West Virginia Rental Lease Agreements
The West Virginia Rental Lease Agreements are legal forms that encompass relevant state landlord-tenant laws that a landlord and a tenant who are party to a residential lease must follow. Numerous provisions are stated in the forms, regarding matters such as the payment of rent by the tenant and the landlord’s rights relating to the property.
Among other provisions that are unique to West Virginia, landlords should be particularly mindful of the state’s laws regarding security deposits. The reason being that there are some matters, such as the period within which the landlord must return the security deposit to the tenant, which are dissimilar to most other states.
Types of Agreements
Agreement to Sublease – A legal form that makes it clear to the subtenant and sublandlord of their obligations to one another in order for the sublease of a residential property to be established.
Commercial Lease Agreement – The parties to this type of lease agreement are a landlord with a commercial property to lease and a company that requires the property to run their business in some capacity.
Lease to Own Agreement – An agreement that represents a landlord and tenant’s approval of an agreement that the landlord will sell a rental property to the tenant if specific conditions are met.
Month-to-Month Lease Agreement – This type of flexible lease is optimal for both a landlord and tenant who wish to minimize the level of commitment usually necessary to rent a residential property.
Roommate Agreement – An agreement formed among roommates that explicitly lists out the type of behavior that is an isn’t allowed in the shared household, as well as the responsibilities that must be met.
Standard Residential Lease Agreement – In order to ensure both parties abide by state-specific laws, this state-appropriate lease agreement should be drafted and signed by both parties.
What is a West Virginia Lease Agreement?
A West Virginia Lease Agreement is a contract that carries the purpose of establishing the lease of a residential property in the state of West Virginia. For the lease to commence, a landlord and tenant must both agree to abide by certain terms. A landlord has the right to select a tenant of their choosing to enter into this agreement with, a process that can be aided by employing a rental application form to vet prospective tenants.
State Definition (§ 37-6A-1(12)) – “means all agreements, written (including an electronic record as defined by paragraph (7), section two, article one, chapter thirty-nine-a of the code) or oral, express or implied, embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit and premises.”
When is Rent Due?
There is no statute specifying when rent is due. The rental contract should thus clarify the matter of when and where monthly rent should be paid. There is also no statute on grace laws for the late payment of rent.
Emergency: As there is no state statute concerning landlord access to the rental property in emergency circumstances, relevant federal laws should be followed. That is, landlords do not need to provide notice to tenants prior to accessing the property in emergency circumstances.
Non-Emergency: West Virginia landlord-tenant laws do not provide guidance on the matter of landlord access to the rental property in non-emergency circumstances. It is generally advised that landlords should provide tenants with at least twenty-four (24) hours notice prior to entry.
- Lead Paint Disclosure: A landlord who has knowledge of the existence of any lead paint hazards in their rental property built prior to 1978 must declare such hazards to tenants. Further to this, the landlord must furnish tenant with a copy of the government-issued lead paint safety pamphlet.
- Non-Refundable Fees (§ 37-6A-1(14)): Security deposits must be completely refundable, unless both parties expressly agree, in writing (usually in a written rental agreement), that an application fee or pet fee is nonrefundable.
Security Deposit Laws
Maximum: State law does not specify a cap on the amount a landlord may charge for a security deposit.
Returning to Tenant (§ 37-6A-1): The landlord must return the security deposit within sixty (60) days of the termination of the tenancy, or within forty-five (45) days of the occupation of the rental dwelling by a subsequent tenant, whichever time period is shorter.
If the landlord will retain part or all of the deposit due to damages by the tenant, the landlord must deliver a written itemization of any such damages or other charges, together with the remaining security deposit amount. The security deposit must be returned via personal delivery to the tenant, or by mailing the deposit and/or notice to the tenant’s last known address or provided forwarding address.