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

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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


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 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. 

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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