CHAPTER 5. GENERAL POWERS AND AUTHORITY OF THE GOVERNOR, SECRETARY OF STATE AND ATTORNEY GENERAL; BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS; MISCELLANEOUS AGENCIES, COMMISSIONS, OFFICES, PROGRAMS, ETC.
§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.