Introduced Version Senate Bill 585 History

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Senate Bill No. 585

(By Senators Palumbo, Cookman and Kessler (Mr. President))


         [Introduced March 20, 2013; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary          .]                            


A BILL to amend and reenact §37-6-30 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to maintaining residential property in a habitable condition; requiring delivery of a brochure on mold and moisture at the commencement of a tenancy; specifically including accumulation of moisture and growth of mold as an example of what can cause a residential property to be unfit or uninhabitable; and clarifying that a landlord cannot use nonpayment of rent as an excuse to not make necessary repairs when the landlord was notified of the need for repairs prior to the nonpayment of rent and did not take sufficient action.
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:
§37-6-30. Landlord to deliver premises; duty to maintain premises in fit and habitable condition.
(a) 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 provide to the tenant a copy of United States Environmental Protection Agency brochure 402-K-02-003 regarding mold and moisture, and shall thereafter after that maintain the leased property in such a fit and habitable 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, including, but not limited to, ensuring the premises are free from the accumulation of moisture and growth of mold, unless said the repairs were are 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.
               (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 controls.
               (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: Provided, That this subsection does not apply where the arrears in payment of rent occurred after the landlord received notice that repairs required by subsection (a) were necessary and before the landlord fully returned the dwelling unit and premises to be in compliance with subsection (a) of this section.
               (d) For the purposes of this section, the term "multiple housing unit" shall mean means 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
clarify that this section applies to mold and clarify that repairs must be made by the landlord if a tenant is up to date on rent at the time the tenant complains about a condition of the premises.

               Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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