CHAPTER 352

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 540

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 25, TITLE 6 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DELAWARE FRANCHISE SECURITY LAW; AND PROVIDING FOR THE CURTAILMENT OF CERTAIN PRACTICES IN THE SALE OF PETROLEUM PRODUCTS.

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

Section 1. Amend Subsection (1), Section 2551, Chapter 25, Title 6 of the Delaware Code by striking the period (.) at the end of paragraph (c), and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"; or

(d) Operating a service station, filling station, store, garage or other place of business for the sale of motor fuel for delivery into the service tank or tanks of any vehicle propelled by an internal combustion engine."

Section 2. Amend Subsection (2), Section 2551, Chapter 25, Title 6 of the Delaware Code by striking the period (.) at the end of paragraph (e), and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"; or

(d) Producing or refining of petroleum products, or the producer or fabricator of any automotive products sold or distributed by a service station."

Section 3. Amend §2551, Chapter 25, Part II, Title 8 of the Delaware Code by striking the period (.) at the end of subsection (3), and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"; provided however, that a franchised distributor as defined under §2551 (1) (d) shall not be required to have paid any consideration to enter into such contract or other arrangement."

Section 4. Amend §2552, Chapter 25, Part n, Title 6 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new subsection, designated as subsection (j), which new subsection shall read as follows:

(j) Notwithstanding any terms of the franchise agreement to the contrary, no franchisor who leases real or personal property to a franchised distributor may charge the franchised distributor a rent or other charge for the use or occupancy of such real or personal property which is unreasonable or excessive in light of the franchisor's interest in such real or personal property, and the purpose to which the real or personal property is being used. The refusal of the franchisor to renew a lease for real or personal property except upon the payment of a rent or other charge which is unreasonable or excessive in light of the use to which the property has been placed by the franchisor and/or the interest of the franchisor in the real or personal property shall be deemed to be an unjust termination of the franchise.

Approved July 9, 1980.