Were we within our rights to withhold rentdue tohousing code violations?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Were we within our rights to withhold rentdue tohousing code violations?

Problems around the house prompted my sister to contact the landlord. The landlord promised to come to property but simply will not show up for anything. My sister then call a city inspector to come check the house because of the problems. The house was stated by the inspector to be unsuitable for people to live in due to things not being up to code. It was also stated this property already has issues or complaints on file for several months prior to us moving into the house. This is why my sister has stopped paying rent, landlord knew the problems and moved a family into the house regardless.

Asked on July 21, 2011 Kansas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

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.  When there is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability, the tenant notifies the landlord within a reasonable time and the landlord must respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs.

When the landlord fails to respond and make the repairs as occurred in your sister's case, her remedies are to make the repairs and deduct the cost from the rent or move out and terminate the obligation to pay rent for the balance of the term of the lease or if she stays on the premises, withhold rent and defend against eviction. 

The answer to your question is yes, your sister has the right to withhold rent and defend against eviction when there is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability as occurred in this case.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption