Do I have the right to withhold rent due to repairs not having been made?

I am under no lease and there are repairs that need to be made, some of which are safety concerns. They were made aware of them and nothing has been done. I do have a 9 and 11 year old and I am concerned.

Asked on November 30, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Kentucky

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country a tenant cannot simply withhold rent to a landlord for a rental due to needed repairs not being made. Rather the option is for the tenant to make the repairs on their own and debit the repairs from the following month's rent.

There are certain restrictions as to the amount that can be debited as to repairs made and how often.

I would write your landlord a letter stating the need for repairs to be done in a certain time period. Keep a copy of the letter for future need. If the time passes without the repairs, you might consider the following:

1. consulting with a landlord tenant attorney about your situation;

2. calling your local health department and/or building and permit department for an inspection of the rental.

Possibly the governmental entity's representatives may issue a citation to your landlord forcing him or her to make the repairs. 


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