TITLE 25

Property

Manufactured Home Communities

CHAPTER 70. Manufactured Homes and Manufactured Home Communities Act

Subchapter II. Landlord-Tenant Relationship

Part I

General Provisions

§ 7006. Requisites for rental of a manufactured home lot.

A landlord shall not rent a lot in a manufactured home community without first delivering to the prospective tenant a copy of the proposed rental agreement, a copy of the rules, standards, and fee schedule of the manufactured home community, a copy of this chapter, and a summary of this chapter written by the Department of Justice and made available to all landlords prior to January 1, 2012, all of which shall be delivered to the prospective tenant at the time the prospective tenant obtains from the landlord an application for tenancy in the community. The prospective tenant shall acknowledge such delivery by signing a receipt.

74 Del. Laws, c. 35, §  278 Del. Laws, c. 20, §  179 Del. Laws, c. 412, §  182 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 9

§ 7007. Manufactured home standards.

(a) Standards for manufactured homes of new tenants. — (1) A landlord shall adopt reasonable written standards regarding the size, age, quality, appearance, construction, materials, and safety features for a manufactured home entering the landlord’s manufactured home community.

(2) A landlord may refuse to allow the placement of a manufactured home on a lot in the manufactured home community if the manufactured home does not comply with the reasonable written standards adopted under paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

(b) Standards for manufactured homes not for sale. — A tenant who is residing in a manufactured home community at the time a standard is promulgated must bring the tenant’s own manufactured home into compliance with the standard within 9 years of the promulgation of the standard or be subject to a summary possession proceeding under Chapter 57 of this title. However, if a change in a manufactured home is necessary to protect life or for other safety reason, the landlord may require that the change be made in less than 9 years. Once work begins on the manufactured home, the necessary change must be completed within a reasonable time.

(c) Standards for manufactured homes for resale or transfer of title and retention in the manufactured home community. — (1) A landlord shall adopt reasonable written standards regarding the resale or transfer of title of a manufactured home intended for retention in the landlord’s manufactured home community. The standards must relate only to appearance, maintenance, safety, and compliance with state and local housing, building, or health codes, and the 1976 HUD Code. A landlord may not issue standards in which the age of a manufactured home is the exclusive or dominant criterion prohibiting the home from being sold and retained in the community after the sale is consummated.

(2) If a manufactured home does not meet a landlord’s written standards for resale or transfer of title and retention in the manufactured home community, a tenant may attempt to bring the home into compliance with the standards. The landlord shall, within 10 days of a written request from the tenant, reevaluate the home in a reasonable and fair manner.

(d) A standard promulgated under subsections (a), (b), or (c) of this section may not be arbitrarily or capriciously enforced. A landlord may choose not to enforce a standard based upon the documented special needs or hardship of a tenant without waiving the right to the later enforcement of the standard as to that tenant or any other tenant.

(e) A landlord may at any time establish or amend a standard promulgated under subsections (a), (b), or (c) of this section, but an established or amended standard promulgated under subsections (b) or (c) of this section is not effective until the date specified in the established or amended standard or 60 days after the landlord delivers to the tenant written notice of the established or amended standard, whichever is later.

(1) Within 10 days of the landlord’s notice of the established or amended standard, a committee, not to exceed 5 members, may be chosen by any method agreed to by the tenants of the manufactured home community.

(2) The committee shall meet with the landlord at a mutually convenient time and place to discuss the established or amended standard.

(3) At the meeting, the landlord shall disclose and explain all material factors and present any supporting documentation for the established or amended standard.

74 Del. Laws, c. 35, §  282 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 10

§ 7008. Provisions of a rental agreement.

(a) All new and renewing rental agreements, including those rental agreements whose original term has expired, for a lot in a manufactured home community must all of the following:

(1) The specific identification and location of the rented lot within the manufactured home community.

(2) The total amount of annual rent for the lot.

(3) The term of the rental agreement.

(4) The terms for payment of rent.

a. Rent shall be in monthly increments, unless the parties agree otherwise under paragraph (a)(4)c. of this section.

b. Rental payments shall be paid by the tenant to the community owner or landlord in equal dollar amounts, or as close thereto as possible, and shall be extended equally, pro rata on a monthly basis, over a calendar year.

c. Any provision in a rental agreement or otherwise which requires rental payments or rental increases to be paid in one lump sum shall be null and void. However, a tenant may request and the community owner or landlord may agree thereto, that rental payment be made in a 1-time lump sum payment by the tenant.

d. The provisions of this section shall be prospective in nature.

e. The monthly rental amount, as aggregated, must not exceed the annual rental amount and such monthly rental amount shall be determined by dividing the total annual into 12 equal payments, to be made on a monthly rental schedule.

f. The amount of rent due each month and the date the monthly rent payment is due.

(5) The amount of any late-payment fee for rent and the conditions under which the fee may be imposed.

(6) A listing of each other fee or charge in a manner that identifies the service to be provided for the fee or charge in accordance with the provisions under § 7020 of this title.

(7) The name and address of the landlord or the person authorized to receive notices and accept service on the landlord’s behalf.

(8) The name and location of the federally insured financial institution where the landlord’s security-deposits account is located.

(9) A services rider which contains a description of each utility, facility, and service provided by the landlord and available to the tenant. The services rider must clearly indicate the financial responsibility of the tenant and the landlord for installation and maintenance of each service, and the related fees or charges for each service.

(10) A rental agreement summary that must contain all of the following:

a. A brief description of the manufactured home.

b. The rented lot.

c. The amount of the annual rent and monthly rental payment.

d. The duration of the rental agreement.

e. The landlord’s mailing address.

f. The name, address, and phone number of the property manager.

g. The tenant’s mailing address.

h. Fees.

i. The amount of the security deposit.

j. [Repealed.]

k. The amount of rent charged for the lot for the 3 most recent past years. If the amounts are unknown after a diligent search or if the lot was not rented, a statement to that effect must be included. The rent history provided pursuant to this paragraph may not be used as a predictor of future rent increases, nor may it be used against the community owner or landlord in any way.

(11) The grounds for termination, as described in subchapters I through V of this chapter.

(12) A specific reference to this subchapter as the law governing the relationship between the landlord and the tenant regarding the lot rental.

