West Virginia

West Virginia Landlord Tenant Law

AAOA has summarized important West Virginia Landlord Tenant Laws. The laws highlighted here are from West Virginia’s official state statutes. We’ve provided direct links as a reference to the laws and regulations. The information found here is only a summary of laws and is not an exhaustive list nor is it intended to be legal advice. West Virginia Landlord Tenant Laws are subject to change. We recommend that you perform your own independent research to ensure that you are in compliance with any and all laws and regulations applicable to your current situation.

West Virginia Landlord Tenant Law

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West Virginia Landlord Tenant Law Official Rules and Regulations

Security Deposit

  • Security Deposit Maximum: A landlord can require no more than one month’s rent as a security deposit. Only one tenant must pay the security deposit, pursuant to §37-6A-2.
  • Security Deposit Interest: No statute available
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: No statute available
  • Pet Deposits: No statute available, but can vary from facility to facility. Disable persons with service dogs are exempt from having to pay any type of deposit for their pet due to the nature of the service the animal provides.
  • Non-refundable Fees: No statute available
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: The landlord must return the security deposit to the tenant within 14 days after the termination of the lease.
  • Permitted Uses of the Deposit: The landlord may use any or all of the security deposit for the payment of any rent that is due, of any itemized damages as well as any unpaid utilities. The security deposit may also be applied to the removal and storage of any property abandoned by the tenant pursuant to §37-6A-2(b1-5).
  • Require Itemized List/Written Description of Damages and Charges: When returning the tenants’ security deposit, the landlord is required to also submit an itemized list of all damages and charges that were the result of the tenant’s occupancy pursuant to §37-6A-2.
  • Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: No statute available
  • Receipt of Deposit: No statute available
  • Failure to Comply: If the landlord fails to return the security deposit within the specified amount of time, the tenant may recover up to 2 month’s rent or twice the amount of the original security deposit.

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Lease, Rent & Fees

  • Rent Is Due: Rent is due and payable on the first of the month or at any other date agreed upon by both parties.
  • Rent Increase Notice: Landlord may increase rent without notice. See here.
  • Rent Grace Period: No statute available, but may be added to the lease agreement.
  • Late Fees: No statute available
  • Prepaid Rent: No statute available
  • Returned Check Fees: According to the West Virginia Division of Financial Institutions, a landlord can charge up to $25 per each dishonored or bounced check.
  • Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): No. The landlord must maintain connections to all utilities at reasonable rates in a multi-unit dwelling at all times, with heat being guaranteed from the first day of October till the last day of April pursuant to §37-6-30(7).
  • Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: Yes. Once the tenant has given the landlord 14 days written notice concerning a defect or needed repair. If after that time, the landlord has not made the necessary repairs, the tenant can hire a professional to make the repairs and deduct a reasonable amount from their monthly rent. This does not apply to damages caused due to the negligence of the tenant.
  • Landlord Allowed to Recover Court and Attorney Fees: Yes. The landlord can recover court and attorney fees pursuant to §37-6-9.
  • Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages to Lessee, Including an Attempt to Rerent: Yes. The landlord must give the lessee an opportunity to remedy any loss, but shall not be forced to rerent the unit.
  • Abandonment/Early Termination Fee: No statute available
  • Abandonment and Personal Property: If it is determined that the tenant has abandoned the premises, the landlord has the right to dispose of the tenant’s personal belongings if they have not responded to a written notification within 10 days pursuant to §37-6-6.

