The West Virginia Rent Lease Agreements are a set of documents that allow a property owner or manager to temporarily transfer ownership of their property over to another party, known as the tenant. The kinds of leases and other agreements presented here are the most common of their respective types, although other kinds of leases do exist. Selling or leasing property in West Virginia requires a Real Estate Broker License.
Each lease is unique, as it will contain special clauses and be governed by different local and state laws depending on the length of the lease, type of property, its intended use and where it’s located. As such, regardless of the type of lease, it should be read carefully, in order to minimize the chances of breaking it due to inattention to detail. Residential leases are typically required to have easy to read language, so they will typically understandable even by a layman.
Form Description Types
West Virginia Rental Laws
Laws pursuant to West Virginia Code, Chapter 37.
Most landlords will want to charge a security deposit when a tenant moves in, to account for any wear and tear a property will endure during a tenancy. In West Virginia, there are no laws on the state level limiting how much a landlord can charge for a security deposit, although caps may exist in local or city laws. A landlord is West Virginia is required to return a security deposit within sixty (60) days of a tenant moving out, or withing forty five (45) days of a new tenant moving in, whichever is sooner.
Regardless of the type or length of a lease, all of the rules regarding rent will be spelled out in the lease itself. These will include the amount, when it is due, what forms are acceptable (IE, check, cash, etc.) and where it must be delivered. There are no rent controlled areas in West Virginia, so there is no legal limit to how much a landlord can charge for rent.
If rent is not paid on time and in full, the tenant may accrue a late fee. West Virginia has no laws pertaining to late fees, so the amount of a late fee and when it is due are entirely at the landlord’s discretion. However, a late fee policy must be spelled out in the lease itself. Otherwise a late fee may not be charged.
In a Month to Month Lease, the landlord must give the tenant the same amount of notice for a rent increase as they must for any other alteration to the lease. In West Virginia, this is one (1) month’s written notice. In a One Year or longer Lease, the landlord may not alter the rent in any way, unless a provision in the lease itself allows for a rent increase.
In West Virginia, if the tenant has violated the lease, the landlord may file for eviction immediately. No notice, or time to cure the violation is required. Once the landlord has filed for eviction, there will be a hearing at a local court and, if the landlord is successful, the tenant will be served with an Eviction Notice.
Until a tenant has been served with an eviction notice, the landlord may not change the locks, tamper with utilities, remove the tenant’s property or otherwise try to force the tenant to vacate.
In West Virginia rental discrimination (IE, altering rent, terminating a lease without due cause, denying housing is available when it is, refusing to lease, etc.) for the following reasons is forbidden:
- race, color, national origin, ancestry, blindness, religion, sex, family status, physical or mental disability
- note that age, gender identity and sexual orientation are not covered
Landlord’s Right to Enter
There are no laws specifically pertaining to landlord’s right to enter a property in West Virginia, so they are governed by what is known as ‘Common Law.’ In this case, a landlord must give the tenant at least twenty four (24) hours notice and enter during normal business hours, unless it is an emergency situation.