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Delaware Tenant May Terminate if Landlord Fails to Maintain Property

The Delaware Code Title 25 Chapter 53 Section 5306 allows a tenant the following remedy if a landlord fails to maintain the rental property:


(a) If there exists any condition which deprives the tenant of a substantial part of the benefit or enjoyment of the tenant’s bargain, the tenant may notify the landlord in writing of the condition and, if the landlord does not remedy the condition within 15 days following receipt of notice, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement. If such condition renders the premises uninhabitable or poses an imminent threat to the health, safety or welfare of the tenant or any member of the family, then tenant may, after giving notice to the landlord, immediately terminate the rental agreement without proceeding in a Justice of the Peace Court.

(b) The tenant may not terminate the rental agreement for a condition caused by the want of due care by the tenant, a member of the family or any other person on the premises with the tenant’s consent. If a tenant terminates wrongfully, the tenant shall remain obligated under the rental agreement.

(c) If the condition referred to in subsection (a) of this section was caused wilfully or negligently by the landlord, the tenant may recover the greater of:

(1) The difference between rent payable under the rental agreement and all expenses necessary to obtain equivalent substitute housing for the remainder of the rental term; or

(2) An amount equal to 1 month’s rent and the security deposit.

Del. Code § 5306.

See also Delaware Tenant Right to Repair and Deduct Rent.

Return to Delaware Landlord-Tenant Laws.