The tenant pays rent for the possession of the rented property. Leases usually require that the rent be due on a certain date. Sometimes, leases contain provisions for grace periods during which the landlord may elect to waive late charges. However, grace periods usually do not extend the time for payment of the rent. When the tenant fails to pay the rent, the landlord may take legal steps to collect the rent or to remove the tenant for nonpayment.

There are very few times when a tenant may withhold rent because the landlord has not performed an obligation of the lease. However, the tenant may be entitled to withhold rent where dangerous defects exist because the landlord has failed to perform an obligation under the lease.

Additionally, the landlord should receive written notice of the defect by certified mail and have a reasonable opportunity to repair a defect after receiving notice from the tenant. The landlord may be given notice of housing code violations from the county or city housing department which would entitle the tenant to withhold rent for conditions dangerous to the health, life or safety of an occupant.