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Remedies for When Repairs Are Not Made

Under the implied warranty of habitability, the landlord is responsible for rental unit repairs. If a tenant believes that his or her rental unit needs repairs, the tenant should notify the landlord in writing right away.

If the landlord does not make the requested repairs within a reasonable period of time and does not provide a valid reason for not making the repairs, the tenant may have one of several remedies, depending on the seriousness of the repairs. 

Each of these remedies has its own risks and requirements, so the tenant should use them carefully.

  • Remedy 1: The "Repair and Deduct" Remedy

  • Remedy 2: The "Abandonment" Remedy

  • Remedy 3: The "Rent Withholding" Remedy

  • Remedy 4: Lawsuit for Damages

Because these remedies involve legal technicalities, we strongly urge any tenant to contact Reyes & Associates before proceeding.

Remedy 1: The "Repair and Deduct" Remedy
The "repair and deduct" remedy allows a tenant to deduct money from the rent, up to the amount of one month's rent, to pay for the repair of defects in the rental unit.


Remedy 2: The "Abandonment" Remedy
A tenant can also abandon (move out of) a defective rental unit when the defects would cost more than one month's rent to repair, but this is not a requirement of the remedy.

Remedy 3: The "Rent Withholding" Remedy

By law, a tenant is allowed to withhold (stop paying) some or all of the rent if the landlord does not fix serious defects that violate the implied warranty of habitability.


Remedy 4: Lawsuit for Damages

A tenant has another option: filing a lawsuit against the landlord to recover money damages if the landlord does not repair serious defects in the rental unit in a timely manner.

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