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Do I have to pay rent even if the landlord is not doing any of the repairs that badly need to be done?

Ronkonkoma, NY |

There must be a crack in the foundation of the house because my kitchen leaks when it rains and if it rains hard enough the water come in to my room witch still has a concrete floor! My ceiling in the kitchen also leaks and I still don't have a stove and I have lived here since August of 2012

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Attorney answers 5


Contact a local landlord/tenant attorney. They will be able to work with you to achieve your goal. You may be able to deduct a portion of your rent until the repairs are made, this is known as a rent abatement. It is impossible to give you a solid answer without reviewing your lease (if there is one) and the conditions that you mention. Good luck.

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I agree with my colleague, have an experienced landlord/tenant attorney review your claims. I would not advise withholding rent unless advised to do so by your attorney. Most attorneys offer free consultations prior to taking your case.

If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. This response does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney client relationship. Thank you and good luck.


Consult with a local landlord tenant lawyer and do not withhold rent until you speak with him. You may want to sue for a rent abatement and repairs.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or


Dear Ronkonkoma Tenant:

Are you living in a basement apartment? If so, then it is likely your dwelling is not legal and the landlord will not install a stove to avoid the penalty of having an additional residential unit in the building.

The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.


The short answer to your question is maybe. You need to speak with a local landlord tenant attorney to have a confidential consultation. You may be in a situation that justifies withholding rent, but I can't definitively say so based on your description.

As a practical concern, withholding rent is not an excuse to not pay rent. It is best done with an attorney's assistance. When I get myself caught up in cases involving the statutory implied warranty of habitability, there is a fine line between conditioning rent on the completion of repairs and the appearance of not wanting to pay rent. In my experience, the people who do not work with an attorney to withhold rent put out the appearance of the latter.

This communication is intended only to provide general information. No attorney-client relationship is created.

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