TITLE 25

Property

Residential Landlord-Tenant Code

CHAPTER 55. TENANT OBLIGATIONS AND LANDLORD REMEDIES


(a) The landlord and tenant shall agree to the consideration for rent. In the absence of such agreement, the tenant shall pay to the landlord a reasonable sum for the use and occupation of the rental unit.

(b) Rent shall be payable at the time and place agreed to by the parties. Unless otherwise agreed, the entire rent shall be payable at the beginning of any term for 1 month or less, while 1 month's rent shall be payable at the beginning of each month of a longer term.

(c) Except for purposes of payment, rent shall be uniformly apportioned from day to day.

(d) Where the rental agreement provides for a late charge payable to the landlord for rent not paid at the agreed time, such late charge shall not exceed 5 percent of the monthly rent. A late charge is considered as additional rent for the purposes of this Code. The late charge shall not be imposed within 5 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. Failure to maintain such an office, or other permanent place of payment where rent may be timely paid, shall extend the agreed on time for payment of rent by 3 days beyond the due date.

(e) If a landlord accepts a cash payment for rent, the landlord shall, within 15 days, give to the tenant a receipt for that payment. The landlord shall, for a period of 3 years, maintain a record of all cash receipts for rent.

70 Del. Laws, c. 513, § 3.;

(a) A landlord or the landlord's agent may, any time after rent is due, including the time period between the date the rent is due and the date under this Code when late fees may be imposed, demand payment thereof and notify the tenant in writing that unless payment is made within a time mentioned in such notice, to be not less than 5 days after the date notice was given or sent, the rental agreement shall be terminated. If the tenant remains in default, the landlord may thereafter bring an action for summary possession of the dwelling unit or any other proper proceeding, action or suit for possession.

(b) A landlord or the landlord's agent may bring an action for rent alone at any time after the landlord has demanded payment of past-due rent and has notified the tenant of the landlord's intention to bring such an action. This action may include late charges, which have accrued as additional rent.

(c) If a tenant pays all rent due before the landlord has initiated an action against the tenant and the landlord accepts such payment without a written reservation of rights, the landlord may not then initiate an action for summary possession or for failure to pay rent.

(d) If a tenant pays all rent due after the landlord has initiated an action for nonpayment or late payment of rent against the tenant and the landlord accepts such payment without a written reservation of rights, then the landlord may not maintain that action for past due rent.

70 Del. Laws, c. 513, § 3.;

A tenant shall:

(1) Comply with all obligations imposed upon tenants by applicable provisions of all municipal, county and state codes, regulations, ordinances and statutes;

(2) Keep that part of the premises which the tenant occupies and uses as clean and safe as the conditions of the premises permit;

(3) Dispose from the rental unit all ashes, rubbish, garbage and other organic or flammable waste, in a clean and safe manner;

(4) Keep all plumbing fixtures used by the tenant as clean and safe as their condition permits;

(5) Use in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating and other facilities and appliances in the premises;

(6) Not wilfully or wantonly destroy, deface, damage, repair or remove any part of the structure or rental unit or the facilities, equipment or appurtenances thereto, nor permit any person on the premises with the tenant's permission to do any such thing;

(7) Not remove or tamper with a properly functioning smoke detector installed by the landlord, including removing any working batteries, so as to render the smoke detector inoperative;

(8) Not remove or tamper with a properly functioning carbon monoxide detector installed by the landlord, including removing any working batteries, so as to render the carbon monoxide detector inoperative; and

(9) Comply with all covenants, rules, requirements and the like which are in accordance with §§ 5511 and 5512 of this title; and which the landlord can demonstrate are reasonably necessary for the preservation of the property and persons of the landlord, other tenants or any other person.

