Stop Illegal Price Gouging Rent Increases!

Did You Know?
It’s illegal for rent to have been raised more than 10% total since 2017 in most units–even if there’s been a change in ownership or tenants.

Help Stop Unreasonable & Illegal Rent Increases in Santa Barbara County:


Watch this Space!

Read more below and sign up so we can send you updates about local price gouging rent increases and other rent stabilization efforts including key opportunities when you can take action!

Share Your Rent Increase Story

Have you seen any units increase in rent more than 10% since 2017? What's your experience with rent increases?


Join Your Tenants Union

Learn more, consider becoming a Santa Barbara Tenants Union member, and help us help grow our movement for tenant power!

What Are You Witnessing?

We'll keep your information internally within the Tenants Union unless you agree it be used otherwise.
If you know the property management company or owner of the property, please share here. Add the address of the unit(s) and any change in ownership, if any.

High Rent Increases Are Illegal Price Gouging

The COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated California and Santa Barbara’s rental crisis. For years, rents have skyrocketed year after year, pushing millions of tenants into financial instability. Rental companies and real estate experts justify these increases as “simple supply and demand” or “natural fluctuations in the market,” but one major reason since late 2017 is actually criminal price gouging since California has been in a perpetual state of emergency.

Read our Editorial in the Santa Barbara Independent to learn more.

Tell Me More:

California has been in an uninterrupted state of emergency since December 7, 2017, starting with the Thomas Fire, as the following timeline demonstrates:
•  Governor Brown declared a state of emergency on December 7, 2017, due to the Thomas Fire
•  Brown extended the declaration on January 12, 2018, waiving the lapse period due to extreme conditions caused by a sudden storm system resulting in the Montecito mudslides.
•   Brown then issued another extension of the initial 2017 declaration on April 13, 2018, stating: “the provisions of Penal Code section 396, subdivisions (b) and (c), prohibiting price gouging in time of emergency, will remain in effect until December 4, 2018, in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.”
•   On November 28, 2018, Brown extended the declaration yet again, and in particular the anti- price gouging statutes from PC §396, effective through May 31, 2019.
•   Governor Newsom then extended this declaration, also specifically mentioning PC §396, effective December 31, 2019.
•   Newsom made a new declaration December 23, 2019, extending the prohibition against price gouging to December 31, 2020.
•   From December 31, 2020, to the time of writing, California and the U.S. have been under various overlapping emergency declarations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Santa Barbara County has therefore been under a state of emergency declared either by the Governor or U.S. President, or both at different times, uninterrupted, since December 7, 2017.

Fill out the form above and let us know what you’re seeing so we can stay in touch and let you know once we see key moments to support us putting an end to illegal and unreasonable rent increases! As an additional step, you can contact the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office to ask them to enforce these laws. 

This law applies to the rent change in a rental unit, no matter if there’s been a change in tenants, leaseholders, or even if there’s been a vacancy.

This rule limits rent increases to 10% since 2017, no matter if there’s been a change in ownership or management. 

Help make your tenants union stronger!

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