Notices and Entry for West Virginia Landlord Tenant Law

  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date Lease: There is no need to send notice of termination because the lease will simply expire on the end date listed in the lease.
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Year to Year Lease with No End Date: Pursuant to §37-6-5, either party must provide written notice to terminate the lease 90 days prior to the end of the lease.
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Month to Month Lease: For any lease under the term of one year, either party can terminate the lease by providing the other party written notice prior to the end of the lease. For a month to month lease, 30 days must be given. pursuant to §37-6-5.
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Week to Week Lease: For any lease under the term of one year, either party can terminate the lease by providing the other party written notice prior to the end of the lease. For a week to week lease, 7 days notice must be provided in accordance with §37-6-5.
  • Notice to Terminate for Nonpayment – If rent is not paid by the appropriate due date, the landlord has the right to request an immediate and unconditional quit notice to the tenant.
  • Termination for Lease Violation: 10 days notice is required if a violation to the lease has occurred. In severe cases where threats of violence or damage to the property has occurred, the landlord can request immediate removal.
  • Move In/Move Out Checklist: Yes a move in/move out checklist is required, especially when returning all or a portion of the tenant’s security deposit.
  • Notice of Forwarding Address: No statute available. Notice of forwarding address may be included in the rental agreement, but is not mandatory.
  • Notice of Date/Time of Move Out Inspection: No statute available, but may be determined within the rules and regulations of the lease. The majority of lease agreements set a specific day and time after the lease has ended so that both parties may be present during the inspection.
  • Required Notice Before Entry: No statute available, but may be determined within the rules and regulations of the lease. In most cases, 48 hours is considered ample notice.
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): No statute given, but may be determined within the rules and regulations of the lease.
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Showings: No statute given, but is often determined within the lease. Showings can be scheduled for any reasonable times so as to not disrupt the tenants’ daily activities.
  • Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: No statute given. Many lease agreements address this issue without the need for state or county statutes.
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: No statute given
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No statute given
  • Lockouts Allowed: Lockouts are not allowed pursuant to §37-6.
  • Utility Shut Offs Allowed: Utility shut offs are not allowed pursuant to §37-6.

Disclosures and Miscellaneous Notes

  • Name and Addresses: The tenant must receive the name and address of the property manager as well as that of the property owner for the purpose of service of process and receipt of notices and demands concerning the property. This must be received along with the copy of the lease and prior to the first day of tenancy pursuant to §37-6.
  • Copy of the Lease: No statute given.
  • Landlord Duties:
    • Covenant of Habitability: Unit must be habitable, safe and clean before the move in date of the tenant. All appliances, electrical fixtures and plumbing must be in good working order, except for minor instances of regular wear and tear.
    • Repairs and Code Compliance: All repairs must be made in a timely manner and in accordance with all city, state and federal building codes.
    • Utilities: The landlord must refrain from turning off any necessary utilities including water, electricity and heat.
    • Cleanliness: Must maintain all public areas of the premises in a neat, safe and clean manner, this includes hallways, public restrooms and commons areas.
    • Transfer of Ownership: Provides written notice to all tenants when the property is sold and ownership changes hands.
    • Discrimination: Cannot unlawfully discriminate against possible tenants. An applicant cannot be denied on the basis of their sex, religion, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.
  • Tenant’s Responsibilities:
    • Trash: Dispose of any trash generated within the unit and keep the premises occupied by the tenant safe, clean and habitable.
    • Electrical, Heating and Plumbing: Abstain from unreasonable use of electrical, plumbing and heating fixtures.
    • Compliance: Fulfilled all obligations imposed on the tenants by the code enforcement agency or the community at large.
    • Damage: Refrain from intentionally and willfully destroying, defacing, damaging, impairing or removing any part of the structure of the unit or facility and to prohibit any other person on the premises from doing the same, and
    • Subleasing: Shall not sublet, rent or turn the unit over to a third party without the property owner’s knowledge and written consent.
  • Retaliation: A landlord cannot evict or forcefully remove a tenant for filing a complaint against them with any governing agency.
  • Radon Testing: No statute given
  • Lead Disclosure: An information pamphlet that details the hazards of lead based paint must be included in the lease agreement as an attachment.

Court Related

Business Licenses

  • Business License Required: No statute is given on the state level, but a person should check at the city and county levels of government to determine whether or not a business license is required for a landlord to manage properties. Landlord business licenses may be required in certain areas and not in others.

West Virginia Tenant Screening Background Checks

West Virginia tenant screening practices play an important role in determining whether or not a person or persons would be successful applicants. The screening process includes criminal and financial background checks and allows the property manager to determine if there is any type of risk associated with renting to an applicant. For more information visit West Virginia Tenant Screening Background Checks to screen your tenant

West Virginia Landlord Forms

West Virginia landlord forms are available to help property managers successfully manage their rental properties. A few of the most common forms include:

  • Rental applications
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy
  • Cash for Keys
  • Move In/out Checklist
  • Past Due Rent
  • Notice of Entry
  • Rental Deposit Form
  • Rent Receipt

These landlord tenant forms are legally binding and can be used to create binding agreements between landlords and their tenants. Check out American Apartment Owners Association’s West Virginia Landlord Forms now

Nationwide Landlord Tenant Laws

Looking for landlord tenant laws outside of West Virginia? The American Apartment Owners Association offers helpful landlord tenant laws for all 50 states. Click on any of the states listed below and go directly to its landlord tenant laws page.

Reminder: This information is a general explanation and summary of West Virginia Landlord Tenant Law but is in no way meant to substitute for legal advice, nor does it list all the statutes under the West Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act.