(13) Provisions requiring the landlord to do all of the following:

a. Maintain and regrade the lot area where necessary and in good faith, as permitted by law, to prevent the accumulation of standing water thereon and to prevent the detrimental effects of moving water if such efforts do not cause the creation of any new accumulations of standing water or detrimental effects of moving water on another lot area. Areas defined by local, state, or federal regulations as wetlands, flood plains, tidal areas, water recharge areas, or recorded drainage systems are exempt from this paragraph.

b. Maintain the manufactured home community in such a manner as will protect the health and safety of residents, visitors, and guests.

c. Identify each lot area in the community in such a way that each tenant can readily identify that tenant’s own area of responsibility.

d. Maintain the community, including common areas and rental lots not under rent, keeping it free of species of weeds or plant growth which are noxious or detrimental to the health of the residents.

e. Make a good faith effort to exterminate insects, rodents, vermin, or other pests which are dangerous to the health of the residents when an infestation exists in the common areas of the community.

f. Maintain all water, electrical, plumbing, gas, sewer, septic, and other utilities and services provided by the landlord in good working order, repairing these utilities and services within the earlier of 48 hours after written notification of a utility or service problem, or as soon thereafter as is practicable if a repair within 48 hours is not practicable.

g. When applicable, specify whether septic systems are to be maintained by the landlord or by the tenant.

h. Respect the privacy of residents and agree not to enter into, under, or on the manufactured home without the permission of the tenant or an adult resident unless emergency circumstances exist and entry is required to prevent injury to person or damage to property. However, the landlord may, with 72 hours’ notice, inspect any utility connections owned by the landlord or for which the landlord is responsible.

i. Maintain all roads within the community in good condition.

j. Comply with all federal, state, and local building codes.

k. Allow the tenant freedom of choice in the purchase of goods and services other than utilities and related services subject to the limitations in paragraph (b)(13) of this section.

l. Maintain, care for, and remove, if necessary, trees on any lot, including common areas, if the tree is at least 25 feet in height or has a main stem or trunk larger than 6 inches in diameter. Such maintenance, care, and removal means those steps required to maintain a live and healthy tree condition per standard horticultural practices in accordance with the standards as set forth by the American Association of Nurserymen.

1. Nothing contained in paragraph (a)(13)l. of this section requires the landlord to remove leaves, needles, pine cones, sap, pods, seed containers, or any such material normally produced by the tree as part of its life cycle.

2. The landlord must respect the privacy of the tenant and not enter the rented lot to maintain, care for, or remove trees without the permission of the tenant or an adult resident unless emergency circumstances exist and entry is required to prevent injury to person or damage to property.

(14) Provisions requiring the tenant to do all of the following:

a. Keep the exterior of the manufactured home and the rented lot in a clean and sanitary condition.

b. Refrain from storing outside on the lot occupied by the tenant’s manufactured home building materials, furniture, or similar items usually not stored outside a home by a property owner in a residential area.

c. Dispose of all rubbish, garbage, and other waste materials in a clean and sanitary manner.

d. Abide by all reasonable written rules concerning use, occupation, and maintenance of the premises, under § 7018 of this title.

e. Abide by all reasonable written manufactured home standards under § 7007 of this title.

(b) A rental agreement for a lot in a manufactured home community may not contain any of the following:

(1) A provision whereby the tenant authorizes a person to confess judgment on a claim arising out of the rental agreement.

(2) A provision whereby the tenant agrees to waive or to forego any right or remedy provided by law.

(3) A provision whereby the tenant waives the right to a jury trial.

(4) A provision which permits the landlord to take possession of the rented lot or the tenant’s personal property without the benefit of formal legal process.

(5) A provision which permits the landlord to collect a fee for late payment of rent without allowing the tenant to remit the monthly rent in full a minimum of 5 days beyond the date the rent is due.

(6) A provision which permits the landlord to impose for late payment of rent, based on a monthly payment, a fee in excess of the greater of $25 or 5% of the monthly rental payment specified in the rental agreement.

(7) A provision which permits the landlord to charge an amount in excess of 1 month’s rent for a security deposit, unless mutually agreed to, or to retain the security deposit upon termination of the rental agreement when the tenant has paid the rent and any fees or charges in full as of the date of termination and has caused no damage to the landlord’s property.

(8) A provision which permits the landlord to collect a deposit in excess of 1 normal billing period for any governmental mandated charge which is the responsibility of the tenant and would ultimately become the responsibility of the landlord if not paid by the tenant, or to retain the deposit upon termination of the lease if the tenant has paid the mandated charge.

(9) A provision which prohibits the tenant from terminating the rental agreement upon a minimum of 30 days notice when a change in the location of the tenant’s current employment causes the tenant to commute 30 miles farther from the manufactured home community than the tenant’s current commuting distance from the community, or a provision which prohibits a tenant who is a member of the armed forces of the United States from terminating a rental agreement with less than 30 days notice to the landlord if the tenant receives reassignment orders which do not allow at least 30 days notice.

(10) A provision for a waiver of any cause of action against, or indemnification for the benefit of, the landlord by the tenant for any injury or harm caused to the tenant or to residents, guests, or visitors or to the property of the tenant, residents, guests, or visitors resulting from any negligence of the landlord or of a person acting for the landlord in the performance of the landlord’s obligations under the rental agreement.

(11) A provision which denies to the tenant the right to treat a continuing, substantial violation by the landlord of any agreement or duty protecting the health, welfare, or safety of the tenant or residents as a constructive or actual eviction which would otherwise permit the tenant to terminate the rental agreement and to immediately cease payments thereunder; provided, that the landlord fails to correct the condition giving rise to the violation or fails to cease the violation within a reasonable time after written notice is given to the landlord by the tenant.

(12) A provision which prohibits displaying a for-sale sign that advertises the sale of a manufactured home in a manufactured home community; however, the landlord may establish reasonable limitations as to the number of signs and the size and placement of signs.

(13) A provision which unreasonably limits freedom of choice in the tenant’s purchase of goods and services, however, a landlord may do any of the following:

a. Prohibit service vehicles to have access to the manufactured home community in such numbers or with such frequency that a danger is created or that damage beyond ordinary wear and tear is likely to occur to the infrastructure of the community.

b. Restrict trash collection to a single provider.

c. Select shared utilities.

(14) A provision which permits the recovery of attorneys’ fees by either party in a suit, action, or proceeding arising from the tenancy.

(15) A provision which violates any federal, state, or local law.

(16) A provision which requires the tenant do any of the following:

a. Sell or transfer a manufactured home to the landlord.

b. Buy a manufactured home from the landlord.

c. Sell a manufactured home through the services of the landlord.

(17) A provision which requires the tenant to provide the landlord with a key to the tenant’s manufactured home or any appurtenances thereto.

(18) A provision which regulates the use of satellite dishes or television antennas that conflicts with federal law or FCC regulations.

(19) A provision which requires the tenant to accept automatic deduction of rent payments from the tenant’s checking or other account.

(20) A provision which grants the landlord an option or right of first refusal to purchase the tenant’s manufactured home.

(21) A provision which limits to a liquidated sum the recovery to which the tenant otherwise would be entitled in an action to recover damages for a breach by the landlord in the performance of the landlord’s obligations under the rental agreement.

(c) If a court finds that a tenant’s rental agreement contains a provision in violation of subsection (b) of this section, all of the following apply:

(1) The landlord shall remove the provision and provide all affected tenants by regular first-class mail with proof of mailing or by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the address of the tenants’ rented lots, with either an amended rental agreement or corrective addendum to the rental agreement within 30 days of the exhaustion of all appeals, if any are taken.

(2) The landlord is liable to the tenant for actual damages suffered by the tenant as a result of the violation, plus court costs, if any.

(d) If a court finds that a landlord has wilfully included in the rental agreement a provision in violation of subsection (b) of this section, the tenant is entitled to recover 3 months’ rent in addition to an award under subsection (c) of this section.

(e) A rental agreement must be executed before a tenant occupies a lot.

(f) A landlord may not offer a lot for rent in a manufactured home community unless the lot conforms to the applicable state, county, or municipal statutes, ordinance, or regulations under which the manufactured home community was created, or under which the manufactured home community currently and lawfully exists.

