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

UPDATED: Sep 19, 2011

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

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


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

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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