Can I make repairs and deduct the amount from my rent?

Asked on September 19, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Mississippi

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You really didn't give any specifics. However, by way of background every residential lease (writtenor oral) contains what is known as an implied "warranty of habitability". This is essentially a guarantee that gives a tenant the right to live in a safe and clean premises. As a consequence, if a landlord refuses to make necessary repairs, a tenant may have the right to:

  1. Repair and Deduct - repair the problem and then charge their landlord for the cost of the repair; as well as
  2. Terminate the Lease - end their tenancy and vacate the premises; or
  3. Withhold Rent - refuse to make any further rental payments until the repair is properly made. 

However, before pursuing any of these remedies you should first consult with a landlord-tenant attorney.  If you fail to follow proper procedures you could be held financially liable for attempting any of these self-help measures. At this point you really should consult with an attorney or contact a tenant's rights organization.


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