Can I get all or part of my security deposit back if I break my lease but I leave the premises clean and in good shape?

Probably not. Landlords may use your security deposit to act as a buffer if you move out of your rental before your lease ends. The deposit ensures that the landlord has some income until he/she can find another person to fill the rental. Your landlord is required to take steps to re-rent the place, but if that takes more than one rent period after you leave your deposit may be used to pay the rent due for that month. Thus, if you break the lease you may not necessarily have a right to get your deposit back. But if your landlord keeps any or all of your deposit he or she is required to provide an itemized list of the charges within 60 days of the end of our tenancy or 45 days from the time the place is re-rented, whichever is shorter.

See also our publication Tenants & Landlords: Rights and Responsibilities

For more information, see: W. Va. Code §§37-6A-1 through 6 (2015); Russell v. Pineview Realty, 165 W. Va. 822, 272 S.E.2d 241 (1980).