West Virginia Tenant Rights Laws

Everyone's familiar with landlord-tenant disputes, whether you've experienced it first-hand or through others. Thankfully, West Virginia's landlord-tenant laws are designed to protect your rights and clarify your responsibilities, in addition to federal and local law. Read on to learn more about West Virginia's tenant rights laws and how they might affect you.

Tenant Rights: Discrimination, Repairs, and More

West Virginia's rental laws cover topics including discrimination, habitability, and notice requirements for ending the tenancy. For example, there are laws which prohibit discrimination based on race, religion, disability, and other protected characteristics. Prohibited actions include refusing to rent to someone or discriminating in the terms and conditions of a rental based on those protected traits.

You are also entitled to live in a unit that's in habitable condition. In West Virginia, this means that in most cases your landlord must perform necessary repairs and maintain services such as heating, air conditioning, and plumbing, if those are supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord. However, you are also required to exercise reasonable care in your own use of the property and can be held responsible for damage you cause.

Another area of contention is the security deposit. Your rental agreement may contain certain terms for what types of deductions can be made against the deposit, but West Virginia law also says that your landlord must return all or the balance of the deposit within 60 days after your tenancy ends or 45 days after a new tenant moves in, whichever is shorter.

West Virginia Tenant Rights Laws at a Glance

The following chart provides a summary of West Virginia state law governing the landlord-tenant relationship, including links to important code sections.

Statutes

Security Deposits

  • Limit: No statutory maximum
  • Must return all or part of the security deposit within 60 days after termination of tenancy or 45 days after occupation by subsequent tenant, whichever is shorter
  • Part or all may be used only for certain purposes, including:
    • Unpaid rent or utilities
    • Damages from noncompliance with rental agreement beyond reasonable wear and tear
    • Costs for removal and storage of tenant’s property
    • Other charges specified in the rental agreement

Paying Rent

  • May not raise rent during lease term (e.g. 1 year lease) unless lease allows; may raise rent upon lease renewal

Living Conditions

  • Landlord must maintain premises in fit and habitable condition: comply with health, safety, fire, and housing codes; make necessary repairs unless necessitated by tenant’s lack of reasonable care; maintain electrical, heating, air conditioning, plumbing, etc. (exceptions apply)

Discrimination

  • No discrimination based on race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, familial status, blindness, disability, or national origin

Ending or Renewing a Tenancy

  • Notice required to terminate the tenancy:
    • Fixed-term lease: no notice required
    • Yearly tenancy: three months
    • Monthly tenancy: one month
    • Week-to-week tenancy: one week
    • Lease: according to lease terms
    • Eviction: no notice required for nonpayment of rent or lease violation
  • Eviction: court order required

Retaliation

  • Landlord may not retaliate against tenant for exercising tenant rights

Note: State regulations are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

West Virginia Tenant Rights Laws: Related Resources

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