Delaware Landlord-Tenant Law

Delaware is one of the top states for property investors to purchase rental units because there is no property tax. The fair cost of living and location is a big draw for those looking to relocate, which means finding a tenant is easier than in other states. For our recommendations on exactly where to invest in this state, take a look at our Delaware rental investment report – read below for guidance on Delaware landlord-tenant law.

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Laws that impact the rental market, landlords, and tenants are constantly being decided in states. Make sure you know what’s on your ballot – find Delaware voting information here.

Delaware Renters' Rights and Landlord Responsibilities

  • Have 20 days to return security deposit
  • No notice required before raising rent
  • A 60-day notice required before entering the property
  • Required to make repairs within 12 days

When it comes to Delaware rental laws, there are a few specifics landlords need to know:

  1. Security Deposit – Delaware limits the amount a landlord may charge for the security deposit to the equivalent of one month’s rent. Landlords must return the deposit within 20 days of the tenant moving out.
  2. Raising Rent – Landlords in Delaware may increase the rent to any amount for any reason with a 60-day notice.
  3. Notice of Entry – Delaware requires a 48-hour notice from the landlord before entering the unit or property.
  4. Repairs – It is the landlord’s responsibility to keep the rental in safe and healthy living conditions. Landlords must make repairs within 12 days after being notified by the tenant. If the landlord fails to make these repairs, the tenant may withhold up to two-thirds rent, or pay for the repairs and deduct the cost from their next rent payment.

Delaware Landlords' Rights and Tenant Responsibilities

  • Required to issue a five-day notice before filing for eviction
  • Must give a 60-day notice before terminating a lease
  • Tenants must keep the unit in safe and habitable condition
  1. Overdue Rent – If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, the landlord must issue a notice that gives the tenant five days to pay. If the tenant still doesn’t pay, the landlord may file for eviction.
  2. Terminating a Lease – If a tenant needs to terminate a month-to-month lease, they must give the landlord a 60-day notice.
  3. Tenant Responsibilities – Tenants are required to keep the property clean and not disturb neighbors.

Delaware Landlord-Tenant Law FAQ

Below are answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions when it comes to landlord-tenant laws in Delaware:

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Can You Withhold Rent in Delaware?

If a landlord fails to make necessary repairs, the tenant may pay for those repairs and deduct the price from their next rent payment or withhold two-thirds of their rent.

How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant in Delaware?

Evicting a tenant in Delaware can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, depending on the reason for eviction. 

Is Delaware a Landlord-Friendly State?

Delaware is not a landlord-friendly state because of the restrictions and responsibilities of landlords.

What is the Eviction Process in Delaware?

There are four reasons a landlord may file for eviction in Delaware. The four reasons include failing to pay rent, violation of the lease agreement, illegal activity, and the end of the lease term. Depending on the violation, the landlord must give the tenant anywhere from 5 to 60 days to cure their violation. 

If the tenant fails to cure or quit, then the landlord may file a complaint with the court, which costs $45. After the complaint is filed, it will be served to the tenant within 5 to 30 days. 

The hearing will then be scheduled within a few days to a few weeks. 

If the court rules in favor of the landlord, then a writ of possession will be issued within 10 days. Once received, the tenant will need to move out within 24 hours.

How Much Notice Does a Landlord Have to Give a Tenant to Move Out in Delaware?

Landlords are required to give a 60-day notice before asking a tenant to vacate the property.

Due Diligence and Delaware Rental Laws

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TurboTenant has utilized many municipal sources and official state statutes to compile this information to the best of our ability. However, local laws are constantly in flux, and landlords and tenants alike should do their due diligence and consult legal help when it’s needed. We hope the following list can serve as a valuable resource and allow you to succeed as a landlord or tenant in Delaware. Be sure to take proper precautions when it comes to finding the top candidates for your unit by utilizing our online rental application and tenant screening services.

Disclaimer: TurboTenant, Inc does not provide legal advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. All users are advised to check all applicable local, state, and federal laws, and consult legal counsel should questions arise.

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