Can Tenants Deduct the Cost of Repairs from the Rent?

Share Full-screen

Some states allow tenants to deduct the cost of repairs from rent if certain procedures are followed. The rules vary from state to state, and tenants can be evicted if the state’s procedures are not followed or if the state prohibits it. For this reason, tenants should be very careful when using this remedy to fix their problems.

Deduct and Repair

About two-thirds of states allow tenants to deduct the costs of repairs from their rent when certain conditions are met. Usually, the state includes detailed rules about the types of repairs the tenant can make, how much they can deduct for the repairs, how long the tenant must wait before making the repair, and the proper notice the tenant must give to the landlord. If a tenant fails to follow the proper procedures for a deduct and repair, they may be legally treated as not paying a portion of their rent and thus, may be evicted. Tenants should consult with a local lawyer before engaging in a deduct and repair, or at least fully read the law and procedure about the requirements. This remedy is usually not available when the tenant caused the problem.

Withholding Rent

It's important not to confuse deducting the cost of repairs from withholding rent altogether until repairs are made. They are separate remedies, and some states offer one but not the other. Additionally, many of the states that allow tenants to withhold rent require the tenant place the rent in an escrow account (a bank or court acts as an objective intermediary, and holds the money until the fixes are made). Similar to deducting the cost of repairs from rent, failure to follow the proper procedures may result in eviction.

Eviction for Deducting Repairs

Most state laws protect tenants from eviction in retaliation for their exercise of a legal right. The tenant may be able to defend against eviction by showing that it was in retaliation for using these rights. Some states also allow the tenant to bring a private lawsuit against a landlord for retaliatory eviction.

Deduct and Repair


About two-thirds of states allow tenants to deduct the costs of repairs from their rent when certain conditions are met. Usually, the state includes detailed rules about the types of repairs the tenant can make, how much they can deduct for the repairs, how long the tenant must wait before making the repair, and the proper notice the tenant must give to the landlord. If a tenant fails to follow the proper procedures for a deduct and repair, they may be legally treated as not paying a portion of their rent and thus, may be evicted. Tenants should consult with a local lawyer before engaging in a deduct and repair, or at least fully read the law and procedure about the requirements. This remedy is usually not available when the tenant caused the problem.

Withholding Rent


It's important not to confuse deducting the cost of repairs from withholding rent altogether until repairs are made. They are separate remedies, and some states offer one but not the other. Additionally, many of the states that allow tenants to withhold rent require the tenant place the rent in an escrow account (a bank or court acts as an objective intermediary, and holds the money until the fixes are made). Similar to deducting the cost of repairs from rent, failure to follow the proper procedures may result in eviction.

Eviction for Deducting Repairs


Most state laws protect tenants from eviction in retaliation for their exercise of a legal right. The tenant may be able to defend against eviction by showing that it was in retaliation for using these rights. Some states also allow the tenant to bring a private lawsuit against a landlord for retaliatory eviction.

Last Update : July 22, 2018 UTC

Comments discussing Deducting Repair Costs from Rent

12 months ago
0
votes

We have been renting our place since the end of November 2018 when we moved in our landlord let us know our back door was not in besy conditions but her husband eas gonna come over that following weekend to repair it. Well out door still not fixed oir back porch is so rotted that. When u walk on it boards move the whole porch was suppose to be repaired but wasn't we havr let landlord know we could do repair but she refuses. Snd wr hsvr infestation of ants loving in our floor boards. And black mold
Renter in Sheridan, OR, USA
Deducting Repair Costs from Rent
6 months ago
0
votes

What do I do when landlord knows about black mold in the house
Renter in Murphysboro, IL, USA
Deducting Repair Costs from Rent