West Virginia's Landlord and Tenant Act
Anyone who wishes to rent a place to live, rather than buy it, needs to do his homework and find out what the laws in his particular state are regarding relationships between landlord and tenant. That way, he has a clear idea of what his rights are and what to do in case he feels those rights are being violated. This article deals with the landlord-tenant laws of West Virginia only.
The relations between those on either side of a lease are defined under the West Virginia Landlord & Tenant Act. It says there that the landlord's heirs have a legal advantage over the tenant and his representatives, on any land leased by the landlord; the tenant, however, cannot suffer any damages as long as he or she has paid the rent on time. Attornment (recognition of a new landlord) to a stranger is void, unless the current landlord agrees to it. The act also provides for repossession of recovery of rent on, leased property abandoned by a tenant with rents in arrears, including seizure of personal property left there, and re-lease of premises to a new tenant; termination of the lease in writing; using lawsuits to recover rent; distress for rent; the duty of the landlord to maintain the common property, including the pipes, electrical wiring, heating, and ventilation, keeping them clean and fit for human habitation, and making any necessary repairs, except when a tenant is behind on rent; and much more.
A booklet is also available online in PDF form, outlining the rights of the tenant, including the right to complain to the landlord about "unfit housing conditions."