How to Serve Eviction & Lease Termination Notices in Delaware

How to Serve Eviction & Lease Termination Notices in Delaware

Last Updated: September 2, 2022 by Marnie Snyder

In Delaware, in order for the delivery of a lease termination or eviction notice to be legal, certain rules and procedures must be followed. If they are not and the case proceeds to court, the case may be postponed or dismissed by a judge.

Who Can Serve Notices in Delaware?

In Delaware, a landlord can deliver eviction notices or lease termination notices themselves. Landlords may choose to hire a sheriff, process server or independent party over eighteen (18) years old to serve an official notice, but they are not required to do so by law.

When Can Notices Be Served in Delaware?

The landlord may serve eviction and lease termination notices on any day of the week.

For a 5 Day Notice to Quit, the eviction notice used for tenants that do not pay rent in full and on time. There is no grace period in Delaware, so a notice may be served starting the day after rent is due.

An Immediate Notice to Vacate is the eviction notice used for tenants that cause or threaten to cause irreparable harm. A landlord may choose to serve this notice on a judicial day, so they can go to the courthouse and begin eviction proceedings on the same day, but this is not required.

Acceptable Forms of Service in Delaware

Landlords may serve eviction or lease termination notices. All notices may be delivered using any of the below acceptable methods:

  1. Handing the notice to the tenant in person;
  2. Handing the notice to someone of suitable age and discretion at the premises AND mailing the notice by certified/registered mail with a return receipt or first class mail with postage prepaid and a certificate of mailing;
  3. Posting the notice in a conspicuous place at the premises, such as the entry door AND mailing the notice by certified/registered mail with a return receipt or first class mail with postage prepaid and a certificate of mailing.

Obtaining Proof of Service in Delaware

A landlord can demonstrate proof that a notice was delivered through the following methods:

  • Hand delivery – to tenant or a person of suitable age and discretion, by completing a Declaration of Service at the time of delivery.
  • Posting at the premises – by taking a photograph and completing a Declaration of Service at the time of delivery.
  • Mailing – by keeping the return receipt or certificate of mailing and completing a Declaration of Service at the time of mailing.

If the notice is sent by certified, registered or first class mail, add three (3) additional calendar days to the notice period to account for variability in post office delivery times.

Delaware Eviction & Lease Termination Notice Forms

Notice Form Grounds
5 Day Notice to Quit Unpaid Rent
Immediate Notice to Vacate Irreparable Harm
7 Day Notice to Comply or Vacate Lease Violation
7 Day Notice to Vacate Repeat Lease Violation / Material Breach
45 Day Notice to Vacate Non-Renewal of Fixed Term Lease (For Tenants Only)
60 Day Notice to Vacate End of Lease / No Lease

 

Sources