The Delaware Rental Application Process
The Delaware rental application allows landlords to verify a prospective tenant's background information and credit history before signing a lease agreement. In Delaware, the application fee may not exceed more than 10% of the monthly rent or $50, whichever is greater.
The security deposit for approved tenants in Delaware may not exceed one (1) month’s rent. This maximum, however, applies only to unfurnished rental properties.
Landlords in Delaware must not violate any provisions of the federal Fair Housing Act or the Delaware Fair Housing Act and must comply with the Delaware Landlord/Tenant Code.
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A Sample Delaware Rental Application with Examples for Each Step
The rental application should include the following sections:
Date of Application (the Landlord/Tenant Code requires landlords to retain applications for at least six months)
Prospective Property including address, unit number (if any), and a general description of the rental property
Personal Information about the Applicant and Co-Applicant(s), if any, including full name, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number/state, phone number/cell phone number, and email address
Rental History for at least three years, including current/previous address(es), name and phone number of landlord, how long applicant lived at the address, rent payment, and reason for leaving
Employment History for the last five years and Income, including name and address of employer(s), dates worked, name and phone number of the supervisor, monthly income, the reason for leaving, sources/providers and amounts of other income, a statement indicating that an applicant will not be turned down based on the source of their income (a landlord may not discriminate based on familial status and should not ask whether an applicant is paying/receiving child support, alimony, or spousal support)
Other Occupants including name, age, and relationship to the prospective tenant
Pet Information including if the pet is a service animal (a landlord may not prohibit a service animal or require a deposit for one)
Personal References and Emergency Contacts including name, address, phone number, and relationship to the prospective tenant
Personal/Criminal History including prior evictions, bankruptcies, and felony convictions
Dated Agreement and Authorized Signature including the amount of the non-refundable application fee, the amount of a reservation fee (retained by the landlord should an approved applicant decline to sign a lease), and consent to a credit/criminal background check
Rental Application Resources for Delaware Tenants
Community Legal Aid Society, Inc.
Delaware State Housing Authority
Delaware Housing Coalition
Delaware Rental Application Laws
According to 70 Del. Laws, c. 513, § 3, a landlord may not demand more than one (1) month’s rent for a security deposit on a 12-month lease. In Delaware, it is important to note that this law is only applicable to unfurnished rentals.
Furthermore, these deposits must be deposited into an escrow account by a federally insured bank, and not used in business operations. A tenant’s deposit must be returned to them no more than 20 days after the tenant's residency ends.