AG Announces Offers Renting and Leasing Advice for College Students‏

Updated 1 year ago From a News Release by WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey
CHARLESTON — Attorney General Morrisey recognizes off-campus housing will be a high priority for many college students. He urges students to be well equipped so as not to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options.

 
Fortunately, there are several things students can proactively do to make good and sound decisions.
 
“College is often the first time students are faced with renting or leasing a home or apartment,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “It’s important to have good information while navigating in unfamiliar territory.”
 
Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. Ask about the area, the neighbors and the response time for repairs. Make sure utility, maintenance and all other costs are adequately represented. Also talk to current tenants about their living experience and look for door/window locks and smoke detectors.
 
Read the lease or contract carefully before signing. Know its terms and negotiate any problematic provision.
 
Make sure to document in writing any promised repairs before the move-in date as well as any problems or requests after move in.
 
Review and know any instance that may trigger an early release, such as eviction due to breaking a lease provision, a negotiated termination provision, a mutual cancellation and the ability to sublet the apartment to a new tenant.
 
Be aware a tenant who leaves or is evicted before the end of the lease can still be responsible for rent due through the end of the term. However, if the landlord is able to rent the apartment to someone else, the former tenant will be responsible only for the portion of rent due while the apartment was empty.
 
West Virginia law requires a landlord to make a reasonable effort to re-rent the apartment if a tenant moves out before the end of the lease term, but it is ultimately the individual’s responsibility to find someone to take over the reminder of the lease.
 
The Attorney General’s Office issues this advice as part of the third annual Off to College Consumer Protection Week. To learn about the consumer protection efforts in West Virginia, visit www.ago.wv.gov/consumerprotection.
 
Anyone with questions or wanting to file a complaint can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808 or visit the Office online at www.wvago.gov.
 
For additional leasing/renting information, visit: http://bit.ly/2a5giWk
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