(g) A violation of subsection (f) of this section is punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000.

(h) If a court of competent jurisdiction finds that a tenant’s rental agreement fails to contain a provision required by subsection (a) of this section, all of the following apply:

(1) The landlord shall include the provision and provide all affected tenants by regular first-class mail with proof of mailing or by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the address of the tenants’ rented lots, with either an amended rental agreement or corrective addendum to the rental agreement within 30 days of the exhaustion of all appeals, if any are taken.

(2) The landlord is liable to the tenant for actual damages suffered by the tenant as a result of the violation, plus court costs, if any.

(i) If a court finds that a landlord has wilfully failed to include in the rental agreement a provision required by subsection (a) of this section, the tenant is entitled to recover 3 months’ rent in addition to an award under subsection (h) of this section.

(j) Both the landlord and tenant shall comply with the provisions of the rental agreement. The remedies available to a landlord or a tenant set forth in this chapter are in addition to those remedies available to a landlord or a tenant in a court of competent jurisdiction for the failure by the landlord or the tenant to comply with any provision of a rental agreement.

25 Del. C. 1953, §§  7004, 7006;  58 Del. Laws, c. 28658 Del. Laws, c. 472, §  465 Del. Laws, c. 446, §  166 Del. Laws, c. 268, §  170 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  174 Del. Laws, c. 35, §  275 Del. Laws, c. 375, §  175 Del. Laws, c. 382, §§  3-577 Del. Laws, c. 53, §  177 Del. Laws, c. 258, §§  2, 377 Del. Laws, c. 259, §  182 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 11

§ 7009. Term of rental agreement; renewal of rental agreement [For application of this section, see 79 Del. Laws, c. 304, § 7].

(a) The duration of a rental agreement for a lot in a manufactured home community is 1 year unless a shorter or longer duration is mutually agreed upon by the parties and is designated in writing within the rental agreement.

(b) The rental agreement automatically renews unless either of the following occur:

(1) The tenant notifies the landlord in writing, a minimum of 60 days prior to the expiration of the rental agreement, that the tenant does not intend to renew it, or a shorter or longer period of time as is mutually agreed upon by the parties.

(2) The landlord notifies the tenant in writing, a minimum of 90 days prior to the expiration of the rental agreement, that the agreement will not be renewed for due cause under § 7016 or § 7024 of this title.

(c) If the rental agreement is not terminated under subsection (b) of this section, the rental agreement renews for the same duration and with the same terms, conditions, and provisions as the original agreement, with the following exceptions:

(1) All parties mutually agree, in writing, to permitted modifications.

(2) Rent modified under subchapter VI of this title.

25 Del. C. 1953, §  7009;  58 Del. Laws, c. 28658 Del. Laws, c. 472, §  465 Del. Laws, c. 446, §  174 Del. Laws, c. 35, §  279 Del. Laws, c. 63, §  482 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 12

§ 7010. Rent — Prohibited lump sum payments: acceptance of rent.

(a) Rental payments must be paid by the tenant to the community owner or landlord in equal dollar amounts, or as close thereto as possible, and must be extended equally, pro rata, over a calendar year. Any provision in a rental agreement, or otherwise, that requires rental payments or rental increases to be paid in 1 lump sum is void. However, a tenant may request and the community owner or landlord may agree that rental payment be made in a 1-time lump sum, semi-annual, or quarterly payment made by the tenant; nor does this subsection prevent a community owner or landlord from offering discounts as incentives to homeowners to pay annually, semi-annually, or quarterly, provided it is made clear that the homeowners are under no obligation to pay in any way except monthly.

(b) If a community owner or landlord accepts a cash payment for rent, the community owner or landlord shall, within 3 days, give the tenant a receipt for that payment. The community owner or landlord must maintain a record of all cash receipts for rent for 3 years.

77 Del. Laws, c. 53, §  282 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 13

§ 7011. Holdover remedies after rental agreement terminates, expires, or is not renewed.

When a court finds that a landlord is entitled to possession of a rented lot in a manufactured home community because of a holdover by a tenant, the court may award damages as follows:

(1) If the holdover was in bad faith, a payment of double the periodic rent under the rental agreement. Double-rent is computed and prorated for each day the tenant remained in or remains in possession of the lot after the date on which the rental agreement terminated, expired, or was not renewed.

(2) If a holdover is determined to be in good faith, the landlord is entitled to a payment of the periodic rent under the rental agreement, computed and prorated for each day the tenant remained in or remains in possession of the lot after the date on which the rental agreement terminated, expired, or was not renewed.

25 Del. C. 1953, §  7012;  58 Del. Laws, c. 28658 Del. Laws, c. 472, §  465 Del. Laws, c. 446, §  174 Del. Laws, c. 35, §  282 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 14

§ 7012. Effect of unsigned rental agreement.

(a) If the landlord does not sign a written rental agreement which has been signed and tendered to the landlord by the tenant, acceptance of rent from the tenant without reservation by the landlord gives to the rental agreement the same effect as if it had been signed by the landlord.

(b) If the tenant does not sign a rental agreement which has been signed and tendered to the tenant by the landlord, acceptance of possession of the rented lot and payment of rent without reservation give to the rental agreement the same effect as if it had been signed by the tenant.

(c) Even if a rental agreement which is given effect by the operation of this section provides for a term longer than 1 year, it operates to create only a 1-year term.

25 Del. C. 1953, §  7008;  58 Del. Laws, c. 28658 Del. Laws, c. 472, §  465 Del. Laws, c. 446, §  174 Del. Laws, c. 35, §  274 Del. Laws, c. 147, §  1082 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 15

§ 7013. Manufactured home transfer; rented lot transfer.

(a) This section governs the sale, conveyance, or transfer of title of a manufactured home which the buyer or transferee intends to retain in the manufactured home community. This section further extends to the landlord the right to purchase any manufactured home in the community for 1% higher than the contract price at which the tenant has agreed to sell the home to a third party.

(b) (1) A rental agreement for a lot in a manufactured home community is only transferable from an individual tenant, or heir, who owns the manufactured home on the lot under the rental agreement to a transferee to whom the tenant intends to sell or transfer title to the home, if all of the following apply:

a. The home qualifies for retention in the manufactured home community according to written standards promulgated under § 7007 of this title. The community owner may conduct an exterior inspection of the home to determine if it qualifies for retention consistent with the written standards.

b. After a review of the proposed rental agreement transferee’s written application, the landlord accepts the proposed rental agreement transferee as a tenant.

(2) Acceptance or rejection of a proposed rental agreement transferee under this subsection must be on the same basis by which the landlord accepts or rejects any prospective tenant.

(3) A landlord must give the rejected proposed rental agreement transferee a written statement that explains the specific eligibility requirement not satisfied and the grounds for the rejection.

(4) Within 15 days of the receipt of a completed application package, including the applicable fee, under subsection (c) of this section, a landlord must provide written notice, to the tenant under the lot rental agreement and the proposed rental agreement transferee, that states whether the proposed rental agreement transferee is accepted or rejected. If the application is rejected, the notice must comply with paragraph (b)(3) of this section.

