Governor Newsom Extends Anti-Price Gouging Through the End of 2020 for Several California Counties
In the spirit of Christmas, Governor Newsom has extended restrictions on rent increases for another year. On December 23, 2019 Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-22-19 extending price gouging protections in the following counties through December 31, 2020: Butte, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Napa, Santa Barbara, Sonoma and Ventura. Price gouging restrictions affect both rent increases and vendor charges to a landlord after a natural disaster. Neither can exceed a 10% increase unless the seller can prove that the increased price is directly attributable to increases in the cost of labor or materials needed to provide the good or service.
When a state of emergency is declared, and if the state of emergency results from an earthquake, flood, fire, riot, storm, or natural or manmade disaster, California Penal Code §396 generally prohibits price gouging (e.g., price increases of more than 10%) for rental housing and consumer food items or goods, goods or services used for emergency cleanup, emergency supplies, medical supplies, home heating oil, building materials, transportation, freight, and storage services, or gasoline or other motor fuels for 30 days after the emergency is declared. The price gouging restrictions may be extended for additional time periods by state or local officials, boards or other governing bodies authorized to extend the restrictions as is the case by the Governor’s recent order.