Can I deduct money from my rent for having to go to the laundromat if I was prevented from using the dryer at my rental?

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Can I deduct money from my rent for having to go to the laundromat if I was prevented from using the dryer at my rental?

It was a verbal agreement between my landlord and I that I be able to use her dryer to dry my clothes, as I only have a washer on my side of this duplex house. However, ever since she got mad at me because I am moving, she has decided to lock her door which has prevented me from using the dryer. She also made me remove my things from the shed and give her the key back, but that is beside the point. Since she has locked her door, I have had to buy a drying rack and also go to the laundromat. Am I allowed to deduct these fees from my rent? If so, how much can I deduct?

Asked on July 27, 2011 Massachusetts

Answers:

Stan Helinski / McKinley Law Group

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I don't think so-- I  believe that (though I don't specialize in landlord tenant disputes) you may only withhold rent on the basis of an alleged Sanitary Code violation-- you seem to have a straightforward contractual dispute.  I do not believe that gives you a basis to withhold rent.  Take a look at the withholding statute-- Mass General Laws Chapter 239 section 8A.  Good Luck... 

Stan Helinski


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