§5-11A-5. Discrimination in sale or rental of housing and other prohibited practices


Published: 2015

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WEST VIRGINIA CODE











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WVC 5 - 11 A- 5

§5-11A-5. Discrimination in sale or rental of housing and other

prohibited practices.

  As made applicable by section four of this article and except

as exempted by sections four and eight of this article, it is

unlawful:

  (a) To refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide

offer, or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or

otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any person

because of race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, familial status,

blindness, disability or national origin;

  (b) To discriminate against any person in the terms,

conditions or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the

provision of services or facilities in connection therewith,

because of race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, familial status,

blindness, disability or national origin;

  (c) To make, print or publish, or cause to be made, printed or

published any notice, statement or advertisement, with respect to

the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference,

limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex,

blindness, disability, familial status, ancestry or national

origin, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation or

discrimination;

  (d) To represent to any person because of race, color,

religion, sex, blindness, disability, familial status, ancestry or

national origin that any dwelling is not available for inspection, sale or rental when the dwelling is in fact available;

  (e) For profit, to induce or attempt to induce any person to

sell or rent any dwelling by representations regarding the entry or

prospective entry into the neighborhood of a person or persons of

a particular race, color, religion, sex, blindness, disability,

familial status, ancestry or national origin; or

  (f) (1) To discriminate in the sale or rental, or to otherwise

make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any buyer or renter because

of a disability of: (A) That buyer or renter; (B) a person residing

in or intending to reside in that dwelling after it is so sold,

rented or made available; or (C) any person associated with that

buyer or renter.

  (2) To discriminate against any person in the terms,

conditions or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the

provision of services or facilities in connection with the

dwelling, because of a disability of: (A) That person; (B) a person

residing in or intending to reside in that dwelling after it is so

sold, rented or made available; or (C) any person associated with

that person.

  (3) For purposes of this subdivision, discrimination includes:

  (A) A refusal to permit, at the expense of the disabled

person, reasonable modifications of existing premises occupied or

to be occupied by the person if the modifications may be necessary

to afford the person full enjoyment of the premises, except that,

in the case of a rental, the landlord may where it is reasonable to do so condition permission for a modification on the renter

agreeing to restore the interior of the premises to the condition

that existed before the modification, reasonable wear and tear

excepted;

  (B) A refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules,

policies, practices or services when the accommodations may be

necessary to afford the person equal opportunity to use and enjoy

a dwelling; or

  (C) In connection with the design and construction of covered

multifamily dwellings for first occupancy after the date that is

thirty months after the date of enactment of the West Virginia Fair

Housing Act, a failure to design and construct those dwellings in

a manner that:

  (i) The public use and common use portions of the dwellings

are readily accessible to and usable by disabled persons;

  (ii) All the doors designed to allow passage into and within

all premises within the dwellings are sufficiently wide to allow

passage by disabled persons in wheelchairs; and

  (iii) All premises within the dwellings contain the following

features of adaptive design: (I) An accessible route into and

through the dwelling; (II) light switches, electrical outlets,

thermostats and other environmental controls in accessible

locations; (III) reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later

installation of grab bars; and (IV) usable kitchens and bathrooms

that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space.

  (4) Compliance with the appropriate requirements of the

American National Standard for Buildings and Facilities Providing

Accessibility and Usability for Physically Handicapped People,

commonly cited as ANSI A117.1, suffices to satisfy the requirements

of subparagraph (3)(C)(iii) of this subdivision.

  (5) (A) If a unit of general local government has incorporated

into its laws the requirements set forth in subparagraph (3)(C) of

this subdivision, compliance with those laws satisfy the

requirements of that subparagraph.

  (B) The commission or unit of general local government may

review and approve newly constructed covered multifamily dwellings

for the purpose of making determinations as to whether the design

and construction requirements of subparagraph (3)(C) of this

subdivision are met.

  (C) The commission shall encourage, but may not require, units

of local government to include in their existing procedures for the

review and approval of newly constructed covered multifamily

dwellings, determinations as to whether the design and construction

of such dwellings are consistent with subparagraph (3)(C) of this

subdivision, and may provide technical assistance to units of local

government and other persons to implement the requirements of that

subparagraph.

  (D) Nothing in this article requires the commission to review

or approve the plans, designs or construction of all covered

multifamily dwellings to determine whether the design and construction of the dwellings are consistent with the requirements

of subparagraph (3)(C) of this subdivision.

  (6) (A) Nothing in paragraph (5) of this subdivision affects

the authority and responsibility of the commission or a local

public agency to receive and process complaints or otherwise engage

in enforcement activities under this article.

  (B) Determinations by a unit of general local government under

subparagraphs (5)(A) and (B) of this subdivision are not conclusive

in enforcement proceedings under this article.

  (7) As used in this section, the term "covered multifamily

dwellings" means: (A) Buildings consisting of four or more units if

the buildings have one or more elevators; and (B) ground floor

units in other buildings consisting of four or more units.

  (8) Nothing in this article invalidates or limits any law of

this state or any political subdivision of this state that requires

dwellings to be designed and constructed in a manner that affords

disabled persons greater access than is required by this article.

  (9) This section does not require that a dwelling be made

available to an individual whose tenancy would constitute a direct

threat to the health or safety of other individuals or whose

tenancy would result in substantial physical damage to the property

of others. The burden of proving such threat to health or safety

or the likelihood of such damage is upon the respondent.

  (10) For the purposes of this subdivision, rules, policies,

practices or services regarding animals are subject to the reasonable accommodation requirements of subparagaph (B), paragraph

(3) of this subdivision and the following provisions:

  (A) In connection with a request for reasonable accommodation

to the rules, policies or services, a person with a disability may

be required to submit documentation, from a professional treatment

provider, of the disability related need for the assistance animal.

  (i) Such documentation is sufficient if it establishes that

the assistance animal will provide some type of disability-related

assistance or emotional support.

  (ii) A person with a disability may not be required to submit

or provide access to medical records or medical providers, or to

provide detailed or extensive information or documentation of a

person's physical or mental impairments.

  (B) A person with a disability may be denied the accommodation

of an assistance animal if there is credible evidence that:

  (i) The assistance animal poses a direct threat to the health

or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by another reasonable

accommodation; or

  (ii) The assistance animal would cause substantial physical

damage to the property of other that cannot be reduced or

eliminated by another reasonable accommodation.

  (C) A determination that an assistance animal poses a direct

threat of harm to others or would cause substantial physical damage

to the property of others must be based on an individualized

assessment that relies on objective evidence about the specific animal's actual conduct.

  (D) A request for a reasonable accommodation may not be

unreasonably denied, conditioned on payment of a fee or deposit or

other terms and conditions applied to applicants or residents with

pets, and a response may not be unreasonably delayed.





Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session

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