Can I deduct repairs made to my apartment from my rent if the landlord refuses to fix them?

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Can I deduct repairs made to my apartment from my rent if the landlord refuses to fix them?

My front door needs to be fixed/replaced, it has no weather stripes, is missing threshold and has cracks all over it. We had a storm the other night and i spent the next morning sweeping up the dirty that came in through the bottom of the door. The oven, which came with the apt, does not work. He’s already switched it out with another one which also doesn’t work. It’s been almost 2 months now and he has refused to fix anything. Microwave meals are getting old.

Asked on August 30, 2011 Arizona

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can make the repairs and deduct the cost from the rent.

In every lease, there is an implied warranty of habitability, which means the landlord must maintain the premises in a habitable condition by complying with local and state housing codes.  After a tenant notifies the landlord and landlord fails to respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs, the tenant can make the repairs and deduct the cost from the rent.

If the landlord fails to make repairs which violate the state or local housing code, the tenant has a claim for breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  The tenant's remedies for a breach of the implied warranty of habitability are to make the repairs and deduct the cost from the rent or to move out and terminate the obligation to pay rent for the balance of the term of the lease or if the tenant decides to stay on the premises, tenant can withhold rent and defend against eviction.  Another option the tenant has is to sue the landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability.


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