Although Solano County’s state of emergency and related rent cap expired last week, a new state of emergency is now in effect for Ventura County.

The expiration of Solano County’s emergency at midnight June 14 brought an end to all previous governor-declared emergencies due to the severe winter storms that caused extensive damage across the state.

The absence of state-declared emergencies didn’t last long.

On June 16, two days after Solano County’s proclamation lapsed, Gov. Newsom declared an emergency in Ventura County to address ongoing recovery efforts from late winter storms. Fillmore City in Ventura experienced significant impacts, including a sewage line collapse, posing substantial risks to local infrastructure and public health.

Accompanying the declaration are price-gouging restrictions under Penal Code section 396, set to expire on July 16, 2023, but possibly extendable. The restrictions prohibit increasing the price of numerous consumer goods and services, including rental housing, by more than 10% above pre-emergency levels. These rent increase limitations apply to existing tenants and to unit turnovers.

Violating the statewide anti-price gouging law can lead to a year in county jail, a fine of up to $10,000, or both, in addition to civil penalties. Local ordinances may impose additional penalties.

The California Apartment Association doesn’t currently track emergency declarations issued by local officials. However, local emergency declarations also activate the price-gouging restrictions of Penal Code Section 396. Individuals are advised to check with relevant local authorities for updates on such declarations.