Yes, withholding rent is one of the legal remedies available to a tenant, but it depends upon the severity of the problem. Take a look at the discussion on withholding rent at:
The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author (who is only admitted to practice law in the State of California). For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.