State Laws on Rent Withholding and Repair and Deduct Remedies

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 Laws on Rent Withholding and Repair and Deduct Remedies

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 Natl 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

Updated: November 2017

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