(c) A tenant who owns a manufactured home in a manufactured home community, and plans to sell, convey, or transfer title to the home to a buyer or transferee who intends to retain the home in the manufactured home community, must notify the landlord in writing 3 weeks prior to the scheduled sale, conveyance, or transfer of title of the manufactured home and the transfer of the lot rental agreement, giving the name and address of the prospective buyer or transferee, along with a written statement or a proposed bill of sale clearly indicating the agreed sale price and terms. Failure on the part of a tenant to so notify the landlord is grounds for termination by the landlord of the tenant and landlord’s rental agreement.

(1) The landlord has the right to purchase the home at a price of 1% higher than the contract price and under the same terms at which the tenant has agreed to sell the home to a third party.

(2) If the landlord wishes to purchase the home at 1% higher than the contract price and under the same terms at which the tenant has agreed to sell the home to a third party, the tenant must sell the home to the landlord.

(3) Upon receipt of the name and address of the prospective buyer or transferee and the agreed sale price and terms, the landlord shall notify the tenant in writing within 5 business days that the landlord is exercising the right to purchase the home. If the landlord does not notify the tenant in writing under § 7015 of this title within 5 business days that the landlord is exercising the right to purchase the home, the right of the landlord to purchase the home expires.

(4) The landlord’s notice must be sent to the tenant under § 7015 of this title. The notice must clearly state that the price and terms are acceptable, and must set a settlement date within 14 days.

(5) The right of the landlord to purchase a tenant’s home does not extend to the following circumstances:

a. A bank, mortgage company, or any other mortgagee has foreclosed on the home.

b. The sale, transfer, or conveyance of the home is to a family member of the homeowner or to a trust, the beneficiaries of which are family members of the homeowner on the modified Table of Consanguinity; or the sale, transfer, or conveyance is to a family member of the homeowner on the modified Table of Consanguinity, under § 7014 of this title, who is included within the line of intestate succession if the homeowner dies intestate.

c. The sale, transfer, or conveyance of the home is between joint tenants or tenants-in-common.

d. The transfer or conveyance is by gift, devise, or operation of law.

(6) A landlord may not engage in any act or activity with the intention of placing undue influence or undue pressure on a tenant to sell the tenant’s home to the landlord.

a. A tenant may file an action in a court of competent jurisdiction for actual damages sustained when the tenant reasonably believes that the landlord wilfully has done any of the following:

1. Exerted undue influence or undue pressure on the tenant to sell the tenant’s home to the landlord.

2. Exerted undue influence or undue pressure on a former tenant which resulted in the sale of the former tenant’s home to the landlord.

3. Did not evaluate the home in a reasonable and fair manner when applying written standards for resale or transfer of the manufactured home in the community under § 7007(c) of this title.

b. It is an affirmative defense to a claim that a landlord engaged in an act or activity with the intention of placing undue influence or undue pressure on a tenant or former tenant by initiating a rent increase, if the landlord provides proof that the increased rent is within the range of market lot rents.

c. If a court finds that a landlord has wilfully engaged in any of the acts enumerated in paragraph (c)(6)a. of this section, the landlord is liable to the tenant or former tenant for 3 times the actual damages sustained as a result of the landlord’s acts and reasonable court costs.

d. If a finds that a landlord has wilfully engaged in an act or activity with the intention of placing undue influence or undue pressure on a current or former tenant in order to purchase the current or former tenant’s home, the landlord may not exercise that landlord’s own right to buy any tenant’s home for 365 days. Each offense is subject to a 365-day penalty.

(d) If a landlord accepts a proposed rental agreement transferee, the transfer of an existing rental agreement must be completed using 1 of the following 2 methods at the exclusive discretion of the individual tenant, or heir, under the lot rental agreement for the manufactured home, and the proposed rental agreement transferee and landlord are bound by that selection:

(1) The tenant proposing to transfer the existing lot rental agreement agrees to an assignment of the lot rental agreement to an approved rental agreement transferee, with all of the existing obligations and benefits, including the rental amount under the existing rental agreement, for the remaining term of the agreement.

a. If the method under paragraph (d)(1) of this section is selected, the existing rental agreement between the existing tenant and the landlord is simultaneously assigned by the existing tenant and assumed by the approved rental agreement transferee and the approved rental agreement transferee becomes the new tenant.

b. Upon the sale, assignment, and assumption, the landlord must amend the existing lot rental agreement and list the approved rental agreement transferee as the new tenant.

(2) The tenant who is selling the manufactured home chooses to terminate the existing lot rental agreement. The buyer must then negotiate the terms of and enter into a new rental agreement for a full term at a rental amount set by the landlord. If this method is selected, the existing rental agreement is terminated upon the execution of the new rental agreement.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section and § 7007 of this title, written standards which were in effect on January 1, 2003, relating to the sale or transfer of title of a manufactured home for retention in a manufactured home community will apply for a sale or transfer of title during 2003. For a sale or transfer on January 1, 2004, and thereafter, standards promulgated under § 7007 of this title apply. In addition, a buyer or transferee who becomes a tenant in a manufactured home community has 3 years from the date of the resale or transfer to complete changes to the buyer or transferee’s manufactured home required under the written standards of the manufactured home community. However, if the changes are necessary to protect life or for other safety reasons, the landlord may require that changes be made in less than 3 years. Further, if a seller-tenant does not make necessary changes to meet the standards prior to sale, the buyer or transferee shall deposit 120% of the estimated cost of the changes necessary to meet the standards into an account jointly controlled by the landlord and the buyer or transferee. Once work begins on the manufactured home, the necessary changes must be completed within a reasonable time.

(f) A buyer or transferee who does not complete required changes under subsection (e) of this section is subject to a summary possession proceeding pursuant to Chapter 57 of this title.

25 Del. C. 1953, §  7009;  58 Del. Laws, c. 28658 Del. Laws, c. 472, §  465 Del. Laws, c. 446, §  170 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  174 Del. Laws, c. 35, §  276 Del. Laws, c. 336, §§  3, 481 Del. Laws, c. 422, § 182 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 16

§ 7014. Modified Table of Consanguinity.

Degrees of relationship of family members designated by the number in the box with the relationship in the following table:

Table of Consanguinity

82 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 17

§ 7015. Delivery of written notice.

(a) Unless otherwise specified, notice required by this chapter may be served personally upon a tenant of a manufactured home community by leaving a copy of the notice at the tenant’s dwelling place with an adult person who resides therein. Notice required under subchapters I through V of this chapter may be served personally upon a landlord or upon any other person in the employ of the landlord whose responsibility is to accept such service. If a landlord is a corporation, firm, unincorporated association, or other artificial entity, service of the notice may be made by leaving a copy of the notice at its office or place of business with an agent authorized to accept such notice or authorized by law to receive service of process. Service of notice or process may be obtained through personal service by a special process-server appointed by the court.

(b) In lieu of personal service, notice required under subchapters I through V of this chapter may be sent by regular first class mail with proof of mailing or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the tenant at the address of the tenant’s rented lot, or at an alternative address which the tenant provided in writing to the landlord. Notice required under subchapters I through V of this chapter may be sent by regular first class mail with proof of mailing or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the landlord at the landlord’s last known dwelling place or at the landlord’s last known office or place of business. Proof of mailing regular first class mail on U.S. Postal Service Form 3817 or its successor, or a return receipt, signed or unsigned, for certified mail constitutes valid service of any notice required under subchapters I through V of this chapter.

