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In most states, if a landlord does not make repairs that would keep a living unit up to code, the tenant has legal recourse. However, it generally is not legal to withhold rent as a means to coerce the landlord into making repairs. Typically, the tenant must file an action with a court, which will then allow the tenant to pay rent to the court. The court will hold a hearing, deciding matters such as repairs to be made and the allocation of the rent.