All About West Virginia Eviction Laws
Incidents of tenants being evicted by their landlords are very common in West Virginia. Dealing with an eviction is not only stressful but also time-consuming. The require landlords to follow the proper eviction process.
Even with a defined eviction process, it shouldn't be a surprise to find yourself dealing with a wrongful eviction. The probability of losing an eviction case is high if you don't have strong evidence against the eviction. But you don't have to deal with all that stress; DoNotPay can successfully help you fight a wrongful eviction.
DoNotPay is an effective and stress-free way to deal with a landlord who evicts you wrongfully. With this platform, you can address many related issues about landlord or tenant rights, like:
- Sue your landlord for a deposit
- File a complaint against your landlord
- Deal with your landlord's eviction threats
- Fight for your security deposit from the landlord
- Kick out a roommate in West Virginia
Eviction Laws in West Virginia
Here are some that are good to know:
|Eviction Notices||The landlord does not require any notice before initiating the eviction process when the eviction is based on lease terms violations or non-payment of rent. In case of a holdover tenancy, the landlord should give the tenant notice at the end of the tenancy.|
|Self-Help Eviction Methods||West Virginia law prohibits landlords from using self-help eviction methods like shutting off utilities or locking tenants out. Landlords are required to follow the laid-out eviction process.|
|Recovering Damages||No law in West Virginia governs the recovery of damages from an evicted tenant.|
Reasons Why a Tenant May be Evicted
In West Virginia, a landlord may evict you for the following reasons:
- Rental/lease agreement violation
- Failure to pay rent as agreed in the lease
- Participating in illegal activities like assault, violence, prostitution, and homicide, among others
- Failure to renew or terminate the lease when the rental term ends
What Does the Eviction Process Look Like in West Virginia
In West Virginia, the law requires landlords to follow a definite procedure when evicting a tenant.
Here are the steps followed during the eviction process in the state:
- Phase 1: Eviction Notice. The eviction process in West Virginia begins with the landlord serving the tenant with an eviction notice. Usually, you will receive such a notice because you have violated the terms of the lease agreement or your lease term has ended.
- Phase 2: Filing and Serving the Complaint. West Virginia law requires landlords to file a complaint of eviction to the suitable circuit or magistrate court. The summons and complaint alert the tenant of the eviction plans. An eviction is subject to dismissal if the complaint is served later than 120 days.
- Phase 3: Hearing and Judgment. After receiving the complaint, the law allows the tenant to respond within five days. Where the landlord wins the case, the judicial officer provides direction on when the tenant will move out.
- A tenant has the freedom to file an appeal if the court rules in favor of the landlord. However, the tenant may be required to find an alternative residence if the lease period expires at the time of the appeal.
- Phase 4: Writ of Possession. Usually, a sheriff is responsible for ensuring that the tenant moves out of the rental unit by the court-ordered deadline. However, such arrangements are subject to the type of hearing – removal of the tenant, ejectment, or unlawful detainer/entry. A writ of possession is an authority by the court that gives the landlord the power to evict a tenant forcibly.
The eviction process in West Virginia follows an almost similar procedure even when no lease is involved. In such cases, the landlord provides a 30-day notice to the tenant based on a month-to-month tenancy. Then the landlord gets a court order to evict the tenant.
What if I Don’t Move Out After I Get an Eviction Notice?
If you don't comply with the eviction notice, your landlord has the mandate to file a case in court to evict you. When the court rules in favor of the landlord, you are required to move out after a set deadline.
On occasions where you don't move out by the deadline given by the court, the law allows the tenant to get a different writ of possession. The landlord can remove the tenant from the rental unit forcibly in those instances.
West Virginia Landlord-Tenant Laws
The following are the rules and regulations that govern West Virginia landlord-tenant laws:
|W.Va. Code § 55-2-1 to 55-2-22||Limitation of Actions|
|W.Va. Code § 55-3A-1 to 55-3A-3||Remedies for the Unlawful Occupation of Residential Rental Property (Eviction)|
|W.Va. Code § 37-6-1 to 37-6-30||Landlord and Tenant|
- West Virginia does not have a maximum amount of allowable security deposit.
- A landlord has 45 -60 days to return the security deposit.
