CHAPTER 276

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 397

AS AMENDED BY

SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 51, PART III, TITLE 25 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE LANDLORD-TENANT CODE; AND PROHIBITING ANY DEMAND BY LANDLORDS FOR EXTRA MONEY PAYMENTS.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Chapter 51, Part III, Title 25 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new section, designated as §5113, which new section shall read as follows:

§5113. Assurance money' prohibited

In every transaction wherein an application is made by a prospective tenant to lease a dwelling unit, the prospective landlord or owner of the dwelling unit shall not ask for nor receive any 'assurance money' or other payment which is not an investigation fee, security deposit or similar deposit reserving the dwelling unit for the prospective tenant for a time certain. The prospective landlord shall not charge the prospective tenant, as the fee for any credit or other type of investigation, more than the specific cost of such investigation. For purposes of this section, 'assurance money' shall mean any payment to the prospective landlord by a prospective tenant, except a payment in the way of a security deposit or similar deposit reserving the dwelling unit for the prospective tenant for a time certain, or the reimbursing of the specific sums expended by the landlord in credit or other investigations.

Each landlord shall retain, for a period of six months, the records of each application made by any prospective tenant. Upon any complaint of a violation of this section, the Division of Consumer Affairs shall investigate the same, shall interview tenants of the landlord, and, under appropriate search warrant, have the right to investigate all records of the landlord pertaining to applications made within the preceding six months.

If such investigation reveals good cause for the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs to believe there has been a violation of this section, the Director may issue such cease and desist orders in accordance with §8612, Title 29 of the Delaware Code, as a re required to the violation."

Approved May 15, 1978.