Delaware Tenant Code

Delaware tenant code is governed by Title 25 of the Delaware Code. Like many Northeastern states, Delaware landlord tenant law is quite comprehensive and includes additional coverage that may not be typical of states in other regions.


Delaware tenant landlord code recognizes both oral leases and written leases; however, according to Delaware tenant rights, a lease must be in writing if it covers a period of one year or more.

Security Deposits and Fees

According to Delaware tenant code, the landlord is permitted to charge a variety of fees in addition to a security deposit. These fees may include an application fee. Under Delaware landlord tenant law, the application fee covers the cost of the credit check, and the total cost can be no more than 10 percent of the cost of the rent. In addition, Delaware tenant landlord code allows the tenant to charge a pet deposit. According to Delaware tenant rights, the pet fee cannot be more than one month’s rent.

Delaware tenant code also covers the amount of the security deposit. If the lease lasts one year or more, Delaware landlord tenant law limits the amount of the security deposit to no more than the cost on one month’s rent. In accordance with Delaware tenant landlord code, the landlord must hold the security deposit in a separate bank account and notify the tenant of the location of the account.

Within 20 days of receiving a written request for the return of the deposit and a notification of the forwarding address, the landlord must return the deposit minus any deductions allowable under Delaware tenant rights. Under Delaware landlord tenant law, if the landlord does not return the deposit within this time frame, the landlord is not entitled to any of the deposit. Delaware tenant code stipulates that under their Delaware tenant rights, the tenant has 10 days to object to the charges or the charges will be considered valid.

Repairs and Maintenance

Delaware tenant landlord code requires that the landlord maintain the rental unit in a safe and habitable condition. To protect Delaware tenant rights, the landlord is responsible for making any repairs to keep the unit, the utilities, and the appliances in good working order.

Delaware tenant code states that the landlord must start making repairs within 10 days of being notified by the tenant. As stated by Delaware landlord tenant law, these repairs must be completed within 30 days. If the landlord does not act in compliance with Delaware tenant landlord code, the tenant is within their Delaware tenant rights to make repairs worth up to the lesser of one-half of one month’s rent, or $200, whichever is less. According to Delaware tenant code, the renter can then deduct this amount from the next month’s rent. However, tenants must be careful. If the landlord sues the tenant for making the repairs in bad faith, such as minor repairs that were not a danger to the tenant, under Delaware landlord tenant law the landlord can sue the tenant for double the amount of damages.

Essential Services

Delaware tenant landlord code requires that the landlord provides essential services, such as heat and water, in accordance with local ordinances. if the landlord does not provide these services, the tenant can deduct 2/3 of the amount of the daily rent for each day they were without the service, according to Delaware tenant rights.


Delaware tenant code allows the landlord to order eviction for non-payment of rent or for other rule violations. Under Delaware landlord tenant law, the day that the rent is considered late, the landlord can serve the tenant with a 5-day notice of eviction. According to Delaware tenant landlord code, if the tenant does not pay the rent in full during that time period, the landlord can seek an eviction order from the court.