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(a) All new and renewing rental agreements, including those rental agreements whose original term has expired, for a lot in a manufactured home community must all of the following:
(1) The specific identification and location of the rented lot within the manufactured home community.
(2) The total amount of annual rent for the lot.
(3) The term of the rental agreement.
(4) The terms for payment of rent.
a. Rent shall be in monthly increments, unless the parties agree otherwise under paragraph (a)(4)c. of this section.
b. Rental payments shall be paid by the tenant to the community owner or landlord in equal dollar amounts, or as close thereto as possible, and shall be extended equally, pro rata on a monthly basis, over a calendar year.
c. Any provision in a rental agreement or otherwise which requires rental payments or rental increases to be paid in one lump sum shall be null and void. However, a tenant may request and the community owner or landlord may agree thereto, that rental payment be made in a 1-time lump sum payment by the tenant.
d. The provisions of this section shall be prospective in nature.
e. The monthly rental amount, as aggregated, must not exceed the annual rental amount and such monthly rental amount shall be determined by dividing the total annual into 12 equal payments, to be made on a monthly rental schedule.
f. The amount of rent due each month and the date the monthly rent payment is due.
(5) The amount of any late-payment fee for rent and the conditions under which the fee may be imposed.
(6) A listing of each other fee or charge in a manner that identifies the service to be provided for the fee or charge in accordance with the provisions under § 7020 of this title.
(7) The name and address of the landlord or the person authorized to receive notices and accept service on the landlord's behalf.
(8) The name and location of the federally insured financial institution where the landlord's security-deposits account is located.
(9) A services rider which contains a description of each utility, facility, and service provided by the landlord and available to the tenant. The services rider must clearly indicate the financial responsibility of the tenant and the landlord for installation and maintenance of each service, and the related fees or charges for each service.
(10) A rental agreement summary that must contain all of the following:
a. A brief description of the manufactured home.
b. The rented lot.
c. The amount of the annual rent and monthly rental payment.
d. The duration of the rental agreement.
e. The landlord's mailing address.
f. The name, address, and phone number of the property manager.
g. The tenant's mailing address.
i. The amount of the security deposit.
j. Repealed by 82 Laws 2019, ch. 38, § 11.
k. The amount of rent charged for the lot for the 3 most recent past years. If the amounts are unknown after a diligent search or if the lot was not rented, a statement to that effect must be included. The rent history provided pursuant to this paragraph may not be used as a predictor of future rent increases, nor may it be used against the community owner or landlord in any way.
(11) The grounds for termination, as described in subchapters I through V of this chapter.
(12) A specific reference to this subchapter as the law governing the relationship between the landlord and the tenant regarding the lot rental.
(13) Provisions requiring the landlord to do all of the following:
a. Maintain and regrade the lot area where necessary and in good faith, as permitted by law, to prevent the accumulation of standing water thereon and to prevent the detrimental effects of moving water if such efforts do not cause the creation of any new accumulations of standing water or detrimental effects of moving water on another lot area. Areas defined by local, state, or federal regulations as wetlands, flood plains, tidal areas, water recharge areas, or recorded drainage systems are exempt from this paragraph.
b. Maintain the manufactured home community in such a manner as will protect the health and safety of residents, visitors, and guests.
c. Identify each lot area in the community in such a way that each tenant can readily identify that tenant's own area of responsibility.
d. Maintain the community, including common areas and rental lots not under rent, keeping it free of species of weeds or plant growth which are noxious or detrimental to the health of the residents.
e. Make a good faith effort to exterminate insects, rodents, vermin, or other pests which are dangerous to the health of the residents when an infestation exists in the common areas of the community.
f. Maintain all water, electrical, plumbing, gas, sewer, septic, and other utilities and services provided by the landlord in good working order, repairing these utilities and services within the earlier of 48 hours after written notification of a utility or service problem, or as soon thereafter as is practicable if a repair within 48 hours is not practicable.
g. When applicable, specify whether septic systems are to be maintained by the landlord or by the tenant.
