Warranty of Habitability in West Virginia

Last Updated: August 19, 2023 by Elizabeth Souza

In West Virginia, a landlord’s obligation for providing a habitable living space is primarily governed by WV Code § 37-6-30. This legal requirement, commonly known as the “implied warranty of habitability”, also outlines the rights of tenants when repairs are not made in a timely manner.

Quick Facts Answer
Landlord Responsibilities Cold/Hot Water, HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Sanitation Facilities
Time Limit for Repairs Reasonable time given all relevant circumstances
Tenant Recourse Options
  • Withhold Rent: No
  • Repair & Deduction: No

Applicable Dwelling Types in West Virginia

The implied warranty of habitability in West Virginia does not apply to all types of dwellings. See the table below for which are and aren’t included.

Dwelling Type Landlord/Tenant Laws Apply?
Single family Yes
Multi-family Yes
Fraternities/Sororities/Clubs Not specifically addressed
RV parks Not specifically addressed
Mobile home parks Not specifically addressed
Condos Not specifically addressed
Hotels/Motels Not specifically addressed

Landlord Responsibilities in West Virginia

The following chart lists possible landlord responsibilities when it comes to habitability.  Not all of them are requirements in West Virginia, as indicated below.

Note: Some of the below items may not be addressed at the state level but may be addressed on a county or city level. Check your local housing codes to see which additional requirements may apply.

Habitability Issue Landlord Responsibility?
Provide windows and doors that are in good repair. Not addressed
Ensure the roof, walls, etc., are completely waterproofed and there are no leaks. Not addressed
Provide hot and cold running water. Yes
Provide working HVAC equipment. Yes
Provide working plumbing and electrical wiring/outlets/ lighting. Yes
Provide working gas lines if used for utilities/cooking Not addressed
Provide working sanitation facilities (bathtub/shower, toilet). Yes
Provide a trash can (for trash pickup services). Multi-family only
Ensure that any stairs and railings are safe. Not addressed
Ensure that all floors are in good condition and safe. Not addressed
Provide fire exits that are usable, safe, and clean. Not addressed
Ensure storage areas, including garages and basements, do not house combustible materials. Not addressed
Provide working smoke detectors Yes
Provide a mailbox. Not addressed
Provide working wiring for one telephone jack. Not addressed
Provide working kitchen appliances. Not addressed
Provide working carbon monoxide detector. Where required
Provide a working washer/dryer. Not addressed

Landlords in West Virginia must maintain the rental property (and all common areas) to be a safe and habitable condition and should follow all building and fire codes. Even if there is no written lease, a landlord is obligated to be compliant with the implied warranty of habitability.

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It is the landlord’s responsibility to supply heat during October 1st and April 30th to make the unit habitable.

Repairs, Recourse & Retaliation in West Virginia

If a rental property is in violation of the implied warranty of habitability in West Virginia, state laws outline how the repair process works, what tenants can do if repairs aren’t made, and how tenants are protected against retaliating landlords.

Requesting Repairs in West Virginia

West Virginia tenants typically must request repairs by providing the landlord notice about the issue that needs repair. Landlords are still liable for repairs they know are necessary, even without a tenant’s notice, but notice (especially written) helps prove the timing and details of a landlord’s knowledge about the issue.

Renter’s Rights if Repairs Aren’t Made in West Virginia

West Virginia renters have the right to repairs for a variety of potential issues, including things that impact health and safety. To exercise their right, renters have to give the landlord notice (written or verbal) about the issue that needs fixing, and wait a reasonable time for the landlord to do repairs (generally under two weeks).

If the issue isn’t fixed by the landlord in a timely way, the renter could end the rental agreement or get a court order for repairs or compensation. However, the renter usually can’t repair and deduct, or withhold rent. Read More

Landlord Retaliation in West Virginia

It’s illegal for West Virginia landlords to retaliate against tenants who assert their rights under the landlord-tenant relationship in the rental agreement (such as reporting the landlord’s failure to maintain the property). A tenant can claim retaliation as a defense against eviction, or can sue the landlord affirmatively claiming, retaliation.