Mayor’s Corner

The Town of Marlinton has received numerous positive comments with regard to the clean and fresh look of Main Street. But, that has been the easy part. Our Town extends beyond Main Street and that is where the real efforts are taking place. The end result will not happen overnight. It is a work in progress. But, the cleanup of properties will be a priority for the Town in the months to come.
This effort will benefit everyone in the long run. Some cleanup has to do with the unsightly. But, it has even more to do with what comes next. Where no cleanup or maintenance takes place, Unsafe and Hazardous conditions are sure to follow.
To this fact, I want to relay the following West Virginia Fair Housing information:

FACT SHEET: Landlord/Tenant Responsibilities
Under West Virginia law there are rights and responsibilities for both tenants and landlords.

Fit and Habitable
If the tenant has a problem such as no heat, water or electricity, the tenant must make a complaint to the landlord, who is required to promptly correct the problem. The tenant should put the complaint in writing and date it. And keep a copy for themselves.
If the landlord does not take action in a reasonable amount of time, the tenant has the right to file a civil suit in the county where the rental property is located.

Rental Payments
A landlord is entitled to collect rent as specified in the lease. The tenant is responsible for paying the rent as specified in the lease.

Landlord Responsibilities
Do have responsibility for responding promptly to a tenant’s written complaint about problems in the rental that might make it unfit and uninhabitable
Do have responsibility for general maintenance and compliance with all relevant health, safety, fire and building codes
Do have responsibility for installing and replacing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Do have responsibility for whatever else the lease requires, such as snow removal and grass mowing
Do have responsibility for a tenant’s personal property if it is damaged by landlord negligence such as damage caused by an electrical wiring fire
Do not have responsibility for making repairs caused by damage done by tenants or others in the rental with the tenant’s permission

Tenant Responsibilities
Do have responsibility for paying the rent as specified in the lease
Do have responsibility to carry out the other terms of the lease, such as payment for utilities
Do have responsibility for reporting and paying for all damage caused by the tenant or visitors who are in the rental with the tenant’s permission
Do have responsibility for behaving in a way that does not disturb other tenants’ peaceful enjoyment of their rentals
Do have responsibility for maintaining smoke and carbon monoxide detectors by replacing batteries when needed
Do have responsibility for their personal property and should have rental insurance to cover damage to it
Can you get help to pay for an attorney if you need one?
Maybe. A tenant may file an Affidavit of Indigency, which, if granted by the court, will waive some court costs. You also can contact Legal Aid of WV at 866-255-4370 or or WV Senior Legal Aid at 800-229-5068 or for legal advice.
Can you call someone if you feel discriminated against?
Yes. If you believe your landlord is discriminating against you based on the Fair Housing law, call 304-296-6091 for information, to speak to the Housing Advocate or to receive a copy of the Landlord and Tenants Rights and Responsibilities manual.
Remember: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~ Lao Tzu

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