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
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 key amenities must be kept in good working or else the landlord must perform a repair within 12 days of a request. If they fail to do so, an effected tenant may perform the repair on their own or deduct up to 2/3 of their next rent payment.
- Evictions – A Delaware tenant may be evicted from their dwelling for failing to pay rent (5-day notice), breaking a lease term (7-day notice), or committing an illegal act (immediate termination). This process can take from 1 week to several months.
- Security Deposits – Apartment landlords cannot charge more than the value of 1 months’ rent as a security deposit (except for furnished apartments which lacks a limit. Some month-to-month renters may also be charged more than the aforementioned limit legally. All collected deposits must be returned by the landlord within 20 days of a lease’s cessation, though.
- Lease Termination – Month-to-month renters in Delaware are entitled to 60 days of advance notice before their lease is terminated. A fixed-term renter may be able to terminate their own lease early if they supply proof of active military duty, a lease term violation, dwelling uninhabitability, domestic violence, or old age/serious health issue.
- Rent Increases & Fees – Delaware landlords must provide 60 days’ notice prior to any rent increases (with or without justification). 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 missing rent. Bounced check fees are also capped at $40.
- Landlord Entry – A Delaware landlord may enter a rented unit if they provide 48 hours of advance notice. This standard does not apply in emergency situations, though.
- Settling Legal Disputes – Legal disputes valued at up to $15,000 between landlord and tenants in Delaware can be settled in small claims court. This includes eviction cases.
To learn more about landlord tenant laws in Delaware, click here.