No one can evict a tenant just by ordering them to move. A landlord must file a complaint for eviction with the court, and if the judge agrees with the landlord that there is unpaid rent due, and the tenant does not pay, then the judge will order the sheriff to perform a lock-out by a certain date. Whether you are allowed to deduct those costs from the rent depends on what your lease says and the facts of your case. You will need to consult an attorney for advice about your particular case.
Best of luck.
This posting is just general legal INFORMATION and not legal ADVICE. Only your attorney can provide legal advice. If you would like actual advice about your particular case, please contact me for a consultation.
The landlord will need to file for eviction in the county where you live. When you come to court, bring any evidence you have about the failure of the landlord to provide the utilities to the unit. Also bring the rent which you would have paid and tell the Judge that you have the funds to pay today but want to withhold this partial rent for the reasons you state above. If the Judge rules against you pay the money to bring your account completely current and you will not be evicted so long as there are no other issues.
Jim Schroeder is licensed to practice law in New Jersey and the District of Columbia. All information provided here is for educational purposes and does not create an attorney client relationship. Q&A on sites like Avvo are not designed to give specific legal advise but to educate legal consumers so they can be better prepared to work with any attorney they choose to retain. Information on this site by Mr. Schroeder is offered to that end.