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Good afternoon. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. Based upon the facts which you stated above, the landlord has a legal obligation to make the necessary repairs. Your right to withhold rent, depends on if the subject property is wholly untenantable. If so, then you can take the necessary steps pursuant to the statute below and withhold rent. There does need be hot and cold running water, along with it being free of mold, which can lead to health problems. As such, there could be a legal basis to withhold the rent. Another option is to speak with the landlord and see if he will allow you to make the repairs yourself and deduct it from the rent. If he refuses to take any action, then he can be in breach of the lease agreement and you could vacate, going after him for damages
83.201 Notice to landlord of failure to maintain or repair, rendering premises wholly untenantable; right to withhold rent.—When the lease is silent on the procedure to be followed to effect repair or maintenance
and the payment of rent relating thereto, yet affirmatively and expressly places the obligation for same upon the landlord, and the landlord has failed or refused to do so, rendering the leased premises wholly untenantable, the tenant may withhold rent after notice to the landlord. The tenant shall serve the landlord, in the manner prescribed by s. 83.20(3), with a written notice declaring the premises to be wholly untenantable, giving the landlord at least 20 days to make the specifically described repair or maintenance, and stating that the tenant will withhold the rent for the next rental period and thereafter until the repair or maintenance has been performed. The lease may provide for a longer period of time for repair or maintenance. Once the landlord has completed the repair or maintenance, the tenant shall pay the landlord the amounts of rent withheld. If the landlord does not complete the repair or maintenance in the allotted time, the parties may extend the time by written agreement or the tenant may abandon the premises, retain the amounts of rent withheld, terminate the lease, and avoid any liability for future rent or charges under the lease. This section is cumulative to other existing remedies, and this section does not prevent any tenant from exercising his or her other remedies.
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