70 Del. Laws, c. 513, § 3; 79 Del. Laws, c. 52, § 1.;

(a) It shall be a complete defense to any action, suit or proceeding for waste if the tenant alleges and establishes that the tenant notified the landlord a reasonable time in advance of the repair, alteration or replacement and that such repair, alteration or replacement:

(1) Is one which a prudent owner of an estate in fee simple absolute of the affected property would be likely to make in view of the conditions existing on or in the neighborhood of the affected property; or

(2) Has not reduced the market value of the reversion or other interest of the plaintiff; and

(3) If the conditions set forth in paragraph (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section exist, and the landlord makes a demand that the tenant posts security to protect against a failure to complete the proposed work, and against any responsibility for expenditures incident to the making of such proposed repairs, alterations or replacements as the court demands.

(b) This section shall not be interpreted to bar an action for damages for breach of a written rental agreement nor bar an action or summary proceeding based on breach of a written rental agreement.

70 Del. Laws, c. 513, § 3.;

(a) Any defective condition of the premises which comes to the tenant's attention, and which the tenant has reason to believe is the duty of the landlord or of another tenant to repair, shall be reported in writing by the tenant to the landlord as soon as is practicable. The tenant shall be responsible for any liability or injury resulting to the landlord as a result of the tenant's failure to timely report such condition.

(b) A tenant on whom a complaint in ejectment or an action against the premises is served shall immediately notify the landlord in writing.

(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply where the landlord has actual notice of the defective condition.

70 Del. Laws, c. 513, § 3.;

The landlord may require in the rental agreement that the tenant notify the landlord in writing of any anticipated extended absence from the premises no later than the 1st day of such absence.

70 Del. Laws, c. 513, § 3.;

(a) If the rental agreement provides for notification to the landlord by the tenant of an anticipated extended absence as defined in this Code or in the rental agreement, and the tenant fails to comply with such requirement, the tenant shall indemnify the landlord for any harm resulting from such absence.

(b) The landlord may, during any extended absence of the tenant, enter the rental unit as is reasonably necessary for inspection, maintenance and safekeeping.

(c) Unless otherwise agreed to in the rental agreement, the tenant shall use the rental unit only as the tenant's abode. A violation of this covenant shall constitute the breach of a rule under § 5511 of this title, and shall entitle the landlord to proceed as specified elsewhere in this chapter.

(d) If the tenant wrongfully quits the rental unit and unequivocally indicates by words or deeds the tenant's intention not to resume tenancy, such action by the tenant shall entitle the landlord to proceed as specified elsewhere in this chapter and the tenant shall be liable for the lesser of the following for such abandonment:

(1) The entire rent due for the remainder of the term and expenses for actual damages caused by the tenant (other than normal wear and tear) which are incurred in preparing the rental unit for a new tenant; or

(2) All rent accrued during the period reasonably necessary to re-rent the premises at a fair rental; plus the difference between such fair rental and the rent agreed to in the prior rental agreement; plus expenses incurred to re-rent; repair damage caused by the tenant (beyond normal wear and tear); plus a reasonable commission, if incurred by the landlord for the re-renting of the premises. In any event, the landlord has a duty to mitigate damages.

(e) If there is no appeal from a judgment granting summary possession under subsection (c) or (d) of this section, the landlord may immediately remove and store, at the tenant's expense, any and all items left on the premises by the tenant. Seven days after the appeal period has expired, the property shall be deemed abandoned and may be disposed of by the landlord without further notice or liability.

70 Del. Laws, c. 513, § 3.;

(a) Unless otherwise agreed in writing, the tenant may sublet the premises or assign the rental agreement to another.

(b) The rental agreement may restrict or prohibit the tenant's right to assign the rental agreement in any manner. The rental agreement may restrict the tenant's right to sublease the premises by conditioning such right on the landlord's consent. Such consent shall not be unreasonably withheld.

(c) In any proceeding under this section to determine whether or not consent has been unreasonably withheld, the burden of showing reasonableness shall be on the landlord.

70 Del. Laws, c. 513, § 3.;

(a) The tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent for the landlord to enter into the rental unit in order to inspect the premises, make necessary repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements, supply services as agreed to or exhibit the rental unit to prospective purchasers, mortgagees or tenants. A tenant shall have the right to install a new lock at the tenant's cost, on the condition that:

(1) The tenant notifies the landlord in writing and supplies the landlord with a key to the lock;

(2) The new lock fits into the system already in place; and

(3) The lock installation does not cause damage to the door.

