Dear Landlords, Do not think you’ll get rich by jacking up rent during a State of Emergency!
Many families have become displaced due to the wildfires. While they put their lives back to together, they are looking for rentals or hotels. If you own a rental do not increase rent more than the local standard and/ or local law. If you do not know what is customary, then call the local authority in your city, county, or state for quidance.
In an recent article published by CAR, titled “Real Estate Agent charged with price gouging” a Novato owner/ landlord was charged with 3 misdemeanors….
“California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed three misdemeanor charges in April against a real estate agent for allegedly raising the monthly rent by more than 10 percent on property she owns in Novato following the devastating fires in Northern Bay Area counties last year. (See this press release). Due to the blazes, Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on October 9, 2017.
The state of emergency has since been extended to December 4, 2018 for the counties of Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma. (See the Executive Order B-51-18).
Additionally, storms and flooding in the Central Valley prompted another state of emergency proclamation for the counties of Amador, Fresno, Kern, Mariposa, Merced, Stanislaus, Tulare, and Tuolumne counties on April 19. As of now, this second state of emergency regarding storms in the Central Valley is set to expire on May 19 but could also be extended. (See state of emergency proclamation).
Keep in mind that anti-price gouging rules can apply even beyond counties with declared emergencies. The law does not restrict its protection to a city of county where the emergency or disaster is located. It may apply to anywhere in the state where there is increased consumer demand as a result of the declared emergency. For example, if a fire in San Diego County causes residents to evacuate to neighboring Imperial County, hotels in Imperial County may not raise rates by more than 10% to take advantage of the increase in demand for lodging. (See the Attorney General’s FAQ on price gouging).”
By CAR News