h. Respect the privacy of residents and agree not to enter into, under, or on the manufactured home without the permission of the tenant or an adult resident unless emergency circumstances exist and entry is required to prevent injury to person or damage to property. However, the landlord may, with 72 hours' notice, inspect any utility connections owned by the landlord or for which the landlord is responsible.
i. Maintain all roads within the community in good condition.
j. Comply with all federal, state, and local building codes.
k. Allow the tenant freedom of choice in the purchase of goods and services other than utilities and related services subject to the limitations in paragraph (b)(13) of this section.
l. Maintain, care for, and remove, if necessary, trees on any lot, including common areas, if the tree is at least 25 feet in height or has a main stem or trunk larger than 6 inches in diameter. Such maintenance, care, and removal means those steps required to maintain a live and healthy tree condition per standard horticultural practices in accordance with the standards as set forth by the American Association of Nurserymen.
1. Nothing contained in paragraph (a)(13)l. of this section requires the landlord to remove leaves, needles, pine cones, sap, pods, seed containers, or any such material normally produced by the tree as part of its life cycle.
2. The landlord must respect the privacy of the tenant and not enter the rented lot to maintain, care for, or remove trees without the permission of the tenant or an adult resident unless emergency circumstances exist and entry is required to prevent injury to person or damage to property.
(14) Provisions requiring the tenant to do all of the following:
a. Keep the exterior of the manufactured home and the rented lot in a clean and sanitary condition.
b. Refrain from storing outside on the lot occupied by the tenant's manufactured home building materials, furniture, or similar items usually not stored outside a home by a property owner in a residential area.
c. Dispose of all rubbish, garbage, and other waste materials in a clean and sanitary manner.
d. Abide by all reasonable written rules concerning use, occupation, and maintenance of the premises, under § 7018 of this title.
e. Abide by all reasonable written manufactured home standards under § 7007 of this title.
(b) A rental agreement for a lot in a manufactured home community may not contain any of the following:
(1) A provision whereby the tenant authorizes a person to confess judgment on a claim arising out of the rental agreement.
(2) A provision whereby the tenant agrees to waive or to forego any right or remedy provided by law.
(3) A provision whereby the tenant waives the right to a jury trial.
(4) A provision which permits the landlord to take possession of the rented lot or the tenant's personal property without the benefit of formal legal process.
(5) A provision which permits the landlord to collect a fee for late payment of rent without allowing the tenant to remit the monthly rent in full a minimum of 5 days beyond the date the rent is due.
(6) A provision which permits the landlord to impose for late payment of rent, based on a monthly payment, a fee in excess of the greater of $25 or 5% of the monthly rental payment specified in the rental agreement.
(7) A provision which permits the landlord to charge an amount in excess of 1 month's rent for a security deposit, unless mutually agreed to, or to retain the security deposit upon termination of the rental agreement when the tenant has paid the rent and any fees or charges in full as of the date of termination and has caused no damage to the landlord's property.
(8) A provision which permits the landlord to collect a deposit in excess of 1 normal billing period for any governmental mandated charge which is the responsibility of the tenant and would ultimately become the responsibility of the landlord if not paid by the tenant, or to retain the deposit upon termination of the lease if the tenant has paid the mandated charge.
(9) A provision which prohibits the tenant from terminating the rental agreement upon a minimum of 30 days notice when a change in the location of the tenant's current employment causes the tenant to commute 30 miles farther from the manufactured home community than the tenant's current commuting distance from the community, or a provision which prohibits a tenant who is a member of the armed forces of the United States from terminating a rental agreement with less than 30 days notice to the landlord if the tenant receives reassignment orders which do not allow at least 30 days notice.
(10) A provision for a waiver of any cause of action against, or indemnification for the benefit of, the landlord by the tenant for any injury or harm caused to the tenant or to residents, guests, or visitors or to the property of the tenant, residents, guests, or visitors resulting from any negligence of the landlord or of a person acting for the landlord in the performance of the landlord's obligations under the rental agreement.
