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What Is a Delaware Rental Application?

In Delaware, a rental application is a form that landlords give to applicants to collect information from everyone who wishes to apply for an apartment in a uniform fashion. Rental applications ensure that landlords receive the same thorough information from all applicants so that they can choose the most financially stable and responsible tenant.

Rental applications generally collect sensitive information, such as social security numbers, full addresses, rental histories, and income specifics. According to state law, the fee for processing an application may not exceed more than 10% of the monthly rent or $50, whichever is more.

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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.

Download a PDF or Word Template

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