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Delaware Rental Lease Agreements | Laws

A Delaware lease agreement is a legal contract presented to an individual once a landlord/owner of residential or commercial property has approved them for tenancy. This document contains terms and conditions of renting property that detail the obligations and rights of both tenant and landlord. There are lease agreements to cover almost any rental situation and a landlord has the ability to modify the form depending on the property they are leasing. Each provision should be looked over carefully by the parties before they inscribe their signatures.

Rental Application – A form given to prospective tenants before signing a lease agreement. The landlord will choose a worthy applicant based on their personal information and credit history, among other criteria.


Agreements: By Type (7)

Commercial Lease Agreement – Used by landlords renting property to an individual or business entity for commercial purposes.

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College Roommate Agreement – An agreement entered into by college students who wish to set ground rules for sharing a residential dwelling.

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Lease with Option to Purchase (Lease to Own) – A tenant who signs this type of lease is able to purchase the residential property after they have been leasing from the owner.

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Month to Month Lease Agreement – A common residential rental contract used by tenants who are paying monthly rent for a living space. Unlike a one (1) year lease, the landlord and tenant are able to terminate the agreement more easily (60 days is the minimum termination notice period).

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Roommate Agreement – A contract used in addition to another residential lease so that roommates sharing a living space can negotiate terms and conditions of cohabitating convivially.

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Standard (1-year) Lease Agreement – The most common residential lease that establishes a rental arrangement between landlord and tenant on a fixed term.

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Sublease Agreement – Used by tenants to rent out their living space (or sometimes just a portion thereof) to a subtenant. (Approval by landlord may be required.)

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Landlord-Tenant Laws


Landlord-Tenant Code (§ 5118) – Tenants must be presented with a copy of the Summary of Residential Landlord-Tenant Code by the landlord before they enter into a rental arrangement.

Owner/Landlord Disclosure (§ 5105) – Tenants must be given contact information for all owners of a rented property and their agent(s) and landlord(s).

Landlord’s Access

General Access (§ 5509) – Forty-eight (48) hours notice is the minimum notice period that must be given to tenants before a landlord accesses the property.

Emergency Access (§ 5509) – Landlords have the right to enter the property for emergency purposes without providing notice to the tenants.


Grace Period (§ 5501 (d)) – Tenants have a five (5) day grace period to pay rent after the due date has passed (certain exceptions apply).

Maximum Fees ($) (§ 5501 (d)) – A late payment fee cannot exceed 5% of the rent amount.

Rent Increase Notice (§ 5501 (d)) – Landlord must give sixty (60) days notice to tenants if they plan on increasing the rent.

Security Deposits

Maximum Amount ($) (§ 5513 (a)) – The maximum security deposit a landlord can charge a tenant is the equivalent of one (1) month’s rent.

Returning to Tenant (§ 5513 (f)) – Landlord has twenty (20) days to return the tenant’s security deposit once a lease has expired or been terminated.

Interest Required? – No statute mentions security deposit interest.

Separate Bank Account? (§ 5513 (a)) – A separate bank account is required to hold the security deposit.