Legal Ways To Break A Lease In WV Without Incurring Expenses
If you are a renter and need to get out of your lease, there are some legal ways to break a lease in WV. West Virginia laws protect landlords and tenants from unfair, unsafe, or unlawful circumstances by providing legal ways to break a lease. Be aware that even though you may have a legal reason to break your West Virginia lease, you may incur some fees or even an extra month's rent. Breaking a lease prematurely, however, without a legal reason, can result in your credit report being negatively impacted, fees and fines assessed, or you may be required to pay the entire rent due during the duration of the lease, even if you move out.
DoNotPay has a Break My Lease product that can help you prepare and deliver a letter of your intent to your landlord and save you time and money in the process. Our three easy steps can get you on your way to legally breaking your lease.
What Are the Legal Ways to Break a Lease in West Virginia?
There are a few ways to break your West Virginia lease legally. First, read over your lease to determine if any provisions are spelled out. Your lease is a legal document, so this document should be carefully examined for content before signing any lease.
- Check your lease for an early termination clause. Some leases may contain terms that allow a tenant to terminate the lease early. There may be verbiage that states the terms and fees so pay special attention to the fees and rent that would be due upon termination. Also, check to see how much notice is required. If your lease has an early termination clause and you do not give adequate notice, this provision could be voided.
- Active duty service members may legally break their lease if they are deployed or change their duty station. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act protects service members when they need to break a lease because they are being deployed or reassigned to another area. As long as the lease was signed before entering active duty, and you can furnish proof to the landlord that you are being deployed and will remain on active duty for the following three months, you can serve your landlord with a written notice. Your lease will not terminate immediately but will end 30 days from the beginning of the next rent period.
- The rental property is uninhabitable. If your unit is uninhabitable, you must notify the landlord, stating the repairs that need to be made. Your landlord must respond in an allowable time. If the landlord fails to respond and makes the unit habitable, your landlord may violate his lease.
- West Virginia state laws require the following conditions to be met by the landlord to keep the unit habitable:
- Premises must be maintained and comply with health, safety, fire, and housing codes.
- Common areas must be kept clean, safe, and in good repair.
- Repairs must be made promptly once notified by the tenant.
- The landlord must provide and maintain appropriate trash removal areas if multiple housing units.
- Appliances must be maintained in good and safe working order.
- No tenant should be without running water and heat.
- The landlord harasses or illegally enters the property. If your landlord continually enters your property without permission, you may have grounds to terminate your lease. Although West Virginia law does not require specific notification laws, it may warrant lease termination if your landlord continually enters your property, changes the locks, removes doors or windows, or tries to lock you out of your unit.
Every state has specific laws for landlord/tenant responsibilities, and each might require different pathways to legally breaking a lease.
What Are the Consequences for Illegally Breaking My Lease?
Breaking a lease, or terminating a lease before its end date, is considered a breach of a legal contract if it does not conform with the above legal reasons to get out early. The best thing to start is to speak with the landlord and discuss the reasons you need to break the lease. Changes in marital status, job transfers, or family emergencies may be reasons that your landlord may work with you to leave early. Maybe you can sublet the unit. Check your lease for clauses that discuss subletting. If neither of these options work, keep in mind that you may face fines, penalties and it could be considered an eviction and show up on your permanent record. For example:
- Your landlord can sue you for the rent owed for the duration of the lease.
- You could be sued for breach of contract and any damages recorded by your landlord.
- You could be served with an eviction notice that can go onto your permanent record and make it difficult to rent in the future.
- Your credit rating could be negatively impacted.
What Can I Do if I Cannot Break My Lease on My Own?
Breaking your lease for justifiable legal reasons can be difficult and time-consuming. You will need to prepare forms or letters and deliver them to your landlord with sufficient notice. That's how DoNotPay can help. We can help you in four ways:
- File an SCRA Protection Letter
- File a State Tenant Protection Letter
- File a Hardship Letter
- Notify the landlord of the requirement to mitigate damages
Giving notice is also critical in West Virginia:
|Lease Type||Notice Time||Statute|
|Week to Week||7 Days||West Virginia Code §37-6-5|
|Month to Month||30 Days||West Virginia Code §37-6-5|
|Year to Year||90 Days||West Virginia Code §37-6-5|
How Can DoNotPay Help?
DoNotPay makes it quick and easy to break your West Virginia lease legally. Here's how you can get started in 3 easy steps:
- Search Break My Lease on DoNotPay.
- Prepare a signed copy of your lease that you can use as a reference and enter the state the lease was signed in.
- Let us guide you through the 4 potential options.
- If you're a uniformed service member breaking a lease to fulfill your service obligations, we'll send your landlord an SCRA Protection Letter.
- If you're breaking your lease for a reason protected by your state's tenant laws, we'll write your landlord a letter detailing your protections for breaking the lease under the relevant law.
- If your reasons for breaking your lease aren't protected by federal or state law, but you'd like to try to convince your landlord to let you break the lease through mutual agreement, we'll draft a hardship letter making your case to your landlord.
- If there are no remaining options for breaking the lease with protection, but your state requires landlords to mitigate damages to tenants who break their leases, we'll notify your landlord of that obligation and minimize the remaining rent you have to pay.
And that is all there is to it! We will send the appropriate letter on your behalf, and you should hear back within a few weeks from your landlord.
Can DoNotPay Help With Other Things Too?
Absolutely! DoNotPay helps solve many of the problems that you face every day. Need help changing your mailing address? DoNotPay does it easily and quickly. Need to set up power of attorney? Yep, we do that too. If you want to cancel subscriptions or lower your property taxes, we can help. Let DoNotPay solve your problems quickly and easily today!