If you are renting from a private landlord, you have a right to request that your landlord make repairs to your rental unit. If your landlord does not make the necessary repairs after you properly request them, you can deduct up to $500 per month in repair costs from your rent.
You must NOT stop paying rent simply because a repair is needed or your landlord does not respond to your repair requests. If you do not pay your rent, your landlord can take you to court to evict you.
What if you caused the damage? Can you still use repair and deduct?
If the damage was caused by you, someone you live with, or someone that you allowed into your unit, your landlord does not have to make the repairs. In this situation, a repair and deduct would not be appropriate. You will probably have to pay for the repairs by either having the damage repaired OR your landlord can deduct the damage from your security deposit when you move out.