65 Del. Laws, c. 446, §  166 Del. Laws, c. 268, §  174 Del. Laws, c. 35, §  282 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 18

Part II

Tenant Obligations and Landlord Remedies.

§ 7016. Termination or nonrenewal of rental agreement by landlord; due cause: noncompliance.

(a) A landlord may terminate a rental agreement with a tenant immediately upon written notice if the tenant does not comply with the terms of the rental agreement or the requirements of this subchapter and the noncompliance is the result of any of the following:

(1) Clear and convincing evidence that conduct of the tenant or of a resident of the tenant’s manufactured home caused, is causing, or threatens to cause, immediate and irreparable harm to any person or property in the manufactured home community.

(2) Conviction of a crime or adjudication of delinquency committed by a tenant or by a resident of the tenant’s manufactured home, the nature of which at the time of the crime or act of delinquency caused immediate and irreparable harm to any person or property in the manufactured home community.

(3) Clear and convincing evidence of a material misrepresentation on the tenant’s application to rent a lot in the manufactured home community which, if the truth were known, would have resulted in the denial of the application.

(4) The failure of the tenant to provide proper notification to the landlord prior to selling or transferring to a buyer or transferee title of a manufactured home which the buyer or transferee intends to retain in the manufactured home community under § 7013(c) of this title.

(5) The failure of a tenant to bring his or her manufactured home into compliance with written standards under § 7007(b) or § 7013(e) of this title.

(b) A landlord may terminate a rental agreement with a tenant by providing prior written notice as follows:

(1) If the tenant’s noncompliance with the terms of the rental agreement or the requirements of this subchapter involves conduct of the tenant, of a resident of the tenant’s manufactured home, or of a guest or visitor of the tenant or resident which results in the disruption of the rights of others entitled to the quiet enjoyment of the premises, the landlord shall notify the tenant in writing to immediately cause the conduct to cease and not allow its repetition. The notice must specify the conduct which formed the basis for the notice and notify the tenant that if substantially the same conduct recurs within 6 months, whether or not the 6-month period falls within 1 lease period or overlaps 2 lease periods, the landlord may immediately terminate the rental agreement and bring an action for summary possession.

(2) If the noncompliance is based upon a condition on or of the premises of the manufactured home community, the landlord shall notify the tenant in writing, specifying the condition constituting the noncompliance and allowing the tenant 12 days from the date of mailing or personal service to remedy the noncompliance. If the tenant remains in noncompliance at the expiration of the 12-day period, whether or not the 12-day period falls within 1 lease period or overlaps 2 lease periods, the landlord may immediately terminate the rental agreement and bring an action for summary possession.

(3) If rent, which includes late fees for rent, other fees and charges, including utility charges, and the Trust Funds assessment, is not received by the landlord by the 5th day after the due date or during the grace period stated in the rental agreement, whichever is longer, the landlord shall notify the tenant in writing, demanding payment and stating that unless the required payment is made within 7 days from the date of mailing or personal service, the rental agreement will be terminated. If the tenant remains in default after the 7-day period, whether or not the 7-day period falls within 1 lease period or overlaps 2 lease periods, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and bring an action to recover the rent due and for summary possession.

(c) Whether or not repeated instances of noncompliance fall within 1 lease period or overlap 2 or more lease periods, if there are repeated instances of noncompliance by the tenant with a provision of the rental agreement, with any rule or regulation material to the rental agreement, or with a provision of subchapters I through V of this chapter, even when corrected by the tenant, a landlord may immediately terminate the rental agreement and bring an action for summary possession and any moneys due, or may refuse to renew the agreement under § 7009 of this title. “Repeated instances of noncompliance” include any of the following:

(1) Failure of the tenant on 4 separate occasions within 12 consecutive payment periods, to make a rent payment by the fifth day after the due date or during the grace period stated in the rental agreement, whichever is longer, resulting in notice being sent to the tenant under paragraph (b)(3) of this section.

(2) Failure of the tenant on 2 separate occasions within 12 consecutive payment periods to reimburse a landlord within 7 days of notice from the landlord to the tenant that the landlord paid the tenant’s utility charge.

(3) Tender by the tenant on 2 separate occasions within 12 consecutive payment periods of a bank draft or check which is dishonored by a financial institution for any reason, except for a mistake by the financial institution.

(4) Four separate incidents of noncompliance as described in paragraph (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section within a 12-month period.

(5) Any combination of 4 separate incidents of noncompliance as described in any subdivision of this subsection within a 12-month period.

(d) A landlord may not terminate a rental agreement or refuse to renew a rental agreement under paragraph (c)(1) of this section unless the landlord notifies the tenant after the third separate occasion within 12 consecutive payment periods that a subsequent incident of noncompliance under paragraph (c)(1) of this section may result in either the immediate termination of the rental agreement or the nonrenewal of the rental agreement at its expiration.

(e) In an action for summary possession based on nonpayment of rent, the tenant is entitled to raise by defense or counterclaim any claim against the landlord that is related to the rental of the lot.

(f) A notice sent to a tenant advising the tenant that the rental agreement is terminated or will be terminated or will not be renewed must specify the reasons for such action in sufficient detail so that the dates, places, and circumstances concerning the termination are clear. Mere reference to or recital of the language of this section is not sufficient.

(g) A landlord’s right to terminate a rental agreement prior to the expiration of the agreement or right to refuse to renew at the expiration of the agreement does not arise until the landlord has complied with the applicable notice provision upon which the landlord is relying for the termination or non-renewal of the agreement.

74 Del. Laws, c. 35, §  282 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 20

§ 7017. Security deposits; pet security deposits.

(a) (1) A landlord may require a tenant to pay a security deposit if provided for in the rental agreement.

(2) A landlord may not require a tenant to pay a security deposit in an amount in excess of 1 month’s rent unless the tenant agrees to do so and the full amount is specified in the rental agreement.

(b) (1) Every security deposit paid to a landlord must be placed by the landlord in an escrow bank account in a federally-insured financial institution with an office that accepts deposits within the State. The account must be designated as a security-deposits account and may not be used by the landlord for any purposes other than those described under subsection (c) of this section. The landlord shall disclose in the rental agreement the location of the security deposit account. If the landlord changes the location of the security deposit account, the landlord shall notify each tenant of the new location within 30 days of the change. Security deposit principal must be held and administered for the benefit of the tenant, and the tenant’s claim to such money has priority over that of any creditor of the landlord, including a trustee in bankruptcy, even if such money is commingled.

(2) A security deposit paid pursuant to a new rental agreement signed on or after August 25, 2003, must be immediately escrowed under paragraph (b)(1) of this section. A security deposit paid as provided for in an existing rental agreement signed prior to August 25, 2003, must be escrowed under paragraph (b)(1) of this section on or before June 30, 2005.

(c) A security deposit may be used for any of the following purposes:

(1) To reimburse a landlord for actual damages which exceed normal wear and tear to the landlord’s property and which were caused by the tenant.

(2) To pay a landlord for all rent, rent arrearage, fees, charges, Trust Fund assessments, and other moneys due and owed to the landlord by the tenant.

