A Delaware eviction notice is an essential tool for landlords who seek to initiate the eviction process due to lease violation. This legally binding document must follow Delaware laws and provide tenants with the necessary time frame to address the situation or vacate the property.
Download a free eviction notice customized for Delaware state law below in MS Word (.docx) or Adobe PDF format.
Eviction Laws & Requirements
- Eviction Lawsuit: Title 25, Chapter 57 (Residential Landlord-Tenant Code).
- Grace Period for Rental Payment: 5 days before a late fee can be assessed. The late fee must be specified in the lease and cannot exceed 5% of the rent (25 Delaware Code § 5501).
- Late or Nonpayment of Rent Notice: 5 days (25 Delaware Code § 5502).
- Notice of Non-Compliance: 7 days (25 Delaware Code § 5513).
- Lease Termination (Month-to-Month): 60 days (25 Delaware Code § 5106).
- Manufactured Homes Only – Late or Nonpayment of Rent Notice: 7 days (25 Delaware § Code 7016).
How to Evict a Tenant in Delaware
In Delaware, eviction lawsuits are governed by Title 25, Chapter 57 Summary Possession in the Residential Landlord-Tenant Code of the Delaware Code.
Step 1: Provide Written Notice
The landlord must provide the tenant with written notice of their intent to terminate the lease via first class mail, registered mail, certified mail, personal service (to the tenant or family member), or messenger (delivered to the tenant or family member). The notice must include the reason for eviction and the time period to fix the violation and be written according to Delaware state law.
Step 2: File a Summary Possession Action
After serving the notice, you must file a complaint form with the Justice of the Peace Court in the property’s jurisdiction. The complaint form is the reason the eviction is taking place. This is the court process to evict a tenant legally.
Remember that a tenant can request a jury trial to hear the eviction case. The landlord must win this lawsuit to proceed with eviction and regain the property (take note of the filing fees charged by the court).
Step 3: Take Possession of the Rental Property
If the landlord wins the eviction lawsuit, the Justice of the Peace Court will give the tenant a date to vacate the property. If the tenant doesn’t leave the property by the date noted on the court order, they’ll be forcibly removed by law enforcement pursuant to a writ of possession. Landlords themselves cannot force tenants to vacate.
Step 4: Disposal of Personal Property
During evictions, tenants may leave behind personal possessions. The landlord is legally required to store the tenant’s personal possessions for seven (7) days to allow the tenant time to retrieve their belongings. After that time frame, the tenant’s possessions will be considered abandoned.
Related Delaware Court Forms
View the following summary possession action informational packet to better understand the Delaware eviction process. Additionally, the official Delaware Courts website provides access to many important landlord/tenant court forms, including the following eviction-related forms:
- Complaint: The landlord submits this form to the court to officially begin eviction.
- Summons: This form is filed alongside the complaint. It informs the tenant of the date of the official court hearing.
- Writ of Possession: Filed after a court judgment to forcibly remove the tenant if the tenant does not vacate the property on their own (including a default judgment for the landlord if the tenant fails to appear in court). Instructs the sheriff or law enforcement that they can forcibly remove the tenant from the property 24 hours after the tenant receives the writ.