TO: Landlord's Name
FROM: Your Name
I received your letter demanding that I be out of my apartment within 7 days. Discussion of this with my lawyer reveals that you cannot carry out an eviction without due process of law, which means taking me to court.
My defense against eviction will be that I have been withholding rent due to your nonperformance of repairs. I would like to point out to you that I have copies of several letters sent to inform you of the need for repairs, and of the steps I took to obtain repairs. I also have return receipts which prove that you received these letters. In addition,
I have proof that I have been maintaining an escrow account into which the full amount of rent money due, or a portion of it, was deposited each month. Also, I have receipts for all repair work and all bills which were paid out of my escrow account.
During my tenancy, you have neglected to fulfill your statutory covenant to repair. I do not feel that you have adequate cause to demand my eviction.
Please contact my lawyer if you wish to discuss this matter. His or her name is ____________________________________.