Landlords and property owners should use a West Virginia Rental Application template to screen all applicants thoroughly before offering a lease agreement.
We have a West Virginia rental application sample that can make it easier for you to ask the right questions.
Learn more about what you need to ask on your West Virginia rental application form, and familiarize yourself with West Virginia landlord and tenant law.
- West Virginia Rental Application Information for Applicants and Tenants
- Federal and West Virginia Fair Housing Law
- Additional Protected Classes in West Virginia
- Authorization for Background Check
- How to Conduct an Evictions Record Search
- Other Resources for Landlords
- How to Write a Rental Application
- Sample West Virginia Rental Application Form
West Virginia Rental Application Information for Applicants and Tenants
Many West Virginia applicants have questions about application fees and security deposits.
In West Virginia, there is no limit to the application fee that a landlord can charge.
Property owners should charge a reasonable amount to cover the cost of the application screening process and avoid charging prohibitive application fees that would make it hard for someone to apply.
Landlords are also allowed to ask for a security deposit, and West Virginia law does not place a limit on that security deposit. Cities and counties may place their limits on security deposits within their jurisdictions.
There are no laws that govern pet deposits in West Virginia.
Federal and West Virginia Fair Housing Law
Per the Federal Fair Housing Act and the West Virginia Fair Housing Act, West Virginia property owners are not allowed to ask about the following:
- The ancestry, color, race, or national origin of each applicant
- The religious beliefs of any applicant
- The sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation of any applicant
- Whether the applicant has children or is married
- Whether the applicant has a physical or mental disability
- Whether the applicant needs public housing assistance or government assistance
Additional Protected Classes in West Virginia
In West Virginia, landlords are also prohibited from asking questions about whether the applicant is blind.
If the landlord asks any of the questions above, they could be deemed discriminatory.
Furthermore, landlords must obtain the applicant’s consent before running a credit check or background check on the applicant.
The Federal Credit Reporting Act governs this step.
Authorization for Background Check
Looking into an applicant’s credit, eviction, and criminal history is necessary to mitigate financial, personal, and community risks.
Many landlords wisely make background checks a typical part of their rental application process.
Property owners need the applicant’s authorization to run many background checks.
So, use our background check authorization form to obtain permission, and provide the form to the tenant with our rental application.
How to Conduct an Evictions Record Search
- Navigate to the West Virginia Judiciary website
- Choose the county or counties where you want to search
- Follow the instructions on the county court website
Other Resources for Landlords
How to Write a Rental Application
As you draft your West Virginia rental application, there are several key steps that you must not overlook.
- Always start by including the address of your rental property.
- Ask for some basic identifying information from each applicant.
- Ask for applicants’ prior address history, employment history, and financial information.
- Ask for character references, including some from prior landlords.
- Ask for consent to run a background check and credit check.
- Include questions about smoking history and pets if you feel they are pertinent to your application.
Sample West Virginia Rental Application Form
To make the process easier, we have included a sample West Virginia rental application form that you can use to screen your applicants.
Use our application to make sure you ask the most important questions before you decide who you want to live on your property.