiring entrepreneurs—and we’re always looking for new markets to set free. HAN members can help by finding and sending in particularly egregious examples of laws that benefit entrenched interests at the expense of competitors and consumers.

Real estate is a good example of a market we hope to make freer. In May, IJ filed a First Amendment challenge to a California law that requires online real estate advertising companies—which operate essentially the same as newspaper classifieds—to obtain a real estate brokers license. The law is a wonderful way for licensed brokers to prevent competition from upstart Internet companies (and others). But California is only one state, and there are many more state laws that inhibit creative real estate entrepreneurs.

So we ask HAN members to help us find other examples of laws in the real estate services industry that have been used by established interests to repel competition. Why real estate? Because it is rife with special interest laws that benefit brokers and other industry insiders. It is also an industry in which information technology, if freed from the constraints of burdensome regulation, would likely have a huge impact. In addition to online ad services, mortgage and title insurance companies have gone online only to face state laws that favor established brick and mortar businesses with strong lobbies.

We are convinced that there are more real estate regulations out there. If you are interested in helping to find some of them, please contact us.

Contact us with economic liberty case ideas at general@ij.org.

Look around you. Chances are, there is a right being violated by the government in your community. What are you doing about it? Are others around you aware? Do your part and get active. Local and state governments restrict the rights of citizens and widen their authorities most when they think no one notices. Many times the community is not aware it’s happening, or doesn’t understand the impact. All it can take is an op-ed or letter to the editor to alert your neighbors to this injustice. It doesn’t have to be long or profound, just clear and to the point, hovering around 700 words for an op-ed or 150 words for a letter to the editor. Protect your community and our rights from unwanted infringements on our liberties by picking up that pen! To learn how you can help the cause of liberty through HAN, contact us at general@ij.org.

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