To some extent it depends on the type of repairs. There is an implied covenant of habitably: heat in the winter, possibly air conditioning in the summer, water, safe electric. The failure to provide these services may be a material breach of the landlordâ€™s obligations and you may be able to move and sue your landlord for damages. A missing screen, number missing from the mailbox, dripping faucet while inconvenient are not grounds for leaving the property. You should address these issues in writing, sending by certified mail.
Withholding rent may get your landlords attention, but may be harmful to you. Lenders today require 12 months proof of on time rental payments not paying your landlord can cause damage to your credit, and make you ineligible to purchase a home.
You have the option of paying rent into a court registry, a brokerâ€™s escrow account, or an attorney's escrow account provided you notify your landlord you are doing so. Offering the landlord an opportunity to correct the issues within a certain period of time or you will have the work completed by a reputable firm and offset the costs against rent. Any such activity may have adverse consequences.
Your best option is to send your landlord a certified letter outlining the problem, provide an deadline for the issue to be corrected, and state what your intention are if the issues are not resolved.
Prior to taking that action consult a real estate attorney fully familiar with your issues for additional advice.
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