West Virginia Residential Lease Agreement

Last Updated: November 30, 2021 by Elizabeth Souza

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.

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West Virginia Lease Agreement Disclosures

The following disclosure is required for all residential lease agreements in West Virginia.

Disclosure Applicable to
Lead Paint All Units 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:

Download: West Virginia Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Form (PDF)

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 and 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 to not interfere with other tenants’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
  • 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 provide information on the protocol for handling a bed bug infestation. This addendum will notify the tenant of their obligation to cooperate with bed bug prevention by promptly reporting any sign of infestation to the landlord.
  • Asbestos Disclosure – for rental units built prior to 1981, asbestos was a common building material. This disclosure will notify the tenant to take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers (i.e. no sanding, pounding, modifications or repairs, without the landlord’s consent). The disclosure will also notify the tenant of their obligation to immediately notify the landlord if any ceilings begin to deteriorate.
  • 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 the tenant’s negligence during the lease term.

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