Posted in Blog  
  on Feb 23, 2016

Breakdown of the Delaware Residential Landlord and Tenant Act

The Delaware Residential Landlord and Tenant Act contains specific provisions for both parties to follow. This ensures that each receives the rights they are entitled to in this business relationship and can take action if those rights may have been violated. Here is a breakdown of what you'll want to know about these laws.

1. A Surety Bond Can Substitute For a Security Deposit.

Landlords are entitled to have funds held in escrow to restore a rental unit that has been damaged beyond normal wear and tear. Both parties can agree to the posting of a surety bond instead of a security deposit if they prefer. If the lease is for 12 months or longer, then the security deposit cannot exceed one month of rent, but the deposit can be increased if the rent is increased.

2. Monetary Returns Must Occur With 20 Days Of Termination.

Pet deposits in Delaware are considered to be refundable. All deposits must be refunded with an itemized list of deductions, if applicable, within 20 days of a tenant moving out. Without the itemized listing, a security deposit must be returned in full. Pet damage must be deducted from the pet deposit first.

3. A Tenant Can Evict Another Tenant.

If a new tenant cannot take possession of a rental unit because of a previous tenant holding over, then the new tenant is allowed to bring eviction procedures against the previous tenant. The new tenant can then recover the costs of the action and substitute housing from the landlord.

4. Cash Payments For Rent Require Record-Keeping.

Landlords must keep a record of any cash payments made for rent for a minimum of 3 years. A receipt must also be provided to the tenant within 15 days of the payment being made. Late rental payments may be charged up to 5% of the monthly rent as a late fee if the rental agreement as a provision for late fees.

5. Both Parties Are Responsibility For Habitability And Safety.

Tenants must maintain a rental unit to keep it clean and safe. The property must be used as it was intended and tenants must prevent others from damaging the unit. Landlords must be informed promptly of any repairs which must be made. Landlords must keep their rental properties to building and health codes, provide electrical, plumbing, heating, and sanitary appliances/fixtures, and make repairs as needed to maintain the unit. This breakdown of the Delaware Residential Landlord and Tenant Act is intended to serve as a guide only and does not cover every specific situation.

Seek professional legal advice or review the specific statutes that apply to your situation at all times.


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