In response to the ongoing winter storm recovery efforts, Gov. Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Solano County, a move that triggered a limit on rent increases.

The county has been grappling with storm-related impacts including localized flooding, slope erosion on roadways, embankment slip-outs and land slips. The declaration, effective May 15, 2023, invoked the state’s anti-price gouging law under Penal Code section 396. The protections against price gouging are set to expire June 14, 2023, but can be extended.

The law, triggered automatically by any state of emergency proclamation, prohibits price increases on many consumer goods and services, including that of rental housing, by more than 10% above pre-emergency levels. The restrictions apply to both existing tenants and to increases at unit turnover.

In addition to Solano County, states of emergency are in effect in Contra Costa, Riverside, San Diego, and Yolo counties, all in response to storm impacts. These emergencies set to expire on May 20, 2023, but can be extended.

Violations of this law can lead to a year in county jail, fines up to $10,000, or both. Civil penalties may also apply, and local ordinances could impose further penalties.

As a reminder, CAA does not currently track emergency declarations issued by local officials. These declarations also trigger the price-gouging limitations of Penal Code Section 396. To learn about any local declarations, it is best to check with the applicable local authorities.

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