(b) The landlord shall not abuse this right of access nor use it to harass a tenant. The landlord shall give the tenant at least 48 hours' notice of landlord's intent to enter, except for repairs requested by the tenant, and shall enter only between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. As to prospective tenants or purchasers only, the tenant may expressly waive in a signed addendum to the rental agreement or other separate signed document the requirement that the landlord provide 48 hours' notice prior to the entry into the premises. In the case of an emergency the landlord may enter at any time.

(c) The tenant shall permit the landlord to enter the rental unit at reasonable times in order to obtain readings of meters or appliances for measurement of utility consumption in accordance with § 5312 of this title.

70 Del. Laws, c. 513, § 3.;

(a) The tenant shall be liable to the landlord for any harm proximately caused by the tenant's unreasonable refusal to allow access. Any court of competent jurisdiction may issue an injunction against a tenant who has unreasonably withheld access to the rental unit.

(b) The landlord shall be liable to the tenant for any theft, casualty or other harm proximately resulting from an entry into the rental unit by landlord, its employees or agents or with landlord's permission or license:

(1) When the tenant is absent and has not specifically consented to the entry;

(2) Without the tenant's actual consent when tenant is present and able to consent; and

(3) In any other case, where the harm suffered by the tenant is due to the landlord's negligence.

(c) Repeated demands for unreasonable entry or any actual entry which is unreasonable and not consented to by the tenant may be treated by the tenant as grounds for termination of the rental agreement. Any court of competent jurisdiction may issue an injunction against such unreasonable demands on behalf of 1 or more tenants.

(d) Every agreement or understanding between a landlord and a tenant which purports to exempt the landlord from any liability imposed by this section, except consent to a particular entry, shall be null and void.

70 Del. Laws, c. 513, § 3.;

(a) The tenant and all others in the premises with the consent of the tenant shall obey all obligations or restrictions, whether denominated by the landlord as "rules," "regulations," "restrictions" or otherwise, concerning the tenant's use, occupation and maintenance of the rental unit, appurtenances thereto and the property of which the rental unit is a part, if:

(1) Such obligations and restrictions promote the health, safety, quiet, private enjoyment or welfare, peace and order of the tenants; promote the preservation of the landlord's property from abuse; and promote the fair distribution of services and facilities provided for all tenants generally; and

(2) Such obligations and restrictions are brought to the attention of the tenant at the time of the tenant's entry into the agreement to occupy the rental unit; and

(3) Such obligations and restrictions are reasonably related to the purpose for which they are promulgated; and

(4) Such obligations and restrictions apply to all tenants of the property in a fair manner; and

(5) Such obligations and restrictions are sufficiently explicit in the prohibition, direction or limitation of the tenant's conduct to fairly inform tenant of what tenant must or must not do to comply; and

(6) Such obligations or restrictions, if not made known to the tenant at the commencement of tenancy, are brought to the attention of the tenant and if said obligations work a substantial modifications of the lease agreement they have been consented to in writing by tenant.

(b) All tenants and other guests of the premises with the consent of tenant shall conduct themselves in a manner that does not unreasonably interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of the other tenants.

70 Del. Laws, c. 513, § 3.;

Any provision of the Landlord-Tenant Code [Chapters 51 through 59 of this title] to the contrary notwithstanding, all rental agreements for the rental of single rooms in certain buildings may be terminated immediately upon notice to the tenant for a tenant's material violation of a regulation which has been given to a tenant at the time of contract or lease, and the landlord shall be entitled to bring a proceeding for possession where:

(1) The building is the primary residence of the landlord; and

(2) No more than 3 rooms in the building are rented to tenants; and

(3) No more than 3 tenants occupy such building.

70 Del. Laws, c. 513, § 3.;

(a) If the tenant breaches any rule or covenant which is material to the rental agreement, the landlord shall notify the tenant of such breach in writing, and shall allow at least 7 days after such notice for remedy or correction of the breach. This section shall not apply to late payment of rent which is covered under § 5502 of this title.