- Landlords can withhold security deposits where damages in the property require repairs.
- The landlord should keep any deposit withholding their reason for a year after the lease.
- A landlord who doesn't return the deposit within the given timeframe should pay it one and a half times as damages to the tenant.
- In West Virginia, there is no rent control.
- No statute in West Virginia governs when rent is due.
- Landlords in West Virginia can charge late fees (should be specified in the lease or rental agreement) if the rent is late.
- The law allows landlords to charge an application fee.
- Landlords in West Virginia can charge a fee of up to $25 on returned checks.
What Are My Rights as a Tenant in West Virginia?
- The duties of landlords in West Virginia revolve around ensuring the rental unit is fit and habitable, and safe. However, West Virginia law does not have any statute protecting the renters against landlords' breach of their duties.
- Renters in West Virginia have a right to access running water and hot water.
- Landlords should provide the renters with suitable receptacles for garbage removal.
- West Virginia renters have a right to full landlord disclosure of all known lead paint hazards.
What to Do if You Receive an Eviction Notice in West Virginia
Communicate With the Landlord
Engage your landlord to find an amicable solution. For instance, you can negotiate more time to pay the rent (if you are late with the payment) or address the lease agreement terms violation.
Comply With the Eviction Notice
Your landlord should stop the eviction process if you choose to comply with the eviction notice. Therefore, correct your violation or pay the amount to avoid being evicted.
Fight the Eviction in Court
If you consider the eviction unfair, the law gives you a chance to fight it in court. When your landlord files a lawsuit to evict you, it is advisable to file an answer to the complaint and attend the hearing. You should prepare the necessary evidence against the eviction to win the case.
Fight the Eviction Using DoNotPay
When a landlord is responding to your attempts to solve the issues prompting the eviction, DoNotPay can help you. DoNotPay will send a demand letter to your landlord compelling them to take the right action.
How to Fight an Eviction in West Virginia With DoNotPay
Fighting eviction in West Virginia is a stressful affair. To add on, most tenants find it hard to win an eviction lawsuit because they lack knowledge of West Virginia eviction laws. You don't have to go through such stress when DoNotPay can help you fight your eviction.
With DoNotPay, you will learn how to fight a wrongful eviction and even file your disputes on your behalf. Besides fighting the eviction, our Landlord Protection product can help you:
- Get back your security deposits
- Learn about your state's eviction laws and what protections apply in your case
- Resolve disputes regarding repairs with your landlord
- Resolve disputes with roommates by filing demand letters or going through small claims court
- Break your lease early.
If you want to break a lease in West Virginia but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 4 easy steps:
- Search for and open the Landlord Protection product on DoNotPay.
- Select which issue applies to you.
- Answer a simple set of questions, so our chatbot can collect the necessary information to create your demand letter.
- Choose whether you want DoNotPay to send the demand letter to your landlord or roommate on your behalf. If you already tried sending a demand letter and it didn't work, we can help you start the small claims court process.
And that's it! You should hear back from your landlord directly once your demands are sent.
Why Use DoNotPay for West Virginia Eviction Law Help
DoNotPay is one of the fastest and most reliable approaches to dealing with a stubborn landlord. If you are wondering why you should use this less involving way of getting landlord protection, it is because DoNotPay is:
- Fast— your issue will be addressed as soon as possible
- Easy—you don't have to worry about filling multiple forms or following numerous steps
- Successful—you can rest assured your landlord issue will be addressed
DoNotPay Works to Solve Many Landlord or Tenant Issues
DoNotPay can help you address various issues affecting your tenancy and not just fighting eviction. For instance, DoNotPay can help you:
- Deal with landlord's eviction threats
- Write a letter to landlord about repairs
- Learn renters rights
- Understand landlord repairs responsibilities
- Sue a landlord for deposit
- File a complaint against your landlord
- Deal with a landlord evicting you without notice
- Break your lease in any state
More Helpful Solutions From DoNotPay
Stopping a wrongful eviction is just one of many things DoNotPay can help you with. We can help you address diverse problems like:
- Dealing with small claims in court
- Preparing legal documents
- Notarizing any document
- Find unclaimed money
- Freedom of information
Sign up today to get started!