Clark C. Kingery, Esq.

Common Mistakes made by Landlords in Delaware

  1. Using documents found on the internet. Rental Agreements, notices, and other documents found on the internet often fail to comply with the Delaware Landlord Tenant Code.
  2. Poor Tenant Screening. Failure to review Delaware Court Connect and verify information on rental applications.
  3. Keeping electrical utilities in the Landlord’s name. Landlord’s failure to pay the electric bill generated by a non-paying tenant may result in the tenant filing suit for unlawful eviction.
  4. Failure to regularly inspect and maintain the premises. Landlords who fail to regularly inspect and maintain their properties imply lack of interest and poor management - an invitation for tenant problems.
  5. Failure to promptly send a "5-day" letter when rent is late. Landlords must be realistic about whether their tenant will ever be able to catch up on unpaid rent. Your response to late payment must be timely and consistent.
  6. Defective "5-day" letters. The eviction process starts with a written demand for payment of late rent. Failure to comply with technical requirements set forth in the Landlord Tenant Code may result in dismissal of the Landlord’s case (and delay eviction for months).
  7. Defective Complaint for Summary Possession. The lawsuit for eviction begins with a Complaint filed in the Justice of the Peace Court. Failure to state specific information required by the Landlord Tenant Code may result in dismissal of the case (and delay eviction for months).
  8. Failure to properly handle the tenant’s security deposit. Failure to timely return the tenant’s security deposit (or provide notice regarding amounts deducted from the security deposit) can lead to an action against the Landlord for damages.
  9. Failure to "satisfy" judgments. After collecting the balance owed on a Judgment, the Landlord has a duty to notify the Court that the Judgment is Satisfied. There is a penalty for neglecting to do so.
  10. Failure to consult an experienced attorney! If you have a tenant problem, call or email today!

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