A landlord is required to maintain habitable or livable housing for his tenants which meets which meets all building and safety codes. If the landlord fails to meet this basic obligation, the tenant has been "constructively convicted" from the premises and the tenant has the right to terminate the lease, or withhold rent until repairs are made. It sounds like your situation is like this. Kentucky law sets specific requirements for the procedures you must follow before moving or withholding rent out because of a major repair problem. The requirements are set forth in Kentucky Revised Statutes 383-640 and 383-650. I encourage you to read these statutes in full as they require that you give specific notice to the landlord before you take any action. I will set forth these statutes below:
383.650 Fire or casualty damage.
(1) If the dwelling unit or premises are damaged or destroyed by fire or casualty or so
injured by the elements, act of God, or other cause to an extent that enjoyment of
the dwelling unit is substantially impaired, the tenant or the landlord may terminate
the rental agreement upon fourteen (14) days' notice; however, the tenant may
immediately vacate the premises.
(2) If the rental agreement is terminated under provision of this section the landlord
shall return all the unused portion of the prepaid rent. Accounting for rent in the
event of termination or apportionment shall be made as of the date of the casualty.
383.640 Wrongful failure to supply essential services.
(1) If, contrary to the rental agreement of KRS 383.595, the landlord willfully fails to
supply heat, running water, hot water, electric, gas, or other essential service, the
tenant may give written notice to the landlord specifying the breach and may:
(a) Procure reasonable amounts of heat, hot water, running water, electric, gas,
and the essential service during the period of the landlord's noncompliance
and deduct their actual and reasonable cost from the rent;
(b) Recover damages based upon the diminution in the fair rental value of the
dwelling unit; or
(c) Procure reasonable substitute housing during the period of the landlord's
noncompliance, in which case the tenant is excused from paying rent for the
period of the landlord's noncompliance.
(2) In addition to a remedy provided in paragraph (c) of subsection (1) the tenant may
recover reasonable attorney's fees.
(3) If the tenant proceeds under this section, he may not proceed under KRS 383.625 or
383.635 as to that breach.
(4) Rights of the tenant under this section do not arise until he has given notice to the
landlord or if the condition was caused by the deliberate or negligent act or
omission of the tenant
Please see also: Kentucky Tenant Rights to Withhold Rent or “Repair and Deduct.
How to Withhold Rent for Repairs
I hope this helps.