When can a residential tenant withhold rent?

If property conditions fall below accepted standards of habitability, tenants can withhold rent and demand that repairs be made. Tenants must meet certain requirements to lawfully withhold rent. The conditions complained of must be serious. Many times, the local code enforcement agency will weigh in on this point. The tenant must show that the landlord knew about the conditions and failed to repair them. The tenant must also show that he/she did not cause the condition. The condition must be such that it can be repaired while the tenant remains on the premises.


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