1. What is a Delaware Lease Agreement?
A Delaware (DE) Lease Agreement is a legally binding document between a landlord and a tenant, written in accordance with Delaware’s landlord-tenant laws. The landlord agrees to rent all (or a portion of) their property to a tenant for a fee, and the tenant agrees to the lease agreement’s terms and conditions.
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2. What to Include in a Delaware Residential Lease Agreement
As a landlord in Delaware, you’re required by Federal law to include certain details in your lease agreements. Specifically, you need to include:
- Tenant/Landlord Details: names and current addresses of both the tenant and landlord
- Premises: the address of the premises being rented
- Pets: whether pets are allowed, and any other pet-related rules
- Health Hazards: any known health hazards or risks
- Rent Specifics: the amount of rent and security deposit due, and payment dates and methods
Be aware that each state has different laws that govern the relationship between you (the landlord) and your tenant(s). It’s in your best interest to learn Delaware’s landlord-tenant laws.
3. Delaware Landlord and Tenant Laws
Delaware imposes specific and distinct requirements for landlords and tenants when executing a lease or rental agreement. Some of those requirements include:
- If the property is unfurnished and the lease term is one year or more, a landlord can charge up to one month’s rent for a security deposit. (§ 5514)
- A landlord must return the security deposit to the tenant within 20 days of the end of the lease. (§ 5514)
- A landlord must place the security deposit in an escrow bank account in a federally-insured banking institution (§ 5514)
Landlord Right of Entry:
- A landlord must provide two days’ advance notice to the tenant before entering the rental property. (§ 5509)