(3) To reimburse a landlord for all reasonable expenses incurred in renovating and re-renting the landlord’s property caused by the premature termination of the rental agreement by the tenant, except for termination under § 7021 of this title.

(d) Within 20 days after the expiration or termination of a rental agreement, the landlord shall provide the tenant with an itemized list of damages, if any, to the landlord’s property and the estimated cost of repair for each item. The landlord shall tender payment for the difference between the security deposit and the cost for repair of damage to the landlord’s property. Failure to do so constitutes an acknowledgment by the landlord that no payment for repair of damage is due. A tenant’s acceptance of a payment submitted with an itemized list of damages constitutes agreement on the damages as specified by the landlord, unless the tenant objects in writing within 10 days of receipt of the landlord’s tender of payment to the amount withheld by the landlord.

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

(f) Penalties. — (1) Failure by a landlord to remit to a tenant the security deposit or the difference between the security deposit and the cost for repair of damage within 20 days from the expiration or termination of the rental agreement entitles 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 a landlord to deposit a security deposit in a federally-insured financial institution with an office that accepts deposits within the State results in forfeiture of the security deposit by the landlord to the tenant. Failure by a landlord to return the full security deposit to a tenant under this paragraph within 20 days from the effective date of forfeiture entitles the tenant to double the amount of the security deposit.

(g) All communications and notices required under this section must be directed to a landlord at the address specified in the rental agreement and to a tenant at an address specified in the rental agreement or at a forwarding address, if a forwarding address was provided to the landlord in writing by the tenant. Failure by a tenant to provide a forwarding address relieves the landlord of the responsibility to give notice pursuant to this section and removes the landlord’s liability for double the amount of the security deposit. However, the landlord continues to be liable to the tenant for any unused portion of the security deposit if, within 1 year from the expiration or termination of the rental agreement, the tenant makes a claim in writing to the landlord.

(h) Pet deposits. — (1) A landlord may require a tenant to pay a pet security deposit for each pet if provided for in the rental agreement. Damage to a landlord’s property caused by a tenant’s pet must first be deducted from the pet security deposit. If the pet deposit is insufficient, pet damages may be deducted from the tenant’s nonpet security deposit.

(2) If a nonpet security deposit is insufficient to cover nonpet damages under subsection (c) of this section, damages may be deducted from the pet security deposit even if such damages were not caused by a pet. A pet security deposit is a type of security deposit and is subject to subsections (b), (d), (e), (f), and (g) of this section.

(3) A landlord may not require a tenant to pay a pet security deposit in an amount in excess of 1 month’s rent, unless the tenant agrees to do so and the full amount is specified in the rental agreement.

(4) A landlord may not require a pet security deposit from a tenant if the pet is a certified and trained support animal for a person with a disability who is a resident of a manufactured home on a rented lot.

(5) Notwithstanding legal ownership of a pet, for purposes of this subchapter, a pet that resides in a manufactured home, or on the lot where the home is located in a manufactured home community, is deemed owned and controlled by a tenant who resides in the manufactured home.

(i) If a rental agreement so specifies, a landlord may increase a security deposit commensurate with an increase in rent. If an increase of the security deposit exceeds 10 percent of the monthly rent, the tenant may choose to pay the increase in the security deposit prorated over the term of the rental agreement but not to exceed 12 months, except in the case of a month-to-month tenancy, in which case payment of the increase may not be prorated over a period in excess of 4 months unless mutually agreed to by the landlord and tenant.

25 Del. C. 1953, §  7013;  58 Del. Laws, c. 28658 Del. Laws, c. 472, §  465 Del. Laws, c. 446, §  174 Del. Laws, c. 35, §  274 Del. Laws, c. 147, §  1182 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 21

§ 7018. Rules.

(a) A landlord may promulgate reasonable written rules concerning the occupancy and use of the premises and the use of the landlord’s property, and concerning the behavior of manufactured home community tenants, residents, guests, and visitors, provided that the rules further any of the following purposes:

(1) Promoting the health, safety, or welfare of tenants, residents, guests, or visitors.

(2) Promoting the residents’ quiet enjoyment.

(3) Preserving the property values of tenants or the landlord.

(4) Promoting the orderly and efficient operation of the manufactured home community.

(5) Preserving the tenants’ or landlords’ property from abuse.

(b) A landlord may not arbitrarily or capriciously enforce a rule. A landlord may choose not to enforce a rule based upon the documented special needs or hardship of a tenant or resident without waiving the right to the later enforcement of the rule as to that tenant or resident or any other tenant or resident.

(c) A landlord may amend an existing rule at any time, but the amended rule is not effective until the date specified in the amended rule or 60 days after the landlord delivers to the tenant written notice of the amended rule, whichever is later.

(1) Within 10 days of the landlord’s notice of an amended rule, a committee, not to exceed 5 members, may be chosen by any method agreed to by the tenants of the manufactured home community.

(2) The committee shall meet with the landlord at a mutually convenient time and place to discuss the amended rule.

(3) At the meeting, the landlord shall disclose and explain all material factors and present any supporting documentation for the amended rule.

65 Del. Laws, c. 446, §  174 Del. Laws, c. 35, §  282 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 22

§ 7019. Retaliatory acts prohibited.

(a) Retaliatory acts are prohibited.

(b) A retaliatory act is an attempted or completed act on the part of a landlord to pursue an action against a tenant for summary possession, to terminate a tenant’s rental agreement, to cause a tenant to move involuntarily from a rented lot in the manufactured home community, or to decrease services to which a tenant is entitled under a rental agreement, after any of the following occur:

(1) The tenant has complained in good faith to either the landlord or to an enforcement authority about a condition affecting the premises of the manufactured home community which constitutes a violation under subchapters I through V of this chapter or a violation of a housing, health, building, sanitation, or other applicable statute or regulation.

(2) An enforcement authority has instituted an enforcement action based on a complaint by the tenant for a violation under subchapters I through V of this chapter or a violation of a housing, health, building, sanitation, or other applicable statute or regulation with respect to the premises.

(3) The tenant has formed or participated in a manufactured home tenants’ organization or association.

(4) The tenant has filed a legal action against the landlord or the landlord’s agent for any reason.

(c) If a tenant proves that a landlord attempted to commit or committed an act under subsection (b) of this section within 90 days of the tenant’s action under paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(4) of this section, the landlord’s act is presumed to be a retaliatory act.

(d) Affirmative defenses to a claim that a landlord attempted to commit or committed a retaliatory act include proof by a preponderance of the evidence of any of the following:

(1) The landlord had due cause for termination of the rental agreement under subchapters I through V of this chapter and gave the required notice to the tenant.

(2) The tenant’s legal action against the landlord relates to a condition caused by the lack of ordinary care by the tenant or by a resident of the tenant’s manufactured home or by a guest or visitor on the premises with the tenant’s or resident’s consent.

(3) The rented lot was in substantial compliance with all applicable statutes and regulations on the date of the filing of the tenant’s legal action against the landlord.

(4) The landlord could not have reasonably remedied the condition complained of by the tenant by the date of the filing of the tenant’s legal action against the landlord.

(e) A tenant subjected to a retaliatory act set forth in subsection (b) of this section is entitled to recover the greater of 3 months’ rent, or 3 times the damages sustained by the resident, in addition to the court costs of the legal action.

