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West Virginia Security Deposit Laws

Author: Kasee Godwin
Date: 02.14.2023

The state of West Virginia does not have regulations limiting how much property owners can collect for an application fee or security deposit In order to protect themselves and their property from damages.. However, it is commonplace for property owners to collect one to two months rent as a security deposit. To learn more about security deposit regulations in the state of West Virginia, continue reading below.

Is there a limit on how much the property manager/owner can charge for an application fee? If so, what is that amount?

There is no limit on the application fee amount in the state of West Virginia. Application fees are non-refundable.

What is the security deposit amount the landlord can collect?

As a property owner in West Virginia, you can request any security deposit to protect your property in the event of damages or unpaid rent, as long as the amount is listed in the rental agreement. It is common to charge one-to-two month’s rent for the security deposit.

Can the property manager/owner collect a fee for pets?

Yes. A pet deposit separate from the apartment security deposit is allowed in the state of West Virginia. Service pets are an exemption, and disabled persons with service pets do not have to pay an additional security deposit. However, if a service dog causes damages, the resident is still liable for expenses incurred.

How does the security deposit need to be held?

There are no regulations regarding how property owners in the state of West Virginia must hold the security deposits.

Is the property manager/owner required to tell the resident where the deposit is held?

No. Property owners in the state of West Virginia are not required to tell residents where the security deposit is held.

Is the property manager/owner required to tell the resident what the interest rate on the account is (if applicable)?

No. Property owners operating in the state of West Virginia do not have to provide interest or tell residents what the interest rate is on held security deposits.

What can the property manager/owner deduct from the security deposit?

Property owners in West Virginia may keep a portion of the security deposit to cover unpaid rent or damages that exceed normal wear and tear. Property owners can also use the security deposit to cover unpaid utilities that are the responsibility of the resident, costs associated with cleaning up a rental property in the event that it is returned in a condition that is different from what it was received, costs associated with removing and storing property that was abandoned by the residents, or other costs as long as they are listed in the lease agreement.

How long does the property manager/owner have to return the security deposit after the lease has ended?

Property owners renting out properties in the state of West Virginia have 60 days from the last day of the lease to return the security deposit, or its remainder, if applicable. The security deposit must be returned alongside an itemized list of damages deducted. In the event of excessive damages That require a professional contractor, or exceed the sum of the security deposit, the property owner must inform the vacating resident, and they have an additional 15 days to provide the vacating renter with an itemized list of deductions. In the event that the property was sublease, property owners have 45 days to return the security deposit to the vacating renter alongside an itemized list of deductions.

What penalties does the property manager/owner face if they do not return the security deposit on time?

Property owners operating in the state of West Virginia that do not return the security deposit, or its remainder, if applicable, alongside an itemized list of deductions within the 60 or 45 day limit allotted, maybe fined one and a half times the security deposit sum and also be responsible for covering legal fees associated with the recovering the withheld sum. Vacating residents can also sue property owner in small claims court in the state of West Virginia for up to $5000.

What is the process for the property manager/owner to claim the security deposit funds?

Property owners in the state of West Virginia that wants to claim the security deposit funds, or portion of it, must provide an itemized list of deductions within the allotted time. The security deposit remainder must be delivered by hand or sent to the residence forwarding address, or last known address. The vacating resident must provide the property owner with their forwarding address in the event that they want the security deposit to be sent there. If the security deposit, or its remainder, are not delivered to the vacating residence, property owners must hold the security deposit for six months.

Is the resident allowed to apply their security deposit towards the last month’s rent?

Renters in the state of West Virginia may apply their security deposit towards your last months rent if the property owner and renter agree and it is stated in the lease agreement.

To summarize, property owners in the state of West Virginia that want to protect themselves and their property from unpaid rent and damages must keep accurate records and provide vacating residence with an itemized list of deductions, if any. Property owners have preset times regarding when they must return the security deposit, or its remainder, as well as clearly outline regulations regarding how they must return the security deposit and how long they must hold it for.

Disclaimer & Sources:

Qira aims to keep this information as up-to-date as possible. The content provided here is for informational purposes and should not replace legal counsel. Please refer to the relevant government sources to check for any changes or updates to the law.

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Kasee Godwin

Position: Director of Marketing
Social Networks

Kasee is the Director of Marketing for Qira. She has nearly 15 years of experience in the real estate marketing industry, including 10 years on the client side. In her spare time, she enjoys reading science fiction, exploring new wineries, and fostering Golden Retrievers.

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