H. B. 4425
(By Delegates Lawrence, Ferns, Fleischauer,
Miley and Morgan )
[Introduced February 6, 2012; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §37-6-30 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to landlord and tenant; the duty to maintain a premise; requiring a landlord to address issues of accumulation of moisture and the growth of mold; and requiring the landlord to perform mold remediation in accordance with professional standards.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §37-6-30 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 6. LANDLORD AND TENANT.
§37-6-30. Landlord to deliver premises; duty to maintain premises
in fit and habitable condition.
With respect to residential property:
(a) A landlord shall:
(1) At the commencement of a tenancy, deliver the dwelling unit and surrounding premises in a fit and habitable condition, and shall thereafter maintain the leased property in such condition; and
(2) Maintain the leased property in a condition that meets requirements of applicable health, safety, fire and housing codes, unless the failure to meet those requirements is the fault of the tenant, a member of his or her family or other person on the premises with his or her consent; and
(3) In multiple housing units, keep clean, safe and in repair all common areas of the premises remaining under his or her control that are maintained for the use and benefit of his or her tenants; and
(4) Make all repairs necessary to keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition, unless said repairs were necessitated primarily by a lack of reasonable care by the tenant, a member of his or her family or other person on the premises with his or her consent; and
(5) Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air- conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him or her by written or oral agreement or by law; and
(6) In multiple housing units, provide and maintain appropriate conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit; and
(7) With respect to dwelling units supplied by direct public utility connections, supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times, and reasonable heat between October 1, and the April 30, except where the dwelling unit is so constructed that running water, heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant; and
(8) Maintain the premises in such a condition as to prevent the accumulation of moisture and the growth of mold and to promptly respond to any notices from a tenant. When the accumulation of moisture in the dwelling unit materially affects the health or safety of any tenant or authorized occupant, the landlord may require the tenant to temporarily vacate the dwelling unit in order for the landlord to perform mold remediation in accordance with professional standards.
(b) If a landlord's duty under the rental agreement exceeds a duty imposed by this section, that portion of the rental agreement imposing a greater duty shall control.
(c) None of the provisions of this section shall be deemed to require the landlord to make repairs when the tenant is in arrears in payment of rent.
(d) For the purposes of this section, the term "multiple housing unit" shall mean a dwelling which contains a room or group of rooms located within a building or structure forming more than one habitable unit for occupants for living, sleeping, eating and cooking.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require a landlord address issues of the accumulation of moisture and the growth of mold to protect the health and safety of his or her tenants, and perform mold remediation in accordance with professional standards.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.