Senate Bill No. 118
(By Senator Foster)
[Introduced January 11, 2012; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §37-9-1, §37-9-2, §37-9-3 and §37-9-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to termination of a residential lease upon the death of a tenant; defining terms; requiring notice and payment of certain rent; prohibiting waiver; and providing date for applicability of provisions.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §37-9-1, §37-9-2, §37-9-3 and §37-9-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 9. APPORTIONMENT OF RENT UPON TERMINATION OF LEASE.
§37-9-1. Termination of lease upon death of lessee; definition of lessee.
(a) Any party to a lease of residential premises other than a lease at will, may terminate the lease prior to its expiration date in the manner provided in this article upon the death of the lessee or, if there is more than one lessee, upon the death of all lessees.
(b) “Lessee” means the person or persons who signed a lease for rental of residential property and who occupied the property.
(c) “Lessor” means the person or persons who own the property which is leased to the lessee.
(a) Either a lessee who signed the lease with a deceased lessee or the personal representative of the lessee's estate may terminate the lease upon at least two months' written notice, to be effective on the last day of a calendar month. The notice may be hand delivered or mailed by postage prepaid, first class United States mail, to the address of the other party.
(b) The termination of a lease under this section does not relieve the lessee's estate from liability either for the payment of rent or other sums owed prior to or during the notice period, or for the payment of amounts necessary to restore the premises to their condition at the commencement of the tenancy, ordinary wear and tear excepted.
§37-9-3. Waiver prohibited.
An attempted waiver by a lessor, lessee or lessee's personal representative, by contract or otherwise, of the right of termination provided by this article, and any lease provision or agreement requiring a longer notice period than that provided by this article, is void and unenforceable.
The provisions of this article apply to leases entered into or renewed on and after July 1, 2012.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide for the termination of a residential rental lease upon the death of the lessee.
This article has been completely rewritten; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.