in West Virginia
Residential Lease Agreements

Understanding Residential Lease Agreements

Residential lease agreements are familiar concepts for most West Virginia residents. These agreements exist between landlords and individual tenants who live on the property (in fact, a residential lease agreement is likely to concern the housing unit located on a parcel of land rather than the total property) in exchange for rent, which is usually paid by the month. Residential lease agreements are commonly signed for a year at a time but may also specify longer or shorter periods. 

West Virginia Laws for Residential Lease Agreements

According to the West Virginia Attorney General, the state has several laws about residential lease agreements. A landlord cannot evict a tenant without notice unless the tenant stops paying rent or violates the agreement. If violations have occurred, on the other hand, the landlord may take legal action to enforce an eviction with no prior written notice. 

Regardless of the terms of the rental agreement, landlords must always maintain specific standards when it comes to living spaces – keeping premises free from pests, safety hazards, and health concerns. Landlords are also responsible for any necessary repairs under state law. Finally, the landlord cannot enter the property at will and must first gain permission or provide “reasonable notice.” Unlike commercial lease agreements, state and federal laws dictate many of the terms of residential lease agreements. 

Top Priorities When Approaching Residential Lease Agreements

There are several things landlords should keep in mind when approaching residential lease agreements:

  • Although landlords are responsible for repairs, tenants are generally expected to inform landlords about issues that may require repairs
  • Tenants may report landlords to government agencies for alleged violations
  • Landlords will need to return security deposits promptly after the tenant moves out
  • If damages have occurred that would deny the return of deposits, landlords must provide tenants with itemized lists detailing these damages.
  • Landlords must not violate the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits various types of housing discrimination.

Homeowners’ Association Agreements

Homeowners’ Associations – or HOAs – provide residents with rules, usually within a condo or planned community. These rules may involve paying fees, pet ownership, upkeep of the property, renovation, noise regulations, and so on. If a resident violates one of these rules, they may encounter fines. Membership may be mandatory for residents who wish to move into a particular area or condo building. The rules, as well as procedures for requesting any exceptions and for reporting violations, are typically spelled out in the terms of the HOA.

The Uniform Common Interest Community Act governs Homeowners’ Association Agreements in West Virginia. As the name suggests, this act has been adopted universally by many states nationwide and regulates the implementation – and in some cases dissolution – of HOAs.

HOAs are obviously of interest to many West Virginia families, as their terms may make a neighborhood more or less attractive and, after signing, can significantly impact what residents do with their property, which in many cases is also their home. However, homeowners’ association agreements are also of interest to many businesses, as enterprises engaged in developing or managing multi-family real estate often create Homeowners’ Association Agreements when building or purchasing homes for sale, often investing in entire condos or living communities. 

Multi-family real estate can be a profitable endeavor. Still, it is essential to pay close attention to the latest iteration of the Uniform Common Interest Community Act when creating relevant agreements. This act changes regularly, and a qualified business law firm such as Zeni Law can help ensure consistent compliance. 

It is possible to change both types of leases to include some – but not all – property-related expenses in the rental fees. 

Speak With a Lawyer Who Understands Property Law

Property agreements can provide companies with a degree of reliability and security. However, companies must draft and execute these agreements effectively to experience the full degree of protection supplied by contract law. Legal assistance may be helpful if a company is approaching property agreements for the first time, closing a significant deal. Different types of arrangements may be more appropriate than others based on the unique needs of each business, and an online article cannot provide targeted advice in the same way as a qualified attorney. Contact Zeni Law today and learn more about the most suitable types of property agreements for your situation.