25 Del. C. 1953, §  7009;  58 Del. Laws, c. 28658 Del. Laws, c. 472, §  465 Del. Laws, c. 446, §  166 Del. Laws, c. 268, §  169 Del. Laws, c. 291, §  98(c)70 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  174 Del. Laws, c. 35, §  282 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 23

Part III

Landlord Obligations and Tenant Remedies

§ 7020. Fees; services; utility rates.

(a) A “fee” or “charge” is a monetary obligation, other than lot rent, designated in a fee schedule pursuant to subsection (b) of this section and assessed by a landlord to a tenant for a service furnished to the tenant, or for an expense incurred as a direct result of the tenant’s use of the premises or of the tenant’s acts or omissions. A fee or charge may be considered as rent for purposes of termination of a rental agreement, summary possession proceedings, or for other purposes if specified in this title.

(b) A landlord must clearly disclose all fees in a fee schedule attached to each rental agreement.

(c) A landlord may assess a fee if the fee relates to a service furnished to a tenant or to an expense incurred as a direct result of the tenant’s use of the premises. However, a fee that is assessed due to the tenant’s failure to perform a duty arising under the rental agreement may be assessed only after the landlord notifies the tenant of the failure and allows the tenant 5 days after notification to remedy or correct the failure to perform. A tenant’s failure to pay the fee within 5 days of notification is a basis for termination of the rental agreement under § 7016 of this title.

(d) A prospective tenant in a manufactured home community may be required to pay an application fee to be used by the landlord to determine the prospective tenant’s credit worthiness. A landlord may not charge an application fee that exceeds the greater of 10% of the monthly lot rent or $50. A landlord shall, upon receipt of any money paid as an application fee, furnish a receipt to the prospective tenant for the full amount paid by the prospective tenant, and shall maintain, for a period of at least 2 years, complete records of all application fees charged and the amount received for each fee. If a landlord unlawfully demands or charges more than the allowable application fee, the prospective tenant is entitled to damages equal to double the amount demanded or charged as an application fee by the landlord.

(e) If a landlord pays a tenant’s utility charge to a third party due to the tenant’s failure to pay the utility charge, the charge is considered a pass-through utility charge. In addition to any late charge paid by the landlord to the third party, the landlord may assess a third-party-payment fee not to exceed the greater of 5% of the total payment by the landlord to the third party or $25.

(f) A landlord may assess a late-payment fee for the late payment of rent if all of the following apply:

(1) The rent is not paid within 5 days after the due date specified in the rental agreement.

(2) The rental agreement provides for a late-payment fee.

(g) A landlord may assess an optional-user fee for the use of designated facilities or services. Failure of a tenant to pay an optional-user fee for requested use of a facility or service may not be the basis for termination of the rental agreement. However, continued use of the requested facility or service without paying the optional-user fee may result in termination of the rental agreement under § 7016 of this title. Optional-user fees include fees for the use of a swimming pool, marine facilities, and tennis courts.

(h) The amount of an optional-user fee must be reasonably related to the cost of providing the facility or service upon which the fee is based.

(i) A fee may not be increased more than once during any 12-month period. A utility rate may be adjusted as provided in subsection (j) of this section. A landlord shall notify a tenant in writing of any fee increase or additional fee at least 60 days prior to the effective date of the increase or addition. A fee increase or an additional fee is unenforceable unless proper written notice has been given to the tenant.

(j) A landlord may charge a tenant for utilities provided by the landlord to the tenant under the terms of the rental agreement. The rate charged by a landlord for a utility may not exceed the utility’s retail consumer rate, and the rate charged by the landlord may be adjusted without notice on a monthly basis.

(k) A landlord may not assess an entrance or exit fee. An entrance fee is any fee assessed by a landlord to a tenant prior to the tenant’s occupancy of a rented lot, except for an application fee or a security deposit, or for those fees or charges for utilities, for direct services actually rendered, or for the use of facilities, all of which must be identified and described in the rental agreement or in a separate notice under § 7008 of this title. An exit fee is a fee assessed by a landlord to a tenant immediately prior to or after the tenant’s final departure from the rented lot, except for those fees or charges for direct services actually rendered by the landlord which would not otherwise be provided without charge in the normal course of business.

(l) If a utility, facility, or service previously provided pursuant to the rental agreement is discontinued, the landlord shall adjust the tenant’s rent, charge, or fee payment by deducting the landlord’s direct operating costs of providing the discontinued utility, facility, or service. An adjustment is determined as follows:

(1) No less than 60 days prior to the discontinuance of the utility, facility, or service, the landlord shall notify all affected tenants of the discontinuance, and include in the notification an explanation of the discontinuance and the reduction in the direct operating cost, if any, associated with the discontinuance.

(2) Within 10 days after the landlord’s notice pursuant to paragraph (l)(1) of this section, the tenants may form a committee not to exceed 5 members. The committee and the landlord shall meet together at a mutually convenient time and place to discuss the discontinuance of the utility, facility, or service.

(3) At the meeting, the landlord shall disclose and explain all material factors for the proposed discontinuation of the utility, facility, or service, together with supporting documentation. The reduction in the direct operating cost of the utility, facility, or service, as determined by an independent public accountant or certified public accountant paid for by the landlord, is binding upon both the landlord and the tenants.

(m) Notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter, where there exists a community center available for use by community tenants, the community owner or landlord shall not refuse to make such community center available to a tenant’s association or to a group of tenants, whose purpose of such use is to address matters affecting or relating to such tenants’ rights, obligations, or privileges in, about, or relating to the manufactured home community. The use of the community center for such meetings shall be at no additional charge to the tenants as imposed for ordinary use by tenants and the landlord shall honor the request for use of the community center by the tenants’ association or group of tenants within 14 days after a request to the landlord has been made. The tenants shall abide by all existing rules and regulations established for the community center.

65 Del. Laws, c. 446, §  174 Del. Laws, c. 35, §  277 Del. Laws, c. 390, §  182 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 25

§ 7021. Termination of rental agreement by tenant during first month of occupancy; during first 18 months of occupancy.

(a) If a landlord fails to substantially comply with the provisions of a rental agreement, or if there is a material noncompliance with this subchapter or any statute, ordinance, or regulation governing the landlord’s maintenance or operation of the manufactured home community, a tenant may, upon written notice to the landlord, terminate the rental agreement and vacate the rented lot by removing that tenant’s manufactured home and all personal possessions at any time during the first month of occupancy. The tenant has no further obligation to pay rent after the date of vacating the lot. A tenant retains the right to terminate a rental agreement beyond the first month of occupancy if the tenant remains in possession of the lot in reliance on the written promise by the landlord to correct the condition or conditions which would justify termination of the agreement by the tenant during the first month of occupancy.

(b) If a condition exists which deprives a tenant of a substantial part of the benefit and enjoyment of the bargain pursuant to the rental agreement, the tenant may notify the landlord in writing of the condition, and, if the landlord does not remedy the condition within 15 days from the date of mailing, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement and vacate the rented lot by removing the tenant’s own manufactured home and all personal possessions. The tenant has no further obligation to pay rent after the date of vacating the lot. Notice pursuant to this subsection need not be given if the condition renders the premises uninhabitable or poses an imminent threat to the health, safety, or welfare of the tenant or a resident of the tenant’s manufactured home.

