The “repair and deduct” remedy

The “repair and deduct” remedy allows a tenant to deduct money from the  rent, up to the amount of one month’s rent, to pay for repair of defects in the  rental unit.156 This remedy covers substandard conditions that  affect the tenant’s health and safety, and that substantially breach the  implied warranty of habitability.157 (See discussion of the implied warranty of habitability.) Examples might include a leak in the roof during  the rainy season, no hot running water, or a gas leak.

As a practical matter, the repair and deduct remedy  allows a tenant to make needed repairs of serious conditions without filing a  lawsuit against the landlord. Because this remedy involves legal  technicalities, it’s a good idea for the tenant to talk to a lawyer, legal aid  organization, or tenants’ association before proceeding.

The basic requirements and steps for using the  repair and deduct remedy are as follows:

  1. 1. The defects must be serious and directly related to  the tenant’s health and safety.158
  2. 2. The repairs cannot cost more than one month’s rent.
  3. 3. The tenant cannot use the repair and deduct remedy  more than twice in any 12-month period.
  4. 4. The tenant or the tenant’s family, guests, or pets  must not have caused the defects that require repair.
  5. 5. The tenant must inform the landlord, either orally  or in writing, of the repairs that are needed. (See “Giving the landlord notice“.)
  6. 6. The tenant must give the landlord a reasonable  period of time to make the needed repairs.

source: California Department of Consumer Affairs


If you need help for an eviction in Sonoma County, Mendocino County, Napa County, Marin County, Solano County, Lake County or Contra Costa County, call now.  I serve the cities of Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Petaluma, Windsor, Healdsburg, Cloverdale, Lakeport, Clearlake, Ukiah, San Rafael, Novato, Fairfax, Napa, Calistoga, St. Helena and Vallejo.  The Law Office of Wallace Francis can help you with your eviction matter.