(1) Such notice shall substantially specify the rule allegedly breached and advise the tenant that, if the violation continues after 7 days, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and bring an action for summary possession. Such notice shall also state that it is given pursuant to this section, and if the tenant commits a substantially similar breach within 1 year, the landlord may rely upon such notice as grounds for initiating an action for summary possession. The issuance of a notice pursuant to this section does not establish that the initial breach of the rental agreement actually occurred for purposes of this section.

(2) If the tenant's breach can be remedied by the landlord, as by cleaning, repairing, replacing a damaged item or the like, the landlord may so remedy the tenant's breach and bill the tenant for the actual and reasonable costs of such remedy. Such billing shall be due and payable as additional rent, immediately upon receipt.

(3) If the tenant's breach of a rule or covenant also constitutes a material breach of an obligation imposed upon tenants by a municipal, county or state code, ordinance or statute, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and bring an action for summary possession.

(b) When a breach by a tenant causes or threatens to cause irreparable harm to any person or property, or the tenant is convicted of a class A misdemeanor or felony during the term of the tenancy which caused or threatened to cause irreparable harm to any person or property, the landlord may, without notice, remedy the breach and bill the tenant as provided in subsection (a) of this section; immediately terminate the rental agreement upon notice to the tenant and bring an action for summary possession; or do both.

(c) Upon notice to tenant, the landlord may bring an action or proceeding for waste or for breach of contract for damages suffered by the tenant's wilful or negligent failure to comply with tenant's responsibilities under the preceding section. The landlord may request a forthwith summons.

70 Del. Laws, c. 513, § 3.;

(a)(1) A landlord may require the payment of security deposit.

(2) No landlord may require a security deposit in excess of 1 month's rent where the rental agreement is for 1 year or more.

(3) No landlord may require a security deposit in excess of 1 month's rent (with the exception of federally-assisted housing regulations), for primary residential tenancies of undefined terms or month to month where the tenancy has lasted 1 year or more. After the expiration of 1 year, the landlord shall immediately return, as a credit to the tenant, any security deposit amount in excess of 1 month's rent, including such amount which when combined with the amount of any surety bond is in excess of 1 month's rent.

(4) The security deposit limits set forth above shall not apply to furnished rental units.

(b) Each security deposit shall be placed by the landlord in an escrow bank account in a federally-insured banking institution with an office that accepts deposits within the State. Such account shall be designated as a security deposits account and shall not be used in the operation of any business by the landlord. The landlord shall disclose to the tenant the location of the security deposit account. The security deposit principal shall be held and administered for the benefit of the tenant, and the tenant's claim to such money shall be prior to that of any creditor of the landlord, including, but not limited to, a trustee in bankruptcy, even if such money is commingled.

(c) The purpose of the security deposit shall be:

(1) To reimburse the landlord for actual damages caused to the premises by the tenant which exceed normal wear and tear, or which cannot be corrected by painting and ordinary cleaning; and/or

(2) To pay the landlord for all rental arrearage due under the rental agreement, including late charges and rental due for premature termination or abandonment of the rental agreement by the tenant; and/or

(3) To reimburse the landlord for all reasonable expenses incurred in renovating and rerenting the premises caused by the premature termination of the rental agreement by the tenants, which includes termination pursuant to § 5314 of this title, providing that reimbursement caused by termination pursuant to § 5314 of this title shall not exceed 1 month's rent.

(d) Where a tenant is required to pay a fee to determine the tenant's credit worthiness, such fee is an application fee. A landlord may charge an application fee, not to exceed the greater of either 10 percent of the monthly rent for the rental unit or $50, to determine a tenant's credit worthiness. The landlord shall, upon receipt of any money paid as an application fee, furnish a receipt to the tenant for the full amount paid by the tenant, and shall maintain for a period of at least 2 years, complete records of all application fees charged and amounts received for each such fee. Where the landlord unlawfully demands more than the allowable application fee, the tenant shall be entitled to damages equal to double the amount charged as an application fee by the landlord.

