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If you need to issue an eviction notice in West Virginia, our comprehensive guide and resources will help you through the process step by step!

West Virginia
Customized for West VirginiaThis document may be legally binding in West Virginia according to your state specific regulations.
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In West Virginia, an eviction notice is not mandatory except for periodic tenancies when landlords want to terminate them.

Landlords use it to inform tenants of breaches of their lease agreement, such as non-payment of rent, lease violations, property damage, or illegal activities, and attempt to resolve any issues in a friendly way. Therefore, the eviction notice is voluntary in cases of lease violations.

In West Virginia, the eviction procedure begins with the landlord filing a petition with the magistrate or circuit court.

Types of Eviction Notices in West Virginia

The following forms of eviction notices reflect the specifics of West Virginia eviction legislation.

No Notice For Non-Compliance

"Non-compliance with the lease or wrongfully occupying a rental property" is a term that encompasses various situations where a tenant is not fulfilling their obligations. These situations may include not paying rent on time, breaking the terms of the lease agreement, or intentionally or negligently damaging the property.

In such cases, the landlord is not required to serve an eviction notice to the tenant but can immediately seek relief from the magistrate court or the circuit court of the county in which the property is located by filing a petition for eviction.

Periodical Lease Agreement

In the case of a tenancy from year to year, either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the agreement by providing written notice to the other party at least three months prior to the end of the year.

For periodic tenancies that are less than a year, the notice period is defined as "one full rent period," which refers to the period between the due date of one rent payment and the due date of the next rent payment. 

For instance, if the tenancy is month-to-month, the landlord must provide the tenant with a notice 30 days before the lease expiration.

Eviction Laws and Requirements in West Virginia

Laws & Requirements

  • Grace Period: No grace period for late rent payments in West Virginia.

  • No-Notice Eviction: No obligation to send an eviction notice for any type of violation of the lease agreement. (§ 55-3a-1)

  • Periodic tenancies: Notice for leases longer than one year is required three months before the end of any year, while for leases shorter than one year, notice is "one full rent period," the time between receiving one rent payment and the next. (37-6-5)

When is Rent Late in West Virginia?

In West Virginia, rent is considered late if it is not paid on the date outlined in the lease agreement. The landlord may charge a late fee if the rent is not paid on time, as long as the late fee is reasonable and is also specified in the lease agreement.

Grounds for Eviction in West Virginia

The main grounds for eviction in West Virginia are the following:

Grounds for Eviction

  • Nonpayment of rent

  • Breach of the lease agreement

  • Engaging in illegal activity on rental property, such as drug trafficking or committing violent crimes

  • Causing or allowing significant damage to the rental property, whether intentionally or through negligence

  • Refusal to vacate the rental property after the lease agreement has expired

Eviction Process in West Virginia

In West Virginia, a landlord must adhere to a legal procedure when evicting a tenant, which includes the following steps:

#1. Filing the Petition

As the landlord is not required to serve an eviction notice to the tenant, the first step in the eviction process is to file a verified petition with the magistrate court or circuit court in the county where the property is located, which should contain grounds for eviction.

#2. Scheduling a Court Hearing

Along with filing the petition, the landlord should request that the court schedule a hearing for the tenant and set a time and place for the hearing. It is common practice for the court to schedule the hearing within five to ten days of the request. 

Once the court schedules the hearing, the tenant must be served by certified mail with information about the time and place of the hearing. 

#3. Answer the Petition

After being served with the petition, the tenant has five days to respond by filing a written answer disputing the landlord's eviction claim. The answer can include any arguments and evidence that support the tenant's case.

#4. Wait for the Court’s Judgment

If the tenant fails to appear at the hearing or fails to provide a response, the court will rule in favor of the landlord and order the tenant to vacate the property. However, if the tenant does respond, the court will hear statements from both parties, evaluate the evidence, and make a judgment.

If the court finds in favor of the landlord, the judgment will be made in their favor, and the tenant will be required to vacate the property immediately. 

In the event that the tenant refuses to comply with the court order, the landlord can request a writ of possession, which secures assistance from the sheriff in removing the tenant.

Other Eviction-Related Forms in West Virginia

In addition to the eviction notice, there are other forms utilized within the eviction process by the parties, such as:

Other Forms Used In Eviction Process

  • Petition for summary relief: wrongful occupation of residential rental property. This is an initial document in the tenant eviction process and contains information about the landlord and tenant, the property, the reason for eviction, and the landlord's signature certified by a notary public.

  • Answer The form is intended for use by a tenant who has been served with a petition for wrongful occupation of rental property and who wishes to respond to the allegations made by the landlord.

The form provides a space for the tenant to answer each allegation, state any defenses, request any relief that may be appropriate, and provide a statement confirming that they have provided a copy of the answer to the landlord or their attorney in the proper manner.

  • Writ of possession. This document authorizes the sheriff to take the necessary measures to evict the tenant and remove their belongings from the premises.

Eviction Information for Landlords in West Virginia

In the eviction process in West Virginia, landlords are not required to send an eviction notice to tenants for various lease violations.

Instead, landlords initiate the eviction process by submitting a petition to either the magistrate court or circuit court in the county where the property is located.  

Therefore, landlords must inform the tenant in the petition about the type of violation and cannot forcibly evict the tenant without a court order.

Eviction Information for Tenants in West Virginia

Tenants in West Virginia have the right to be informed about the petition filed against them. They also have the opportunity to respond and present evidence to dispute the petition, as there is a legal procedure in place, and they cannot be forcibly removed from the property.

On the other hand, for the termination of periodic lease agreements, the tenant must be served with an eviction notice. The notice period for such a termination depends on the duration of the lease.

How to Write an Eviction Notice in West Virginia

Steps to Write Eviction Notice

  • Step #1. Write down the date when the eviction notice is being issued.

  • Step #2. Fill out the details of the tenant, including their name and address.

  • Step #3. Enter details about the leased property and the terms of the lease agreement.

  • Step #4. Specify the reasons for eviction, including any details about unpaid rent or lease violations.

  • Step #5. Provide the landlord's information, including name, address, and contact details, and sign the notice.

  • Step #6. Keep a record of how the notice was delivered to the tenant, such as by mail or in person, as proof of service.

West Virginia Eviction Notice FAQ

  • You can file an eviction notice in West Virginia when the tenant violates the lease agreement, such as by failing to pay rent on time, engaging in criminal activity, or intentionally or negligently damaging the property.

  • Since an eviction notice in West Virginia is only required to terminate a periodic tenancy, such as a year-to-year or month-to-month lease, this document is necessary to inform both parties of the intention to terminate the lease.

  • The timeline for eviction in West Virginia can vary depending on the circumstances and the court's schedule. Generally, the process can take anywhere from several weeks to several months.

  • No, a 3-day eviction notice is not legal in West Virginia. The West Virginia law allows the landlord to file a petition with the court as soon as lease violations are discovered. On the other hand, to end a periodic tenancy, the landlord should provide the tenant with an eviction notice ranging from one to three months in advance, depending on the lease expiration.

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