(c) A tenant may not terminate a rental agreement pursuant to this section for a condition caused by lack of due care by the tenant, a resident of the tenant’s manufactured home, or any other person on the premises with the tenant’s or resident’s consent.

(d) If a condition referred to in subsection (a) or (b) of this section was caused by the landlord, the tenant may recover any damages sustained as a result of the condition, including reasonable expenditures necessary to obtain adequate substitute housing while the manufactured home is uninhabitable or while an imminent threat to health, safety, or welfare exists, or while the tenant is deprived of a substantial part of the benefit and enjoyment of the bargain pursuant to the rental agreement prior to the termination of the rental agreement by the tenant, and for a reasonable length of time following the termination of the rental agreement.

(e) If a landlord or the landlord’s authorized representative intentionally misrepresents a material fact regarding a manufactured home community, the scope or extent of services provided by the landlord, or a provision of a rental agreement in a brochure, newspaper, radio, or television advertisement, or other document or advertisement, for the purpose of inducing a tenant to enter into a rental agreement, and the tenant reasonably relies upon the misrepresentation to the tenant’s detriment when entering into the rental agreement, the tenant has the right to terminate the rental agreement within 18 months of execution of the rental agreement.

82 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 26

§ 7022. Lot Rental Assistance Program [For application of this section, see 79 Del. Laws, c. 304, § 7].

(a) A homeowner or tenant in a manufactured home community who is eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits or who is 62 years of age or older is eligible for lot rental assistance from the manufactured home community owner if the homeowner or tenant meets all of the following criteria:

(1) The homeowner or tenant must have owned the manufactured home or resided in the home in the manufactured home community prior to July 1, 2006.

(2) The homeowner or tenant must reside full time and exclusively in the manufactured home in the manufactured home community, and the manufactured home must be the homeowner’s or tenant’s only residence.

(3) The lot rent, excluding utility charges and other charges, fees, and assessments that are part of the services rider required under § 7008(a)(9) of this title, must exceed 30% of the income definition, as stated in the Delaware State Housing Authority Fact Book (DSHA Fact Book), or its successor document, for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the county median income limits based upon 40% of the county’s median income for the number of residents in the home. For purposes of this section, “income” includes the income of all occupants of the manufactured home, whether or not an occupant is a tenant, and of all tenants of the manufactured home, whether or not a tenant is an occupant.

(4) The total liquid assets, including but not limited to bank accounts, stocks, and bonds of the homeowner or homeowners, tenant or tenants, and other residents, may not exceed $50,000.

(5) The homeowner, tenant, and other residents must provide to the community owner all documentation necessary to determine eligibility for lot rental assistance, such as bank records, eligibility letters, tax returns, and brokerage statements.

(6) The homeowner, tenant, and other residents and the manufactured home must be in substantial compliance with all manufactured home community rules, regulations, and standards.

(b) The homeowner, tenant, and other residents may not be recipients of any other rental assistance funding.

(c) Lot rental assistance or rent credit received by a homeowner or tenant pursuant to this section is not transferable upon the sale of the manufactured home or the transfer of the rental agreement to a third-party purchaser.

(d) A homeowner or tenant who qualifies for lot rental assistance under subsection (a) of this section is entitled to lot rental assistance for a term of 1 year. Lot rental assistance for a qualified homeowner or tenant is a credit which is computed as the difference between the then-current lot rent and 30% of the income definition for the county median income, as stated in the DSHA Fact Book for the number of residents in the home; provided, however, that the lot rent for an eligible homeowner or tenant after application of a lot rental assistance credit may not exceed 30% of the income definition for the county median income, as stated in the DSHA Fact Book for the number of residents in the home.

(e) The homeowner or tenant has the responsibility to reestablish annually eligibility for lot rental assistance if that homeowner or tenant believes that the homeowner or tenant remains eligible for lot rental assistance. The homeowner or tenant must reestablish eligibility within 45 days immediately before the anniversary date of the prior determination of eligibility.

(f) (1) A community owner who is required to participate in the lot rental assistance program shall provide notice of the program to all homeowners and tenants in the community, and shall provide, under paragraph (f)(2)a. or (f)(2)b. of this section, renewal notices to all program participants at least 45 days before a participant’s term of assistance expires. If the community owner does not provide a renewal notice, the lot rental assistance credit remains in effect until 45 days after the community owner provides notice. Upon receiving notice, a homeowner or tenant has 45 days to reestablish program eligibility by providing necessary documents and information to the community owner. If the homeowner or tenant fails to reestablish eligibility within 45 days of notice, the community owner may terminate the lot rental assistance credit.

(2) a. Unless otherwise specified, renewal notice required by this subsection may be served personally upon a homeowner or tenant of a manufactured home community by leaving a copy of the notice at the homeowner’s or tenant’s dwelling place with an adult person who resides therein.

b. In lieu of personal service, renewal notice required by this subsection may be sent by regular first class mail with proof of mailing or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the homeowner or tenant at the address of the homeowner’s or tenant’s rented lot, or at an alternative address which the homeowner or tenant provided in writing to the community owner.

(g) During the period of any lot rental assistance, a homeowner or tenant must remain current with payment of rent after the application of the lot rental assistance credit, as well as with payment of utility fees and other charges and assessments. If the homeowner or tenant does not pay all lot rent after the application of the lot rental assistance credit, as well as pay utility fees and other charges and assessments on or before the due date or during the grace period provided under the law or otherwise, then the lot rental assistance credit may be immediately terminated upon notice, and the homeowner or tenant will not be eligible for further lot rental assistance.

(h) A homeowner or tenant receiving lot rental assistance credit must notify the community owner immediately of any substantial change in that homeowner’s or tenant’s financial situation or in the composition of the household.

(i) Any intentional misrepresentation by an applicant of that applicant’s financial situation or living arrangements which, if the truth were known, would have resulted in the denial of lot rental assistance shall result in the immediate termination of all lot rental assistance, and an immediate obligation to reimburse all credits received under the lot rental assistance program to the point of the initial misrepresentation. A community owner may treat the amounts due and owing as a rent delinquency.

(j) A community owner shall treat all documents and information submitted for the lot rental assistance program as confidential and may not disclose the documents or information publicly or use them in any manner other than to determine eligibility under the lot rental assistance program. Any intentional public dissemination of confidential information provided pursuant to the lot rental assistance program is subject to civil relief which is reasonable and appropriate under Delaware law.

(k) Nothing in this section prohibits the owner of a manufactured home community from offering a lot rental assistance program that provides benefits over and above the benefits set forth in this section, or that extends eligibility for participation in the program.

(l) The provisions of this section do not apply to a manufactured home community with 25 or fewer manufactured home lots; provided, however, that an owner of such a manufactured home community may voluntarily offer a lot rental assistance program to the homeowners and tenants of the community.

(m) For the purpose of benefiting persons aged 62 and older, this section establishes a narrow exception to the prohibition against housing discrimination on the basis of “age” under Chapter 46 of Title 6, otherwise known as Delaware’s Fair Housing Act [§ 4600 et seq. of Title 6].

75 Del. Laws, c. 382, §  770 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  179 Del. Laws, c. 63, §  282 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 27