State Laws on Rent Withholding and Repair and Deduct Remedies

Find out what options are available in your state.

Tenants in every state have the right to safe and livable housing. To protect these rights, laws in most states give tenants specific options if the landlord fails to provide essential services or repair major problems, such as a leaking roof. These options include allowing tenants to withhold the rent or to repair the problem and deduct the cost of doing so from the rent (this is called "repair and deduct"). States typically specify which options are available to a tenant whose landlord fails to address major habitability problems, such as lack of heat in winter in a cold-weather state, and the circumstances under which the tenant may use a particular option. For example, states that allow rent withholding typically allow tenants to do so only if the landlord has done nothing after a certain number of days have passed after being notified by the tenant. Read your state statute for the specific rules in your state. The citation is provided here, and you can visit the Library of Congress's legal research site for links to state statutes. If you want to research local housing law, a useful online resource is MuniCode.com, which has collected a lot of city and county codes that can be browsed online. Just choose your state and look for your local area.

In addition to rent withholding and repair and deduct, tenants should be aware of all options if a landlord won't make major repairs, such as moving out, calling in local health inspectors, or even suing the landlord.

State Statute or Case on Rent Withholding Statute or Case on Repair and Deduct
Alabama Ala. Code § 35-9A-405 No statute
Alaska Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.190, 34.03.100(b) Alaska Stat. §§ 34.03.180, 34.03.100(b)
Arizona Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 33-1365 Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 33-1363 to -1364
Arkansas No statute No statute
California Green v. Superior Court, 10 Cal.3d 616 (1974) Cal. Civ. Code § 1942
Colorado Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-12-507 No statute
Connecticut Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-14a to -14h Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 47a-13
Delaware Del. Code Ann. tit. 25, § 5308(b)(3) Del. Code Ann. tit. 25, §§ 5307, 5308
District of Columbia Javins v. First Nat’l Realty Corp., 428 F.2d 1071 (D.C. Cir. 1970) No statute
Florida Fla. Stat. Ann. § 83.60 Fla. Stat. Ann. § 83.60
Georgia No statute Not addressed by statute, but Georgia courts recognize a tenant’s right to this remedy. See Georgia Landlord Tenant Handbook, 2017, Georgia Department of Community Affairs (https://dca.ga.gov/sites/default/files/georgia_landlord-tenant_handbook.pdf) and see Abrams v. Joel, 108 Ga. App. 662, 134 S.E.2d 480 (1963)
Hawaii Haw. Rev. Stat. § 521-78 Haw. Rev. Stat. § 521-64
Idaho No statute No statute
Illinois 765 Ill. Comp. Stat. §§ 735/2, 735/2.2 (applies only when a court has appointed a receiver to collect rents, following landlord’s failure to pay for utilities) 765 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 742/5
Indiana No statute No statute
Iowa Iowa Code Ann. § 562A.24 Iowa Code Ann. § 562A.23
Kansas Kan. Stat. Ann. § 58-2561 No statute
Kentucky Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 383.645 Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 383.635, 383.640
Louisiana No statute La. Civ. Code Ann. art. 2694
Maine Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 14, § 6021 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 14, § 6026
Maryland Md. Code Ann. [Real Prop.] §§ 8-211, 8-211.1 No statute
Massachusetts Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 239, § 8A Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 111, § 127L
Michigan Mich. Comp. Laws § 125.530 Rome v. Walker, 198 N.W.2d 850 (1972); Mich. Comp. Laws § 554.139
Minnesota Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 504B.215(3)(d), 504B.385 Minn. Stat. Ann. § 504B.425
Mississippi No statute Miss. Code Ann. § 89-8-15
Missouri Mo. Ann. Stat. §§ 441.570, 441.580 Mo. Ann. Stat. § 441.234
Montana Mont. Code Ann. § 70-24-421 Mont. Code Ann. §§ 70-24-406 to -408
Nebraska Neb. Rev. Stat. § 76-1428 Neb. Rev. Stat. § 76-1427
Nevada Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 118A.490 Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 118A.360, 118A.380
New Hampshire N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 540:13-d No statute
New Jersey Berzito v. Gambino, 63 N.J. 460 (1973) Marini v. Ireland, 265 A.2d 526 (1970)
New Mexico N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-27.2 No statute
New York N.Y. Real Prop. Law § 235-b, Semans Family Ltd. Partnership v. Kennedy, 675 N.Y.S.2d 489 (N.Y. City Civ. Ct.,1998) For emergency repairs (such as broken door lock) only: N.Y. Real Prop. Law § 235-b; Jangla Realty Co. v. Gravagna, 447 N.Y.S. 2d 338 (Civ. Ct., Queens County, 1981)
North Carolina No statute No statute
North Dakota No statute N.D. Cent. Code §§ 47-16-13, 47-16-13.1
Ohio Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 5321.07 (does not apply to student tenants; or when landlord owns three or fewer rental units, as long as landlord has given written notice to tenant) No statute
Oklahoma Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 41, § 121 Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 41, § 121
Oregon Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.365 Or. Rev. Stat. § 90.365
Pennsylvania 68 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 250.206; 35 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 1700-1 Pugh v. Holmes, 405 A.2d 897 (1979)
Rhode Island R.I. Gen. Laws § 34-18-32 R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 34-18-30 to -31
South Carolina S.C. Code Ann. § 27-40-640 S.C. Code Ann. § 27-40-630
South Dakota S.D. Codified Laws Ann. § 43-32-9 S.D. Codified Laws Ann. § 43-32-9
Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-111-104 Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-28-502
Texas No statute Tex. Prop. Code Ann. §§ 92.056, 92.0561
Utah No statute Utah Code Ann. § 57-22-6
Vermont Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 9, § 4458 Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 9, § 4459
Virginia Va. Code Ann. §§ 54-248.25, 54-248.25.1, 54-248-27 No statute
Washington Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 59.18.110, 59.18.115 Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 59.18.100, 59.18.110
West Virginia No statute No statute
Wisconsin Wis. Stat. Ann. § 704.07(4) No statute
Wyoming Wyo. Stat. § 1-21-1206 No statute

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