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Rent Hikes for Homes, Apartments in Naples Area Spur Complaints of Post-Ian Price Gouging

Carlton Fields white collar crime attorney Ed Page was quoted in a Naples Daily News article, “Rent hikes for homes, apartments in Naples area spur complaints of post-Ian price gouging,” about the post-hurricane uptick in rent prices for residences in southwest Florida.

Page states that during a state of emergency, the price increase of commodities such as gas or housing can’t be “unconscionable,” or there cannot be a “gross disparity” from the average price charged in the 30 days before the emergency declaration, unless sellers can justify the increase based on costs or market trends.

Page goes on to clarify that while some profiteers are preying on victims of the hurricane, others may just be following the law of supply and demand, putting themselves at risk for civil and criminal penalties. “It’s misinformation,” Page stated. “People don’t know about the price gauging statutes.” He explains that while price increases are allowed during a state of emergency, there are no clear definitions of “gross disparity” or “unconscionable,” which leads to confusion and criticism due to lack of specificity.

Read the full article.


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