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Delaware Eviction Notice Forms (4)

A Delaware eviction notice is a letter sent by a landlord to notify a tenant of a lease infraction. The notice will include a description of the violation and the statutory time period the tenant has to fix the issue. If the tenant does not cure the violation, the lease will be terminated, and the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit.
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By Type (4)

5-Day Notice to Quit (Non-Payment of Rent) – This notice is for use when a tenant has failed to pay the rent when it is due. The landlord must send a demand for payment and the tenant has five business days to respond by paying rent before the landlord can take further action.

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7-Day Notice to Quit (Non-Compliance) – This notice is for use when a tenant has breached the lease agreement in some way. The tenant will have seven days to take corrective action before the landlord can continue the eviction process.

Download: PDF

Immediate Notice to Quit (Irreparable Harm) – To be served to a tenant that has caused or threatened irreparable harm to a person or to property. In addition, this notice may be used if the tenant has been convicted of a Class A Misdemeanor.

Download: PDF

60-Day Lease Termination Letter (Month-to-Month Tenancy) – This notice is for use when a landlord seeks to inform the tenant that the lease will end at the end of the term and not renew.

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Eviction Laws

  • Rent Grace Period: None for rent, but 5 days to charge late fees.[1]
  • Non-Payment of Rent: 5 days.[2]
  • Non-Compliance: 7 days.[3]
  • Irreparable Harm: Immediate.[4]
  • Termination (Month-to-Month Lease): 60 days.[5]
  • Eviction Lawsuit: Tenant Obligations and Landlord Remedies.[6]

Prohibited Landlord Actions

Utility Shutoff – The landlord is prohibited by law from terminating a tenant’s utility services due to nonpayment of rent, utility charges, or another breach.[7]

Changing the Locks – The landlord may not attempt to “involuntarily dispossess” a tenant from their unit as a retaliatory act. Doing so will subject them to three months’ rent.[8]

Court Forms

Summons – This document is served on the tenant with the Complaint to communicate that an action for summary possession has been filed against them.

Complaint – The complaint states the relationship between the landlord and tenant and describes the reason for which the summary process is taking place. This document is to be filed with the Court that will hear the case.

Answer – While not required, the tenant may file an answer with the Court to plead their case. An Answer is not required; however, it is mandatory that the defendant appears before the court at the time and place detailed in the summons or a default judgment will be placed against them.

Writ of Possession – A writ of possession may be requested by the plaintiff should they win the case as it orders a constable to remove the tenant from the unit. There is a ten-day grace period from the time of the judgment before the Court will issue a writ of possession.

How to Evict a Tenant (4 steps)

1. Determine Type of Violation

The landlord must determine which type of notice is required to inform the tenant about the potential for the summary process (or eviction). If the tenant has failed to pay rent, the landlord may use the 5-Day Notice to Quit (Non-Payment of Rent).

If the tenant has failed to comply with a provision of the lease agreement other than the failure to pay rent, the landlord may use the 7-Day Notice to Quit (Non-Compliance). If the landlord seeks to ensure that the tenant moves out at the end of the lease term, he or she may use the 60-Day Notice to Quit (Month to Month Tenancy).

Note that Delaware law provides some tenants with certain rights to legal representation:

  • Right to Legal Representation – A landlord who has more than three rental units and access to legal representation must provide applicable tenants with a disclosure of their right to legal representation in the event the tenant defaults on the lease. Tenants covered are those whose household income over the preceding 12 months falls below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. They may be entitled to receive free legal representation from one of Delaware’s designated non-profit organizations.

2. File a Complaint with Court

When the requisite time period for the tenant to respond has expired without a satisfactory response, the landlord may begin Summary Process proceedings by filing a Complaint with the Justice of the Peace Court Nearest the Property in question, along with a filing fee of $45 and a copy of the notice sent to tenant.[9]

  • Complaint Form – You may also use the Interactive Form-Filler that is recommended by the state to create your Complaint and begin to obtain possession of a residential rental unit.

3. Serve Papers on Tenant

The court will serve the papers on the tenant, and a trial date will be set.

4. Receive Court Judgment

If there is a judgment in favor of the landlord and the tenant still does not vacate the property, the landlord can ask for a writ of possession from the court.