The West Virginia residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) legally binds a lessor (“landlord”) and lessee (“tenant”) to a rental contract for residential property. After the lease is signed and the first month’s rent plus a security deposit is paid, the tenant will be given access to the premises.
Create an official West Virginia standard residential lease agreement (see above), download a free and fillable template form (see Word and PDF buttons) or read further to learn about West Virginia state laws regarding rental leases.
West Virginia Lease Disclosures & Addendums
The following disclosure is required for all residential lease agreements in West Virginia.
- Lead Based Paint Disclosure – for rental units built prior to 1978.
There are also a number of optional disclosures and addendums that help reduce future conflicts and/or legal liability in West Virginia.
Lead Based Paint Disclosure
Applicable to any rental units built prior to 1978.
It is a federal law in the United States that any home built prior to 1978 must disclose the risks posed by lead-based paints. This law requires landlords in West Virginia to:
- Fill out and attach this lead based paint disclosure form to the lease agreement.
- Provide the tenant with an EPA-approved pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint.
- Provide additional records or reports about the presence or hazards of any known lead based paint in the unit. For multi-unit buildings with common areas, this includes information from building-wide evaluations.
Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)
The following lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by West Virginia law in residential lease agreements, but either help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.
- Landlord Name & Address – to create a line of communication for important notices & demands between tenant and landlord, it is recommended that West Virginia landlords provide contact information within or alongside the lease for themselves or anyone authorized to act on behalf of the property.
- Medical Marijuana Use – it is recommended to state where medical marijuana use is and isn’t allowed on the property so that expectations are clear. West Virginia law allows landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or control where users can smoke so as to not interfere with other tenants.
- Move-in Checklist – it is recommended to provide an itemized list of damages to the property before move-in to make sure tenants are responsible for any serious damages that occur during the lease term. This can be attached to the lease agreement or signed as a separate document.
- Late and Returned Check Fees – it is recommended that landlords disclose in the lease any late fees or returned (bounced) check fees that they intend to charge. West Virginia does not limit how high these fees can be, but they should be considered reasonable (often no more than 10% of rent) and reflect the actual expenses incurred by the landlord as a result of a late payment. They must also be charged only after the agreed upon due date for rent, dictated in the lease. Returned check fees may not exceed $25 . Collection of fees require a notice to be sent to the tenant, providing 10 days before pursuing legal action .
- Shared Utilities Arrangements – for rental units with shared utilities, it is recommended to disclose the specifics of how they are shared, and how each party’s bill is calculated, so that tenants have a reasonable expectation of what they owe each month.
- Bed Bug Disclosure – for rental units with a history of infestation, it is recommended to establish an understanding of the current status of bed bugs at the property in case of a future infestation and to provide information on the protocol for handling one.
- Asbestos Disclosure – for rental units in buildings built prior to 1981 (which are considered at-risk for asbestos), it is recommended to establish an understanding of any prior knowledge on the existence of asbestos on the property.
- Mold Disclosure – it is recommended to disclose the current mold status of a property in the lease to protect against future liability of mold damages due to tenant negligence during the lease term.