Delaware Landlord-Tenant Laws

Tenant Screening in Delaware

We have specific posts for each state on tenant screening rules and regulations. Check out our Delaware Tenant Screening Guide for free resources and education specific to your state.

Regarding Security Deposit

Delaware state law regulates security deposit amounts based on the terms of the lease. For a lease is for 1 year or longer, landlords can collect a security deposit up to one months’ rent. For lease agreements that are less than one year, there is no limit.

Delaware law requires landlords to place a tenant’s security deposit into an escrow account at a federally-insured bank.

Tenant security deposits must be returned within 20 days after the lease terminates, along with an itemized list of any deductions.

Delaware laws concerning security deposits can be found in Del Stat. Title 25, Chap 55 § 5514.

Regarding Application Fees

Delaware law limits the amount a landlord can charge for an application fee. Landlords may charge the greater of either 10% of the monthly rent or $50.

Regarding Tenant Bad Checks

Civil Penalties: Amount of the check plus costs of suit and protest fees

Criminal Penalties: If it is considered a misdemeanor, then the applicant could get up to 2 years in jail, a fine of $1,000, or both. Also, they will be ordered to make restitution to the landlord. If it is a felony, then they can get fined by the court, and up to 7 years in jail.

Allowable Fees: $25

Regarding Notice of Termination for Nonpayment

A tenant will receive a 5-day notice to pay or quit for not paying rent. After that, the landlord can begin eviction proceedings through the district or county court, according to Del. Rev. Stat. Ann. §33-1368.

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