(e) If the landlord is not entitled to all or any portion of the security deposit, the landlord shall remit the security deposit within 20 days of the expiration or termination of the rental agreement.

(f) Within 20 days after the termination or expiration of any rental agreement, the landlord shall provide the tenant with an itemized list of damages to the premises and the estimated costs of repair for each and shall tender payment for the difference between the security deposit and such costs of repair of damage to the premises. Failure to do so shall constitute an acknowledgment by the landlord that no payment for damages is due. Tenant's acceptance of a payment submitted with an itemized list of damages shall constitute agreement on the damages as specified by the landlord, unless the tenant, within 10 days of the tenant's receipt of such tender of payment, objects in writing to the amount withheld by the landlord.

(g) Penalties.

(1) Failure to remit the security deposit or the difference between the security deposit and the amount set forth in the list of damages within 20 days from the expiration or termination of the rental agreement shall entitle the tenant to double the amount wrongfully withheld.

(2) Failure by a landlord to disclose the location of the security deposit account within 20 days of a written request by a tenant or failure by the landlord to deposit the security deposit in a federally-insured financial institution with an office that accepts deposits within the State, shall constitute forfeiture of the security deposit by the landlord to the tenant. Failure by the landlord to return the full security deposit to the tenant within 20 days from the effective date of forfeiture shall entitle the tenant to double the amount of the security deposit.

(h) All communications and notices, including the return of any security deposit under this section, shall be directed to the landlord at the address specified in the rental agreement and to the tenant at an address specified in the rental agreement or to a forwarding address, if provided in writing by the tenant at or prior to the termination of the rental agreement. Failure by the tenant to provide such address shall relieve the landlord of landlord's responsibility to give notice herein and landlord's liability for double the amount of the security deposit as provided herein, but the landlord shall continue to be liable to the tenant for any unused portion of the security deposit; provided, that the tenant shall make a claim in writing to the landlord within 1 year from the termination or expiration of the rental agreement.

(i) Pet deposits.

(1) A landlord may require a pet deposit. Damage to the rental unit caused by an animal shall first be deducted from the pet deposit. Where the pet deposit is insufficient, such damages may be deducted from the security deposit. A pet deposit is subject to subsections (b), (e), (f), (g) and (h) of this section.

(2) No landlord may require a pet deposit in excess of 1 month's rent, regardless of the duration of the rental agreement.

(3) A landlord may require an additional deposit from a tenant with a pet, but shall not require any pet deposit from a tenant if the pet is a duly certified and trained support animal for a disabled person who is a resident of the rental unit.

(j) If the rental agreement so specifies, a landlord may increase the security deposit commensurate with the rent. If the increase of the security deposit will exceed 10 percent of the monthly rent, payment of the increased security deposit shall be prorated over the term of the rental agreement, except in the case of month-to-month tenancy, in which case payment of the increase shall be prorated over a period of 4 months.

70 Del. Laws, c. 513, § 3; 79 Del. Laws, c. 57, § 4.;

(a) Instead of paying all or part of a security deposit to a landlord under § 5514 of this title, a tenant may purchase a surety bond, the purpose of which shall be:

(1) To reimburse the landlord for actual damages caused to the premises by the tenant which exceed normal wear and tear, or which cannot be corrected by painting and ordinary cleaning; and/or

(2) To pay the landlord for all rental arrearage due under the rental agreement, including late charges and rental due for premature termination or abandonment of the rental agreement by the tenant; and/or

(3) To reimburse the landlord for all reasonable expenses incurred in renovating and rerenting the premises caused by the premature termination of the rental agreement by the tenants, which includes termination pursuant to § 5314 of this title, providing that reimbursement caused by termination pursuant to § 5314 of this title shall not exceed 1 month's rent.

(b) A landlord may not require a tenant to purchase a surety bond instead of paying a security deposit and a landlord is not required to accept the tenant's purchase of a surety bond instead of paying a security deposit.

(c) A surety shall refund to a tenant any premium or other charge paid by the tenant in connection with a surety bond if, after the tenant purchases a surety bond, the landlord refuses to accept the surety bond or the tenant does not enter into a lease with the landlord.

