Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch today announced that a property-management corporation with business in Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park has agreed to a stipulated judgement and will pay $50,000 in penalties, $10,000 in legal fees—and restitution to a dozen tenants who were found to be victimized by rental price-gouging following the 2017 wildfires.
Admiral Callaghan Professional Center, Admiral Callaghan Professional Center II, and other related business entities were named in the suit now concluded. Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Rene Chouteau found the company had violated state Penal Code 396’s price-gouging restrictions put into effect following the declaration of a state of emergency after the October 2017 firestorm.
According to online business resources, Admiral Callaghan Professional Centers is based in Novato and is the property manager at some 60 sites comprising nearly 280 housing units. They were cooperative in the recent price-gouging inquiry.
“The corporations and their counsel cooperated in the investigation and resolution of this matter,” Ravitch’s office reports via an email this afternoon.
Ravitch reminded local landlords that price-gouging restrictions are in effect through Dec. 4 and could be extended. “The restrictions make it illegal for property owners to increase the price of rental housing by more than 10 percent of the rental price charged prior to the fires,” she explains.
Residents are encouraged to report cases of suspected price gouging to the District Attorney’s Office at http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/District-Attorney or call (707) 565-5317.