Rent Abatement or Rent Reduction is just asking a court to require your landlord to compensate you for failing to give you the quality of apartment or house for which you bargained. For example, if one quarter of your apartment is unusable because of leaks you are entitled to a 25% rent reduction.

If serious problems such as rodent infestation reduce the usefulness of your apartment by 20% you can ask for 20% of the rent you paid during the time you notified the landlord of the problem and nothing was done. Of course, the longer you have lived in the problem conditions since the landlord knew about them, the bigger your recovery.

Rent Abatements often require the filing of a law suit. If the amount being requested is less than $10,000 you can ask for it in small claims court. Otherwise you will need a lawyer.

A Rent Abatement is also a possible defense if your landlord is suing you for back rent. Be sure to bring a copy of any Code Violations as proof of the problem and pictures if you have them.

It will be important for you to demonstrate that you complained to your landlord and the landlord had the opportunity to fix the problem after your written notice.