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When does the tenant have a right to withhold rent and place…

Customer Question
When does the tenant...

When does the tenant have a right to withhold rent and place it in escrow in the state of Delaware or any state.

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is the tenant in? It matters because laws vary by location.

Delaware

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps has the tenant taken so far?

It was a month ago when I asked the property manager to fix a broken pipe under the kitchen sink.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Just can I withhold it until the pipe is fixed?

Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 11 minutes by:
3/16/2018
Real Estate Lawyer: Barrister, Lawyer replied 3 months ago
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 42,085
Experience: 17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
Verified

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I type out an answer or reply.

.

In order to withhold rent in DE, the problem must be a very serious problem that affects the habitability of the dwelling, not something that is annoying or irritating. If it affects the habitability, then after proper written notice to the landlord, the tenant can either withhold rent or "repair and deduct".

.

If the tenant uses repair and deduct, they can spend up to $200 for repairs and would submit copies of any invoices along with the reduced rent the next month. See DE Code 5307

.

If the tenant withholds rent, it has to be a very serious problem.. the law states:

.

DE Code 5308

(b) If the tenant has given the notice required under subsection (a) of this section and remains in the rental unit and the landlord still fails to provide water, hot water, heat and electricity to the rental unit as specified in the applicable city or county housing code in violation of the rental agreement, the tenant may:

.

(1) Upon written notice to the landlord, immediately terminate the rental agreement; or

(2) Upon notice to the landlord, procure equivalent substitute housing for as long as heat, water, hot water or electricity is not supplied, during which time the rent shall abate, and the landlord shall be liable for any additional expense incurred by the tenant, up to 1/2 of the amount of abated rent. This additional expense shall not be chargeable to the landlord if landlord is able to show impossibility of performance; or

(3) Upon written notice to the landlord, tenant may withhold 2/3 per diem rent accruing during any period when hot water, heat, water or equivalent substitute housing is not supplied.

.

.

So a broken pipe wouldn't meet that criteria for rent withholding..., but would for the repair and deduct.

.

.

thanks

Barrister

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Real Estate Lawyer: Barrister, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Hello again,

.

I just wanted to touch base with you and check in.

.

Did you have any further questions I can help with?

.

.

Thanks much

Barrister

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