The governor-declared state of emergency aimed at supporting recovery from the February winter storms in California expired at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, April 21.

Consequently, as of April 22, no governor-declared states of emergency remain in effect in California, thus removing the anti-price gouging limitations of Penal Code Section 396 in Alameda, Butte, Glenn, Lake, Mendocino, Monterey, Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Sonoma, and Sutter counties.

Although no county is under an emergency proclaimed by Gov. Newsom, it is crucial for rental housing providers to be aware that local emergency declarations with related price caps may still be in place. Emergency declarations, whether from the president, governor, or local governments, automatically activate California’s anti-price-gouging law, Penal Code Section 396. This statute caps increases in the cost of numerous consumer goods and services, including rental housing, to no more than 10% above pre-emergency levels. The cap extends to both rent increases for current tenants and those that take place during unit turnover.   

As a reminder, while CAA monitors emergencies declared by the governor, it does not track emergency declarations made by local officials, which also trigger the price-gouging restrictions under Penal Code Section 396. For information on local emergency declarations, landlords are advised to consult with the relevant local authorities.

Anyone convicted of violating the statewide anti-price-gouging law can face a year in county jail, a fine of up to $10,000, or both, as well as civil penalties. Local ordinances may impose additional penalties.