(d) The amount of a surety bond purchased instead of a security deposit may not exceed 1 month's rent per dwelling unit (except as otherwise permitted under § 5514(a)(3) of this title). If a tenant purchases a surety bond and provides a security deposit in accordance with this section, the aggregate amount of both the surety bond and security deposit may not exceed 1 month's rent per dwelling unit (except as otherwise permitted under § 5514(a)(3) of this title).

(e) Before a tenant purchases a surety bond instead of paying all or part of a security deposit, a surety shall disclose in writing to the tenant that:

(1) Except under the circumstances outlined in subsection (c) of this section, payment for a surety bond is nonrefundable;

(2) The surety bond is not insurance for the tenant;

(3) The surety bond is being purchased to protect the landlord against loss due to nonpayment of rent, breach of lease, or damages caused by the tenant;

(4) The tenant may be required to reimburse the surety for amounts the surety paid to the landlord for any claim made by the landlord against the surety bond;

(5) Even after a tenant purchases a surety bond, the tenant remains responsible for the following:

a. To reimburse the landlord for actual damages caused to the premises by the tenant which exceed normal wear and tear, or which cannot be corrected by painting and ordinary cleaning;

b. To pay the landlord for all rental arrearage due under the rental agreement, including late charges and rental due for premature termination or abandonment of the rental agreement by the tenant; and

c. To reimburse the landlord for all reasonable expenses incurred in renovating and rerenting the premises caused by the premature termination of the rental agreement by the tenants, which includes termination pursuant to § 5314 of this title, providing that reimbursement caused by termination pursuant to § 5314 of this title shall not exceed 1 month's rent.

(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the tenant to pay, as between the landlord and the surety, more than the total amount owed to the landlord under subsection (a) of this section.

(f) Notwithstanding the issuance of a surety bond by the tenant to the landlord, the tenant has the right to pay the amount due under subsection (a) of this section directly to the landlord or to require the landlord to use the tenant's security deposit, if any, before the landlord makes a claim against the surety bond.

(g) If the surety fails to comply with the requirements of this section, the surety forfeits the right to make any claim against the tenant under the surety bond.

(h) Within 20 days after the termination or expiration of any rental agreement, the landlord shall provide the tenant with an itemized list of damages to the premises and the estimated costs of repair for each. Failure to do so shall constitute an acknowledgment by the landlord that no payment for damages is due. Tenant's failure to object to the itemized list of damages within 10 days of the tenant's receipt of the list shall constitute the tenant's agreement on the damages specified by the landlord.

(i) The surety or landlord shall deliver to a tenant a copy of the rental agreement and bond form signed by the tenant at the time of the tenant's purchase of the surety bond.

(j) If a landlord's interest in the leased premises is sold or transferred, the new landlord shall accept the tenant's surety bond and may not require:

(1) During the current lease term, an additional security deposit from the tenant; or

(2) At any lease renewal, a surety bond or a security deposit from the tenant that, in addition to any existing surety bond or security deposit, is in an aggregate amount in excess of 1 months' rent per dwelling unit.

(k) A surety bond issued under this section may only be issued by an admitted carrier licensed by the Delaware Department of Insurance.

79 Del. Laws, c. 57, § 5.;

(a) Except as is otherwise provided in this Code, whenever either party to a rental agreement rightfully elects to terminate, the duties of each party under the rental agreement shall cease.

(b) Whenever the term of the rental agreement expires, as provided herein or by the exercise by the landlord of a right to terminate given the landlord under any section of this Code, if the tenant continues in possession of the premises after the date of termination without the landlord's consent, such tenant shall pay to the landlord a sum not to exceed double the monthly rental under the previous agreement, computed and pro-rated on a daily basis, for each day the tenant remains in possession for any period. In addition, the holdover tenant shall be responsible for any further losses incurred by the landlord as determined by a proceeding before any court of competent jurisdiction.

70 Del. Laws, c. 513, § 3.;

(a) Retaliatory acts are prohibited.

