Free Delaware Rental Lease Agreement


Delaware Rental Lease Agreements

What are the binding landlord-tenant rental laws in the state of Delaware? If you are looking for property to lease or a dwelling unit to rent, you need to be aware of the Delaware rental lease agreement laws. In this article, we highlight the laws that govern rental and leased property.

  • Official Rules and Regulations

    • The Landlord and Tenants Rules and Regulations are under the Delaware Code Title 25 §§ Ch. 55 – Ch. 59

    • The Attorney General’s Summary of the Delaware Residential Landlord-Tenant Code

Security Deposit

What is the security deposit maximum?

In the rental lease agreement in Delaware, the security deposit maximum equals one month’s if the tenancy is a year-long or longer. There is no limit for the maximum security deposit if you are looking to rent a furnished unit.

Are there security deposit interests?

There is no stature guiding this.

Should the landlord set up a separate security deposit bank account?

Yes. The landlord should also disclose the location of the security deposit account.

Are there any pet deposits?

In some cases, a landlord may require additional pet deposit that equals to one month’s rent or less.

Is there an application fee?

Yes. But, it isn’t more than 10 percent your monthly rent, or $50.

Are there non-refundable fees?

No

What is the deadline for returning the security deposit?

20 days

What are the permitted uses of the security deposit?

The lease contract will highlight these as the permitted uses of the security deposit:

Reimbursement for any actual damages which exceed the normal wear and tear, or the damages that cannot be corrected by ordinary cleaning or painting.

Termination or late fees, and unpaid rent

Reasonable expenses incurred during renovations and rerenting of the premises as a result of premature termination of the rental agreement by the tenant – this doesn’t exceed a month’s rent.

Should there be a written description or an itemized list of charges and damages?

Yes.

Should there be record keeping of the deposit withholdings?

No, there is no statute.

What happens in case of non-compliance?

Failure to disclose the location of the security deposit, or the failure to return the deposit minus the deductions, within 20 days can easily entitle the tenant to double the amount of the deposit or even double the amount withheld wrongfully.

Lease, Fees, and Rent

The case of written agreements:

No rental lease agreement, unless available in writing, shall be effective for more than one year.

What happens in case of month-to-month assumed?

When there are no terms expressly provided, a rental lease agreement in Delaware is deemed and construed to be on a month-to-month basis/ term.

When is rent due?

Rent is due at the time, and the place agreed on by both parties. Unless otherwise agreed, the entire rent shall be payable at the beginning of a term, whether for one month or less, while a month’s rent shall be payable at the beginning of every month in case the lease is for a long term.

How long is the rent increase notice in the state of Delaware?

60 days. But, the tenant has 15 days to notify the landlord if they plan to terminate the lease at the end of the 60 days. Otherwise, the new terms are considered acceptable.

How long is the rent grace period?

Five days, unless the landlord lacks an office in the country where the property is located then the grace period is eight days.

Are there late fees charged?

Yes, but, the late fees shouldn’t exceed 5 percent of the total rent amount due. The late fees are thought of as additional rent.

What are the conditions for receiving cash?

If a landlord accepts cash payments for rent, the landlord should give a receipt for the payment within 15 days. The landlord shall, for three years, keep a detailed record of all the cash receipts for cash.

Are there statutes on prepaid rent?

No

What are the returned check fees?

$40, plus court costs.

Are tenants allowed to withhold rent for failure to provide essential services like heat and water?

Yes. A tenant can withhold 2/3 of the rent payable per day, accruing during any period when the hot water, water, or heat equivalent substitute wasn’t supplied.

Are tenants allowed to recover court and attorney fees?

There are no statutes.

Should the landlord make a reasonable attempt to mitigate any damaged to the lessee, this includes any attempt to rerent?

Yes. However, the tenant would be responsible for all the rent plus expenses until the time the property is re-rented.

Is there any abandonment or early termination fees?

There is no statute for this.

Notices and Entry

How long is the notice to terminate a tenancy in fixed end date leases?

60 days prior to the expiration date.

How long is the notice to terminate a tenancy in month-to-month leases?

60 days

How long is the notice to terminate a tenancy in the week-to-week leases?

There are no statutes.

What causes unconditional and immediate termination of a lease?

The landlord may terminate a lease immediately if a tenant causes or threatens to cause irreparable harm to a person or property.

How long is the notice of date/ time move-out inspection?

There is no statute.

How long is the termination of all other leases because of non-payment?

Five days

How long is a termination of lease violation?

Seven days

What is the required notice before entry?

48 hours

Is entry allowed with notice for non-emergency inspections, maintenance, and repairs?

48 hours

Is entry allowed with notice for showings?

Yes, and in 48 hours. However, a tenant may waive this requirement in writing to make it easier for the prospective tenants and purchases to view the property.

Is emergency entry allowed without notice?

Yes.

Is entry allowed during a tenant’s extended absence?

Yes.

Should there be a notice issued to tenants for pesticide use?

No statute

Are lockouts allowed?

No

Are utility shut-offs allowed?

No.

Is there a penalty for self-help eviction?

The tenant may recover triple the damages sustained or even an amount equal to three times per diem rent for the period of time the tenant was excluded from the unit – whichever is greater and the costs of the suits, excluding the attorney’s fees.

Disclosures and Miscellaneous Notes

This has name and addresses, a copy of the lease, the summary of the tenant-landlord laws, domestic violence situations, landlord’s duties, handling of abandoned personal property, the tenant’s duties, and retaliation.

  • Court-related issues

    • The Delaware Small Claims court – limits: $5,000

    • The court allows eviction cases involving small claims

    • Delaware Small Claims Court – Justice of the peace

    • The statute of limitation covers written contracts, oral contracts and property damage for three years.

    • Delaware Court System

    • Delaware Attorney General

    • Delaware State Bar Association

    • Legal aid is also available.

Business Licenses

Although the local cities may require business licenses, there is no statewide statute requiring business licenses.

If you are okay with these rules, you can contact us for your Delaware rental lease agreement form.