West Virginia Personal Property Laws

by Colin Campbell ; Updated July 27, 2017
Land owners in West Virginia have a number of rights.

In West Virginia, people who own land have a number of rights that pertain to the property. Property in this case is considered to be all cultivated land and real estate, and not just personal property. Overall, they have the right to take any actions they wish with regards to their property, assuming it doesn't interfere with someone else's rights.

Burning Rights

Land owners are given the right to burn any trash from their house, or any organic debris from farming or gardening. Different cities have different regulations on the specifics, such as safety requirements and distance from buildings and overhanging trees. Follow these exactly so as to avoid the fire damaging neighbors' property; you will be held liable for any damage. It is illegal to burn buildings; they must be demolished. Even burning buildings on your property is considered arson.

Trespassing Rights

As long as you post clearly visible and easy to read trespassing signs within 500 feet of the border of your property, you are released from all liability pertaining to injury that trespassers incur while on your property, except in some cases with minors. If people trespass on your property and refuse to leave, cause damage, or cause potential damage (such as opening gates, unlocking or breaking doors, etc.), they have committed a crime that carries both a legal fine, reimbursement for damages and jail time. Any large property, such as cars, that is left on your land can be removed from your property legally at the cost of the owner.

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Animal Rights

Landowners have the right to remove animals from their land, as well as asking neighbors who are irresponsible with their animals to keep them tied or gated. Any animal that has not caused harm is protected by law, and may not be interfered with or harmed. Since livestock such as chickens can only be killed by their owner according to the law, it is illegal to allow your stray pets to harm someone else's livestock. If a landowner's livestock is harmed by someone else's domestic animal, the animal's owner must pay reparations and possibly put down the pet.

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