A West Virginia (WV) Lease Agreement is a binding document between a landlord and a tenant, written per the state’s landlord-tenant laws.
What is a Lease Agreement?
Property owners who want to rent all (or a portion of) their residential property to a tenant for a fee in the state of West Virginia can use a lease agreement as a legally binding contract.
In a rental contract, a tenant agrees to the rental agreement’s terms and conditions including payment of the monthly rent and when to pay, along with other rental rules and requirements.
What to Include in a West Virginia Residential Rental/Lease Agreement
Federal and state law requires landlords to include essential details in their rental agreements, specifically:
- Tenant/Landlord Details: names and current addresses of both the tenant and landlord
- Property Information: the address of the premises being rented
- Pets: allowances and prohibitions
- Health Hazards: any known health or safety hazards or risks
- Rent, Security Deposit, and Late Fee Specifics: the amount of rent and due date, amount of security deposit and due date, payment methods, and any late fees or grace periods
- Lease Term: the length of the lease (e.g., 12 months)
States differ in various aspects of leasing and rental requirements.
Familiarize yourself with West Virginia’s landlord-tenant laws to protect your legal and financial rights.
West Virginia Landlord-Tenant Laws
West Virginia state law imposes specific and distinct requirements on landlords and tenants when entering a lease or rental agreement.
Relevant State Laws
- West Virginia Code, Chapter 37, Article 6 and 6A
- There’s no limit on the amount a landlord may request as a security deposit from a tenant. (No statute)
- A landlord must return a tenant’s security deposit within 60 days of the end of the lease minus any deductions for damages or other charges and include an itemized list of those damages or charges. Any monies withheld that go toward repairing damage or for cleaning due to excessive wear and tear are considered non-refundable. (WV Code §§ 37-6A-1 to 37-6A-2)
Landlord Right of Entry:
- No prior notice to the tenant is required for a landlord to enter their rental property in West Virginia. (No statute)
- Lead-Based Paint Disclosure – Housing built before 1978 may contain lead-based paint, which can pose health hazards if not managed properly. Landlords must provide tenants with a lead-based paint disclosure and a copy of the lease agreement. (Title 42 U.S. Code § 4852(d))
- Optional Asbestos Disclosure – The optional asbestos disclosure informs tenants if there is asbestos anywhere on the rental property, including in common areas.
How to Write a Lease/Rental Agreement
Follow the steps below to write a lease agreement in West Virginia.
Step 1 – Fill Out Date of Agreement
Write the date of the lease/rental agreement.
Step 2 – Enter Parties’ Information
Provide the name and address of the parties that are signing the agreement. First is the landlord or management company and their current address. Then write in all tenants and their current address.
Step 3 – Describe Property
Describe the type of rental property such as an apartment or house and provide the full street address of the rental property.
Step 4 – Enter Term of Lease
Write the term (length) of the lease in months and enter the beginning and end dates of the lease. If the lease is month-to-month, provide the start date of the lease.
Step 5 – Enter Rent Details
Provide the monthly rental amount, the date the rent is due each month and the acceptable payment method(s). Any late fees or grace periods for late payment of rent can be added.
Step 6 – Enter Security Deposit Amount
Write the amount of the security deposit the landlord will collect from the tenant, typically done at the beginning of the lease.
Step 7 – Additional Provisions
Provide additional and optional provisions such as regarding the use of a guarantor, payment of utilities, maintenance and repairs, alterations, or allowance or prohibition of pets, smoking, or sublease.
Step 8 – Signatures
The landlord and tenant(s) will sign and date the lease agreement.
West Virginia Lease Agreement Sample
Below is an example of what a West Virginia rental agreement looks like.