If the condition for which the repairs are needed threatens your health or safety, you should send the landlord a written request that the repairs be made within twenty-one days and stating that, if such repairs are not made within this 21-day period, the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than thirty days from receipt of the notice. Examples of things that threaten safety include lack of heat, running water, electricity, adequate sewage disposal, infestation of rodents/insects, mold, etc. You must send the notice by certified mail, return receipt requested. If the landlord refuses, you may terminate the lease not less than thirty days after his receipt of the notice, provided the tenancy is one covered by the VRLTA. Make and keep a copy of your written notice to the landlord. Any tenant may file an assertion (notice), along with a copy of the request to repair sent to the landlord, and the certified mail, return receipt requested card, in the court, stating that the landlord has been notified in writing and has failed to comply with the lease; you must then pay your rent directly into the court within five days of the due date for the rent. You should never simply withhold rent, because the landlord may then terminate the tenancy for non-payment. If covered by the VRLTA, refer to Virginia Code Section 55.1-1234.