The Delaware rental agreements are documents between a landlord and tenant for the use of real property. These contracts state the amount of the rent, when it is due (usually monthly), as well as other terms associated with the use of the property. These agreements must follow Delaware’s landlord-tenant law.
Delaware Rental Agreement Types
Common Rental Agreements in Delaware
- Delaware Association of Realtor’s Residential Lease-Rental Agreement – this fillable template is intended for Delaware’s Association of Realtor’s members who have written permission to use the template. It provides an extensive list of rules and procedures and is specific for properties governed by the Delaware Landlord-Tenant Code.
Delaware Required Lease Disclosures
- Landlord’s Name & Address (required for all) – Every Delaware lease agreement must disclose the landlord’s name and address in order to open communication if a legal notice or demand must be delivered.
- Landlord-Tenant Code Summary (required for all) – Landlords must provide a summary of the Delaware Landlord-Tenant Code within or alongside every lease agreement to ensure prospective tenants know their rights before signing a lease.
- Lead-Based Paint Disclosures (required for some) – Buildings built before 1978 are at risk for lead- based paint, so Delaware landlords must provide notice of any existing hazards alongside a disclosure form as well as an Environmental Protection Agency-approved pamphlet outlining safety information.
To learn more about required disclosures in Delaware, click here.
Delaware Landlord Tenant Laws
- Warranty of Habitability – Delaware requires its landlords to provide tenants with adequate plumbing and safe electrical features. These and other habitability issues that are outlines in the lease must be kept in good condition. If a repair needs to be made, the landlord has 15 days after a tenant’s written request. If a landlord fails to make the repair, the tenant may withhold 2/3 per diem rent or use the repair and deduct method after 30 days of the notice (the amount shall not exceed $400- or 1/2-month’s rent, whichever is less).
- Evictions – A Delaware tenant may be evicted for multiple reasons, including but not limited to the following: failing to pay rent, breaking a lease term, or committing an illegal act. Proper notice must be given to the tenant. The eviction process can take a week to several months.
- Security Deposits – Landlords cannot charge more than the value of 1 months’ rent as a security deposit; however, this limit does not apply to all leases. All remaining funds must be returned by the landlord within 20 days of a lease termination.
- Lease Termination – Month-to-month renters in Delaware must provide 60 days of advance notice before terminating their lease. A fixed-term renter may be able to terminate their lease early without penalty if they supply proof of active military duty, a lease term violation, habitability issues, domestic violence, or old age/serious health issue.
- Rent Increases & Fees – Delaware landlords must provide 60 days’ notice prior to any rent increases (which may only be increased once during a 12-month period). The notified tenant then has 15 days to respond or terminate their lease. As for fees, Delaware landlords can only charge late rent fees valued at 5% of the rent payment. Bounced check fees are capped at $40.
- Landlord Entry – A Delaware landlord may enter a rented unit if they provide 48 hours of advance notice. This does not apply in emergency situations.
- Settling Legal Disputes – Legal disputes valued at up to $15,000 between landlord and tenants in the Delaware Justice of the Peace Court. This includes eviction cases.
To learn more about landlord tenant laws in Delaware, click here.