Can I withhold rent from my landlord if she isn't fixing problems? We have black mold in our room, and whenever it rains the water gets inside. The carpet is all wet as well. We let her know what was happening and she doesn't want to fix things. So can we withold rent until she fixes these problems?
If the housing defects are serious enough to constitute a breach of the implied warranty of habitability, you are allowed to withhold rent. However, if the landlord tries to evict you for nonpayment of rent, it is always up to the judge/jury to decide whether you were justified.
So, it is always safer to pay the full rent under express written protest, and expressly reserving the right to later seek a refund (e.g. by suing in small claims court).
Have you already complained to the local code enforcement agency? In most cities, the agency will send someone out to inspect the property, and will cite the landlord for any observed health or safety code violation.
You may also have the right to "repair and deduct" under Civil Code Section 1942, and may well want to consult a local landlord-tenant attorney about possible claims against the landlord (e.g. for nuisance and tortious violation of the implied warranty of habitability).
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