Delaware Eviction Process & Laws | Free DE Eviction Notices

The Delaware eviction process starts with the serving of notice, personally or through certified mail, the notice that illustrates a nonpayment, noncompliance, or a general vacate statement if it is a tenancy at will. For a noncompliance or nonpayment issue the tenant has the right to either pay in-full or fix the violation in order to remain valid with their lease. For month to month renters, they will have to remove themselves from the premises at the end of the sixty (60) day time-frame. If the tenant refuses to move-out at the end of the period by beginning the Action for Possession.

NonPayment Laws - 5 days § 5502

NonCompliance Laws - 7 days § 5513

Month to Month Laws - 60 Days § 5106

Entry and Detainer Laws - Chapter 57

Types of Notice

Delaware 5 Day Notice to Quit

The Delaware five (5) day notice to quit, pursuant to § 5502, is to be served to a tenant who has failed to pay their rent. The notice must be served before the landlord can file for possession of the rental unit. If the tenant fails to pay the rent within…

Delaware Month to Month Termination Letter

The Delaware sixty (60) day notice to quit, in regards to § 5106, is served to tenants to notify them of the termination of their month-to-month lease/rental agreement. Delaware requires that month-to-month tenants must be notified via personal or mail delivery, at least sixty (60) days prior to the date of…

Delaware 7 Day Notice to Quit

The Delaware seven (7) day notice to quit, in accordance with § 5513, is to be filled out by the landlord and delivered to a tenant in violation of a rental/lease agreement. Delaware State law requires that tenants in violation of their rental agreement must receive at least seven (7) days…

Process How to Evict a Tenant

Step 1 – The first step in filing an eviction (aka summary possession) in Maryland is to notify the tenant(s) in writing that the lease/rental agreement will be terminated unless they rectify any correctable lease violations, or pay the amount of rent that is due. The amount of notice required depends on why the lease agreement is being terminated. For lease violations, the landlord must give the tenant seven (7) business days to correct the issues. Tenants who have not paid their rent must be given a five-day notice before the landlord can file an summary possession. Month-to-month tenants are required to receive at least sixty (60) days notice.

Note: If the tenant has violated the lease in a manner that causes immediate damage/harm to the rental property or other tenants within the property, no notice is required to file an action for summary possession. Similarly, if the tenant has been convicted with a Class A misdemeanor of felony  during his/her violation of the lease, than the landlord can file an action for summary possession with no notice required.

Step 2 – After the tenant has been served the notice, and the notice-period has lapsed without any action from the tenant, you can begin the summary of possession process in court. The action for summary of possession must be filed at the Justice of the Peace Court that’s closest to the rental unit. The first form that needs to be filed is called J.P. Civ. Form No. 1 (aka the complaint form). This form can be filled out online, however it must be printed out and then filed with the local Justice of the Peace Court. Before filing the form at court make at least four copies of it and any other associated documents. Keep one copy for your personal records, and mail the original plus three copies (as well as the $40 filing fee) to the Court. The complaint will be served to the tenant(s) by the Court after it has received and filed your paperwork.

Step 3 – The complaint will be served to the tenant along with a summons to appear in court. You will receive a notice in the mail stating the date and time of the trial date. Defendants (i.e. tenants) must appear at the trial date or they will lose by default. Defendants can also file counterclaims against the landlord (at least five business days before the trial date).

Note: If the tenant is causing serious damage to the rental unit (and you have substantial evidence that can prove this), then you can file a “forthwith summons” to the Court. If approved, the trial will be set for an earlier time/date.

Step 4 – The following documents should be brought to the trial:

  • Copy of the lease/rental agreement
  • Copy of the lease termination notice
  • Important dates relevant to the trial (date of first payment, date that lease agreement was discussed, etc.)
  • Any other relevant documents that will help prove your case to the judge

Step 5 – If the defendant loses the case, they are given ten (10) business days to vacate the rental unit. If they have not moved out after the ten-day period, the landlord can request the Court to issue a writ of possession. The writ of possession orders the local constable to remove all parties found to be wrongfully residing in the rental property. If the tenant leaves personal property in the rental unit, the landlord can remove and store this property for up to seven (7) days. If the tenant does not claim their property and fails to pay the landlord for the removal/storage fees within the seven day period, the property is to be considered abandoned.