Thanks for your reply. Yes, you can withhold rent. With every rental comes the implied warranty of habitability, which includes the tenant's right to the safe, healthy, peaceful and quiet enjoyment of the rented premises. Where you have a situation where you have no heat and no hot water, you are clearly not being afforded such enjoyment of the premises....and therefore the landlord would be in breach of the implied warranty of habitability pursuant to N.Y. Real Prop. Law § 235-b. This puts the landlord in default. This gives you the right to terminate the lease and sue for damages, including the cost of moving plus include reimbursement of a portion of all prior rent to date to compensate for the reduced value of the rental property due to the reduced benefit of your rental bargain due to the inhabitability. Furthermore, pursuant to , Semans Family Ltd. Partnership v. Kennedy, 675 N.Y.S.2d 489 (N.Y. City Civ. Ct., 1998), you have the right to withhold rent. Finally, although you have the right to terminate the lease due to the breach, you are not required to do so. Rather, you can file a claim against the landlord for damages due to this breach. Damages would include reimbursement of a portion of all prior rent to date to compensate for the reduced value of the rental property due to the problems, and to either reduce the rent going forward or pay you for temporary living expenses, at your option, until the problem is fully remediated.
Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!