Delaware Residential Lease Agreement Form
Lead-Based Paint Disclosure - Realtors and landlords must inform buyers and tenants if the property has lead-based paint, which was used in structures built before 1978. If lead is present, the landlord is also obliged to provide the tenant with educational materials about the dangers of lead.
Bed Bug Infestation Disclosure - Delaware landlords are also required by law to inform tenants if there is a current bed bug infestation in the building or if a unit was previously treated for such an infestation. The law states, “A landlord shall not show, rent, or lease to a prospective tenant any vacant dwelling unit that the landlord knows or reasonably suspects has a current bed bug infestation. (25 DE Code § 5317 (a)).”
Names of Owners and Agents - The tenant has the right to know the property owners' and resident agents' names and business addresses. The residential lease agreement form must contain this information (25 DE Code § 5105).
Rent Grace Period
The due date for rent payment is stipulated in the lease agreement form. Absent that, the standard payment date is the first of the month or the first of any term.
If the tenant is unable to pay rent on time, the Delaware landlord must provide a five-day rent grace period, upon which a late charge is imposed. The terms of the late charge must also be included in the lease agreement form.
“The late charge shall not be imposed within five days of the agreed time for payment of rent. The landlord shall, in the county in which the rental unit is located, maintain an office or other permanent place for receipt of payments, where rent may be timely paid. (25 DE Code § 5501 (d)).”
A Delaware landlord may require a security deposit equivalent to one month’s rent, but not higher. The amount must be deposited in a federally insured bank and labeled as a security deposit and, therefore, cannot be used by the landlord for any other transaction.
There are also provisions for the use of the security deposit. First, to repair damage to the property. Second, the landlord may deduct unpaid rent or late charges from the tenant. Third, if there is an early termination in the contract, the landlord may deduct some amount for any expenses that may have resulted from breaking the lease.
Any balance from the security deposit must be returned to the tenant within 20 days of lease termination (25 DE Code § 5514).