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Ask Curbed: What's Civil Code 827?

A reader has boyfriend problems, or more specifically, he's got problems. Anyone want to field this one?

"My boyfriend signed a one year lease this past February (the apartment is in
Hollywood, or Los Angeles technically), and received a notice in the mail saying that his rent was going to be increased about 8% starting December 1st. He technically has a lease that says his rent is what it is, and it's not a month-to-month just yet. The letter from his landlord stated civil code 827, but it doesn't say anything about year-leases. The building actually has gone through some renovations in the past year, but does that give them the right to raise the rent in the middle of their lease? And do they have legal recourse? It also says if he wants to move out before the rent increase begins, they will still owe them rent until February, when the lease is up. Is this legal?"