(b) A retaliatory act is an attempt on the part of the landlord to: pursue an action for summary possession or otherwise cause the tenant to quit the rental unit involuntarily; demand an increase in rent from the tenant; or decrease services to which the tenant is entitled after:

(1) The tenant has complained in good faith of a condition in or affecting the rental unit which constitutes a violation of a building, housing, sanitary or other code or ordinance to the landlord or to an authority charged with the enforcement of such code or ordinance; or

(2) A state or local government authority has filed a notice or complaint of such violation of a building, housing, sanitary or other code or ordinance; or

(3) The tenant has organized or is an officer of a tenant's organization; or

(4) The tenant has pursued or is pursuing any legal right or remedy arising from the tenancy.

(c) If the tenant proves that the landlord has instituted any of the actions set forth in subsection (b) of this section within 90 days of any complaints or act as enumerated above, such conduct shall be presumed to be a retaliatory act.

(d) It shall be a defense to a claim that the landlord has committed a retaliatory act if:

(1) The landlord has given appropriate notice under a section of this part which allows a landlord to terminate early;

(2) The landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession of the rental unit for immediate use as landlord's own residence;

(3) The landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession of the rental unit for the purpose of substantially altering, remodeling or demolishing the premises;

(4) The landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession of the rental unit for the purpose of immediately terminating, for at least 6 months, use of the premises as a rental unit;

(5) The complaint or request of the landlord relates to a condition or conditions caused by the lack of ordinary care by the tenant or other person in the household, or on the premises with the tenant's consent;

(6) The rental was, on the date of filing of tenant's complaint or request or on the date of appropriate notice prior to the end of the rental term, in full compliance with all codes, statutes and ordinances;

(7) The landlord has in good faith contracted to sell the property and the contract of sale contains a representation by the purchaser conforming to paragraph (d)(2), (3) or (4) of this section;

(8) The landlord is seeking to recover possession of the rental unit on the basis of a notice to terminate a periodic tenancy, which notice was given to the tenant prior to the complaint or request;

(9) The condition complained of was impossible to remedy prior to the end of the cure period;

(10) The landlord has become liable for a substantial increase in property taxes or a substantial increase in other maintenance or operating costs not associated with the landlord complying with the complaint or request, and such liability occurred not less than 4 months prior to the demand for the increase in rent, and the increase in rent does not exceed the pro-rata portion of the net increase in taxes or cost;

(11) The landlord has completed a substantial capital improvement of the rental unit or the property of which it is a part, not less than 4 months prior to the demand for increased rent, and such increase in rent does not exceed the amount which may be claimed for federal income tax purposes as a straight-line depreciation of the improvement, pro-rated among the rental units benefited by the improvement; or

(12) The landlord can establish, by competent evidence, that the rent now demanded of the tenant does not exceed the rent charged other tenants of similar rental units in the same complex, or the landlord can establish that the increase in rent is not directed at the particular tenant as a result of any retaliatory acts.

(e) Any tenant from whom possession of the rental unit has been sought, or who the landlord has otherwise attempted to involuntarily dispossess, in violation of this section, shall be entitled to recover 3 months' rent or treble the damages sustained by tenant, whichever is greater, together with the cost of the suit but excluding attorneys' fees.

70 Del. Laws, c. 513, § 3.;

Liability of goods levied upon for 1 year's rent:

(1) If goods, chattels or crops of a tenant being upon premises held by the tenant by demise under a rent of money are seized by virtue of any process of execution, attachment or sequestration, the goods and chattels shall be liable for 1 year's rent of the premises in arrear, or growing due, at the time of the seizure, in preference to such process; accordingly the landlord shall be paid such rent, not exceeding 1 year's rent, out of the proceeds of the sale of such goods and chattels, before anything shall be applicable to such process.

(2) The sheriff, or other officer, who sells the goods and chattels of a tenant upon process of execution, attachment or sequestration shall at least 10 days before such sale give written notice of the time and place thereof to the landlord, if residing in the county, and if not, to any known agent of the landlord in the county.

25 Del. C. 1953, § 6501; 58 Del. Laws, c. 472, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 513, § 8.;