(11) A provision which denies to the tenant the right to treat a continuing, substantial violation by the landlord of any agreement or duty protecting the health, welfare, or safety of the tenant or residents as a constructive or actual eviction which would otherwise permit the tenant to terminate the rental agreement and to immediately cease payments thereunder; provided, that the landlord fails to correct the condition giving rise to the violation or fails to cease the violation within a reasonable time after written notice is given to the landlord by the tenant.
(12) A provision which prohibits displaying a for-sale sign that advertises the sale of a manufactured home in a manufactured home community; however, the landlord may establish reasonable limitations as to the number of signs and the size and placement of signs.
(13) A provision which unreasonably limits freedom of choice in the tenant's purchase of goods and services, however, a landlord may do any of the following:
a. Prohibit service vehicles to have access to the manufactured home community in such numbers or with such frequency that a danger is created or that damage beyond ordinary wear and tear is likely to occur to the infrastructure of the community.
b. Restrict trash collection to a single provider.
c. Select shared utilities.
(14) A provision which permits the recovery of attorneys' fees by either party in a suit, action, or proceeding arising from the tenancy.
(15) A provision which violates any federal, state, or local law.
(16) A provision which requires the tenant do any of the following:
a. Sell or transfer a manufactured home to the landlord.
b. Buy a manufactured home from the landlord.
c. Sell a manufactured home through the services of the landlord.
(17) A provision which requires the tenant to provide the landlord with a key to the tenant's manufactured home or any appurtenances thereto.
(18) A provision which regulates the use of satellite dishes or television antennas that conflicts with federal law or FCC regulations.
(19) A provision which requires the tenant to accept automatic deduction of rent payments from the tenant's checking or other account.
(20) A provision which grants the landlord an option or right of first refusal to purchase the tenant's manufactured home.
(21) A provision which limits to a liquidated sum the recovery to which the tenant otherwise would be entitled in an action to recover damages for a breach by the landlord in the performance of the landlord's obligations under the rental agreement.
(c) If a court finds that a tenant's rental agreement contains a provision in violation of subsection (b) of this section, all of the following apply:
(1) The landlord shall remove the provision and provide all affected tenants by regular first-class mail with proof of mailing or by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the address of the tenants' rented lots, with either an amended rental agreement or corrective addendum to the rental agreement within 30 days of the exhaustion of all appeals, if any are taken.
(2) The landlord is liable to the tenant for actual damages suffered by the tenant as a result of the violation, plus court costs, if any.
(d) If a court finds that a landlord has wilfully included in the rental agreement a provision in violation of subsection (b) of this section, the tenant is entitled to recover 3 months' rent in addition to an award under subsection (c) of this section.
(e) A rental agreement must be executed before a tenant occupies a lot.
(f) A landlord may not offer a lot for rent in a manufactured home community unless the lot conforms to the applicable state, county, or municipal statutes, ordinance, or regulations under which the manufactured home community was created, or under which the manufactured home community currently and lawfully exists.
(g) A violation of subsection (f) of this section is punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000.
(h) If a court of competent jurisdiction finds that a tenant's rental agreement fails to contain a provision required by subsection (a) of this section, all of the following apply:
(1) The landlord shall include the provision and provide all affected tenants by regular first-class mail with proof of mailing or by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the address of the tenants' rented lots, with either an amended rental agreement or corrective addendum to the rental agreement within 30 days of the exhaustion of all appeals, if any are taken.
(2) The landlord is liable to the tenant for actual damages suffered by the tenant as a result of the violation, plus court costs, if any.
(i) If a court finds that a landlord has wilfully failed to include in the rental agreement a provision required by subsection (a) of this section, the tenant is entitled to recover 3 months' rent in addition to an award under subsection (h) of this section.
(j) Both the landlord and tenant shall comply with the provisions of the rental agreement. The remedies available to a landlord or a tenant set forth in this chapter are in addition to those remedies available to a landlord or a tenant in a court of competent jurisdiction for the failure by the landlord or the tenant to comply with any provision of a rental agreement.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Delaware Code Title 25. Property § 7008. Provisions of a rental agreement - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/de/title-25-property/de-code-sect-25-7008/
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