If you’re a landlord seeking to evict a tenant, use a Delaware (DE) eviction notice to begin the process.
In Delaware, eviction notices follow very specific laws written to protect both the tenant and the landlord. To successfully evict a tenant, the landlord needs to win an eviction lawsuit, formally called an action for summary possession. This process takes place in court.
A landlord may seek to terminate a rental agreement and evict a tenant for many reasons. Most commonly, it’s due to tenants breaching the lease by failing to pay rent, breaking the law, or damaging the property.
If a landlord doesn’t have cause to evict the tenant, Delaware law states that they need to wait until the lease has expired.
In Delaware, eviction lawsuits are governed by Title 25, Chapter 57 of the Residential Landlord-Tenant Code.
Delaware Eviction Notices by Type
Download a free eviction notice customized for Delaware state law below in MS Word (.docx) or Adobe PDF format.
60-Day Lease Termination: Use this notice to let a tenant know that you’re ending a month-to-month lease, and that they must prepare to leave your property. In Delaware, landlords must give tenants 60 days’ notice to move out if they’re on a month-to-month lease.
7-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant if they’ve broken the terms of your lease. In Delaware, landlords must give tenants seven days’ notice before the eviction process can proceed in court. In that time, tenants may have the option to fix (or “cure”) the problem. If the breach is illegal in nature, tenants may not have an option to remedy. If the tenant is causing or threatening harm to a person or the property, immediate termination is an option.
5-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant if they haven’t paid rent on time. In Delaware, landlords must give tenants five days to pay rent before the eviction process can proceed in court. The notice may be delivered as soon as the rent is late. If the renter pays within the five days, the landlord may not proceed with termination.
If you wish to send a letter simply reminding your tenant that rent is late (without threat of eviction), use a late rent notice.
Eviction Laws & Requirements
- Eviction Lawsuits: Title 25, Chapter 57 Summary Possession of the 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. (Title 25 § 5501)
- Late or Non-Rent Payment Notice: 5 days (Title 25 § 5502)
- Notice of Non-Compliance: 7 days (Title 25 § 5513)
- Lease Termination (Month-to-Month): 60 days (Title 25 § 5106)
What Is the Eviction Process in Delaware?
Step 1: Provide Written Notice
The landlord must provide the tenant with written notice of their intent to terminate the lease. The reason for eviction, and time period to fix the violation, must be included and written according to Delaware state law.
Step 2: File a Summary Possession Action
This is the court process to legally evict a tenant. The landlord must win this lawsuit to proceed with eviction and regain the property.
Step 3: Take Possession of the Rental Property
If the landlord wins the eviction lawsuit, the court will give the tenant a date to vacate. If the tenant doesn’t leave the property in time, they’ll then be forcibly evicted by law enforcement. Landlords themselves cannot force tenants to vacate.
Step 4: Disposal of Personal Property
During evictions, tenants often leave behind personal possessions. The landlord is legally required to store the tenant’s personal possessions for seven days to allow them time to retrieve their belongings. After that time frame, the tenant’s possessions are forfeit.
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 with the court to officially begin the eviction process.
- 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 judgement to evict the tenant has been received. Instructs the sheriff that they can forcibly remove the tenant from the property.