The Delaware Code Title 25 Chapter 53 Section 5310 prohibits a landlord from collecting upfront fees from a tenant that do not have the following purpose:
Assurance Money Prohibited
(a) In every transaction wherein an application is made by a prospective tenant to lease a dwelling unit, the prospective landlord or owner of the dwelling unit shall not ask for, nor receive, any “assurance money” or other payment which is not an application fee, security deposit, surety bond fee or premium, pet deposit or similar deposit reserving the dwelling unit for the prospective tenant for a time certain. The prospective landlord shall not charge the prospective tenant, as a fee for any credit or other type of investigation, any more than the specific cost of such investigation. For purposes of this section, “assurance money” shall mean any payment to the prospective landlord by a prospective tenant, except an application fee, a payment in the way of a security deposit, surety bond fee or premium, pet deposit or similar deposit reserving the dwelling unit for the prospective tenant for a time certain or the reimbursing of the specific sums expended by the landlord in credit or other investigations.
(b) Each landlord shall retain, for a period of 6 months, the records of each application made by any prospective tenant. Upon any complaint of a violation of this section, the Consumer Protection Unit of the Attorney General’s office shall investigate the same, shall interview tenants of the landlord and shall, under appropriate search warrant, have the right to investigate all records of the landlord pertaining to applications made within the preceding 6 months. If such investigation reveals good cause for the Attorney General’s office to believe there has been a violation of this section, the Attorney General’s office may issue such cease and desist orders in accordance with Chapter 25 of Title 29 as are required to remedy the violation.
Del. Code § 5310.
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