States of emergency related to Tropical Storm Hilary, along with accompanying caps on rent increases, expired in 11 California counties on Monday, Sept. 18: Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Tulare and Ventura. The next day, Mono County saw its state of emergency expire, leaving only Del Norte and Siskiyou counties under governor-declared emergencies.
The state of emergency in Del Norte County, due to the Smith River Complex Fires, is expected to expire on Sept. 28. In Siskiyou County, the Happy Camp Complex Fires emergency is also anticipated to expire on Sept. 28, and another related to Tropical Storm Hilary is expected to expire on Oct. 12. However, the governor may extend these expiration dates.
These emergency proclamations activate Penal Code Section 396, California’s anti-price-gouging statute. The law prohibits increasing the price of numerous consumer goods and services, including rental housing, by more than 10% above pre-emergency levels. This cap applies to both current tenants and new rentals.
CAA does not currently monitor emergency declarations made by local officials. Local declarations also activate the price-gouging limitations of Penal Code Section 396. For updates on local emergency statuses, consult the relevant local authorities.
Violators of the anti-price-gouging law could face up to a year in county jail, fines as high as $10,000, or both. Additional penalties may also be imposed through local ordinances.