CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s office has sent out letters to landlords who are threatening to evict tenants during the coronavirus epidemic.
According to a release from Morrisey’s office, “West Virginia law prohibits unfair or deceptive conduct” and “has strict laws to protect tenants from unjust eviction.”
In the event a landlord attempts to evict a tenant during the viral pandemic, Morrisey’s office states that “the landlord cannot evict or lock out the tenant, shut off utilities or other things to evict a tenant without going to court.”
And, the release continues, a tenant can only be removed from a property after a landlord has received judgement from magistrate court; there is no law preventing eviction during a state of emergency, but due process must be observed, Morrisey’s office states.
Due to the stay at home or and social distancing policies, most courts in the state are only handling emergency matters at this time, and, as such, many hearings are delayed unless they fall under the category of “emergency,” which, Morrisey’s office states, eviction orders to not qualify as.
Those wishing to learn more about eviction policies and their rights as a tenant may call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-368-8808.